Creative Coast Announces 2023 GRIT Conference Panels & Volunteer Opportunities

GRIT, Savannah’s premier innovation conference, is gearing up for an exciting event on January 26-28, 2023 at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center. The two-day event will highlight innovators and thought leaders from diverse industries across the city and beyond. The Creative Coast is thrilled to announce 2023 GRIT panels covering the following topics.

Learn how local business owners/entrepreneurs and their companies are doing their part to reduce climate change with “The Eco-Friendly Business: Transform Your Business, Save the Planet.” Panelists include… 

  • Charlie Brazil, Old Town Trolley Tours
  • Nick Deffley, City of Savannah 
  • Katie Rodgers-Hubbard, Litefoot Company
  • Robert Gadd, OnPoint Digital 
  • Moderator: Meredith Stone, Designer/Realtor

During the “Beyond Bored Apes: NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) for the Arts, Entertainment & For Good,” learn how to transform your business and your financial footprint through NFTs. Featured panelists are…

  • Taylor McKnight, Perk Shop 
  • Blakely Scott, UX Designer 
  • James Sidletsky, USCB 

Find out how four local bar and restaurant owners have survived and thrived in an increasingly difficult marketplace with the “Food for Thought Restaurant Panel.” Panelists are…

  • Monique Silén, Kayak Kafe
  • Trey Wilder, Treylor Park 
  • Alton Brecker, Bubbly Savannah
  • Amanda Russ, Pomodori 
  • Moderator: Jessie Blanco, Eat It & Like It

The “Investor Panel” will feature the Startup Stage pitch competition judges, angel investors, and venture capitalists. They’ll discuss what the current funding environment is like, what they look for in startups, what current deal terms look like, and more. The judges and panelists include…

  • Julianne Roseman, Plug and Play Tech Center
  • Bill Glenn, Fernwood Holdings
  • Bill Nussey, Engage Ventures
  • Jim Goodlett, Ariel Southeast Angel Partners/Morris Technology
  • Moderator: Jen Bonnett, The Creative Coast

SHE HUSTLES is both an event and a community that offers Savannah’s women entrepreneurs and leaders a chance to network, learn, and inspire. The Creative Coast is bringing the community together at the GRIT Conference for a “SHE HUSTLES Panel” featuring…

  • Mary Githens, Latin Chicks
  • Jesse Dillon, SEDA
  • Shannon GaNun, The Current 
  • Alethia Jones, AYJ Consulting Services
  • Moderator: Whitney Gilliard, Gilliard and Co. 

This “Metaverse and Web3 Panel” aims to demystify these technologies by sharing examples of how companies use these tools in real-world applications, beyond gaming, and in the present. Hear from experts working in healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and education. Featured panelists include…

  • Mike Morgan, Really-Virtual
  • Richard Ward, McKinsey
  • Teri Yarbrow, SCAD
  • Moderator: Chris Davis, Go Block

Those interested in attending the GRIT Conference can purchase Early Bird tickets for $99 through January 5, 2023, at

Want to score a FREE ticket to GRIT? Apply to volunteer until January 15, 2023. Find details and apply by visiting the Volunteer Portal.