Amid a surge in entrepreneurial activity in the greater Philadelphia region, a top private equity  convention next week is reaching out to local entrepreneurs by broadening its scope to cover every stage of the corporate life cycle, organizers said. 

The annual Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Capital Alliance, a Philadelphia-based business group, has added a new series of panel discussions touching on everything from startups to buyouts, including sessions on institutional and angel investorstechnology transfers, and business development.

By doing so, the MAC Alliance -- formerly the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group -- hopes to attract upwards of 100 new entrepreneurs for across the region.

Organizers said they are "looking to more fully embrace entrepreneurs as a key constituent" of the event, according to Tom Balderston, the group's CEO. "We hope to create an entrepreneurial friendly environment where first-time entrepreneurs as well as repeat entrepreneurs feel welcome."

The two-day conference, which will mark its 17th year, is one of the region's largest small-business networking events, attracting upwards of 700 investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs every year.

It seeks to "provide the opportunity for leading investors to find the most promising emerging and growth companies, and for pioneering entrepreneurs to make the connections for funding and support," Balderston said.

According to the group's annual State of the Capital Community Report, investment opportunities in the region are far outpacing the $785 million of investment capital that was available over the last 15 months -- including $287 million that went to some 40 startup companies. As a result, the region has become a "net importer of capital," creating a supply and demand imbalance, the report said.

In addition to the panel discussion, this year's event includes an awards ceremony honoring local businesses that have grown from startups to successful companies, and helped boost economic growth in the region. This year's recipients include companies such as Philadelphia Media Holdings, Nutrisystem, and Tengion, among others.

The MAVC runs from Oct. 4 - 5 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. For more information go to