Top 50 Innovative Event Pros 2013: Eric Ly

The co-founder of LinkedIn is bringing people together again through his newer company, Presdo, and its conference-focused product.

By Mitra Sorrells June 12, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

Eric Ly, founder and C.E.O., Presdo

Photo: Kevin Abosch

Eric Ly earned degrees from Stanford and M.I.T. before becoming what he calls a “serial entrepreneur.” He might be best known as a co-founder of LinkedIn, but since 2007, Ly has focused on Presdo, his Silicon Valley–based company that created Presdo Match, a product to help attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors connect at conferences and trade shows.

“We knew a lot about social media because of our backgrounds, so combining the tools to arrange meetings with the discovery tool, helping people discover who they should meet, was a really powerful combination,” Ly says. Presdo Match creates an invitation-only social network populated with attendees’ LinkedIn profiles. Users receive recommendations on other attendees with matching interests, and they can use the network to communicate and schedule meetings. The system’s built-in messaging system does not share email addresses, which provides privacy for users and cuts down on spam.

More than 100 organizations used Presdo Match for their events in 2012, including InfoComm, the American Wind Energy Association, and European technology conference Le Web. Ly says future plans include enhancing planners’ use of Presdo Match as a revenue stream from sponsors and attendees.

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