The 6th annual event presented by Cedarworks, Inc. with host Samford University drew records numbers. 769 people watched The Lion’s Den Main Event in our new venue at Samford, the Wright Center. They heard from Akola, Third Coast Content, and Jibu Water; voting Akola as the ‘best to survive’ The Lion’s Den. Of this group, 201 Professional Summit Attendees hailed from 11 countries, 76 cities, and 26 states. They participated in a series of plenary sessions on the past, present, and future of BAM, as well as a series of smaller breakout session topics and of course, two great dinners, and a lunch with keynote speaker Greg Lernihan.
The founding Lion’s Den group of Birmingham business professionals created the event to “Inspire, Educate and Mobilize” people to invest their time, talents, and other resources in the Kingdom through “Business as Mission.” It is now an annual event not just in Birmingham, but also in Dallas, Texas, at host Dallas Baptist University.
The 6th annual event featured 3 businesses presenting to 700+ and a Panel of Lions in a pitch competition similar to a “Shark Tank” type experience with a twist. The Kingdom-focused Panel probed the sharp business minds on producing financial, social, environmental, and spiritual results in their chosen endeavors, known as the “quadruple bottom-line”. Live audience votes picked Brittany Underwood of Akola as the business to best survive The Lion’s Den in 2019.
We also honored Jon and Andy Erwin of Erwin Brother Entertainment as our 3rd Operator of the Year; an example for those seeking role models for what Business As Mission could be.
The Lion’s Den established itself as a forum for action-oriented professionals coming from across the country. Because of the real, lasting connections across industries and geographies developed over the years, the Professional Summit was created to extend these positive interactions.
200 Summit Attendees met around meals, discussion, interviews, and more. Breakout facilitators and panelists offered frontline experiences and specific understanding of the emerging space for Business As Mission and Kingdom-Minded investing.
See our Keynote Address delivered by Greg Lernihan below.
Greg Lernihan of Convergint Technologies and His Fund shares his personal and professional journey with Business As Mission as it relates to Impact Investing during the Keynote Lunch of The Lion’s Den Professional Summit, October 10, 2019, at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
Samford University is a premier nationally ranked Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts and a distinct blend of graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and is regularly recognized among the best Christian universities in the country. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st in Alabama and 3rd in the nation for student engagement, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the university 40th nationally for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Samford enrolls 5,692 students from 47 states and 28 countries in its 10 academic schools, and fields 17 NCAA Division I teams who compete in the Southern Conference.
Samford provides a wonderful backdrop to the 2019 events. Parking will be immediately in front of Thursday’s Main Event and easily accessible for attendees on campus. We are grateful to Samford University and the Brock School of Business for hosting The Lion’s Den once again.