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PandoDaily Founder to Interview oDesk CEO as First Keynote Session of Southland Conference
[May 31, 2013]

PandoDaily Founder to Interview oDesk CEO as First Keynote Session of Southland Conference

May 31, 2013 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- Southland, Launch Tennessee's new tech conference for entrepreneurs in the Southeast and investors, thought leaders and innovators from all over, announced that Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk, an online workplace, will help open the conference in a keynote conversation with Sarah Lacy, founder and editor-in-chief of PandoDaily.

According to a release, scheduled for Wednesday, June 12, at The Cannery in Nashville, Tenn., the talk will cover rapid disruption in the work world that is knocking down traditional talent barriers and investigate how the demise of these barriers is supporting the rise of startups.

"We are thrilled to have Gary and Sarah as one of the keynotes of Southland," said Charlie Brock, CEO of LaunchTN. "The Southland audience will benefit from Gary's insights on key staffing trends that startups everywhere should be aware of in order to gain a competitive edge and staff scalably." The groups noted that an increasing amount of online work is happening via the Internet, allowing businesses and professionals to work together regardless of where they happen to be located. With more than 3.3 million freelance professionals registered on oDesk alone, startups are tapping into the broader pool of online talent in order to get the skills they need and hire for them on-demand. Last year in the South alone, businesses hired more than 6 million hours of work on oDesk. This equates to 17,000 hours a day, or the number of hours a typical worker clocks in over an eight-year span working every single day.

"Nothing is more rewarding than engaging with startup companies throughout the world now that technology is democratizing entrepreneurship. I am excited to meet the Southern entrepreneur community at Southland," said Swart. "They're clearly innovators experiencing success already, given the amount of work (more than $63 million) that our clients in the region are hiring for on oDesk-not to mention we have a strong base of more than 20,000 professionals registered to work via oDesk from the South as well." As the CEO of oDesk, Swart is a leader in the future of work and the rise of the "freelance economy." Since 2009, hours worked on oDesk globally have grown more than 10 times, with 35 million hours worked in 2012. Swart is a mentor to startups and entrepreneurs and often shares advice on how to face the challenges growing businesses face.

Lacy, the founder and editor-in-chief of PandoDaily, is a tech reporter who has spent her career writing about and engaging with entrepreneurs. Each month, she invites one CEO or top investor to engage in long-form conversation on her Emmy-nominated series, PandoMonthly. These talks extend beyond a typical interview to touch on hot topics and trends. Recent interviews include Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, and Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox.

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