With summertime upon us, Chattanooga is gearing up for a busy season – and we’re not alone! Our neighbor Nashville is kicking off the summer with some pretty exciting stuff. You’re probably familiar with CMA Fest and Bonnaroo, but this year, there’s a new event in town.

Hosted by LaunchTN, Southland will be held in Nashville’s Historic Cannery Row District on June 12 and 13. The startup conference will bring together more than 500 entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders and innovators. The goal: connect the Southeast’s best early-stage companies with investors from across the country, while offering a taste of Southern culture.

“We’re giving 50 of the most promising startups in the South the chance to network with top venture capitalists and angel investors from Silicon Valley, the East Coast and the South,” said Charlie Brock, CEO of LaunchTN and former (EIR) of CO.LAB.  “We’re very excited about the potential of this conference and believe it will become the premier event highlighting the South’s most promising young companies and entrepreneurs each year.”

Southland features investor panels, CEO and founder talks, company presentations, networking forums – and of course, it wouldn’t be Nashville without a little live entertainment.

Chattanooga will be strongly represented at the conference: among the 20 startups selected to participate are Banyan, winner of GIGTANK 2012; Quickcue, which launched at a 48Hour Launch event; and Variable Tech, winner of a Will This Float? event.

Come join the party. The application deadline for startups has passed, but attendants are welcome. Visit www.southlandse.com to learn more.