Over a thousand entrepreneurs and investors are set to converge on the annual LTB (Let’s Talk Business) Summit tomorrow, Wednesday July 8th.
But this is no usual business summit – billed as "the world's premier Ultra-Orthodox business conference," every one of the participants heading to The Rockleigh in New Jersey is from America's haredi Jewish community.
Participants will hope to gain inspiration, connections and – most importantly – investors, while sharing ideas with like-minded people who understand the unique challenges faced by haredi businessmen.
Make no mistake – this is no small fry event attempting to coax reticent yeshiva students into seeking employment. Unlike in Israel, where the majority of haredi men controversially eschew employment in favor of full-time Torah study, America's growing haredi community has no shortage of highly motivated professionals – even though they, like their Israeli counterparts, largely do not attend university.
Watch – Last year's LTB summit:
In addition to keynote addresses by thought leaders in global commerce, three start-up companies will compete to win a one million dollar investment in a competition modeled on the hit US show "Shark Tank," sponsored by the Brooklyn Financial Group.
What's more, the success of previous years has attracted tens of blue-chip sponsors including T-Mobile, American Express, LG and Uber.
The project was the brainchild of successful hassidic entrepreneur Meny Hoffman, CEO and Founder of the PTEX Group, who set up the event as a way to give back to the community. Special arrangements will include strictly kosher food and breaks for afternoon prayers.
And while the haredi community is known more generally for being relatively insular, participants are not shy of looking outside their own community for advice and inspiration in business.
Speakers a the conference will include Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, New York Times Bestselling Business Author Michael Port, and Amazon E-Commerce Celebrity Ezra Firestone.
It will also feature Dr. Sean Wise, host of a weekly show about entrepreneurship on the Oprah Winfrey Network and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University. Wise founded Ernst & Young’s venture capital advisory group in Canada, and has helped clients raise more than $2.5 billion in collective capital.
"We've worked hard to get superstar keynote speakers," said LTB founder Meny Hoffman.
"We're restructuring the Launch Pad by having Professor Sean Wise as host," noted Mr. Hoffman. "And he'll be at LTB 2015 to show what it takes to land a serious investment.”