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Sage, the market leader in cloud accounting software and a champion of Small & Medium Businesses, has revealed more than 20,000 entrepreneurs and business builders attended Sage Summit keynote sessions last week making it one of the world’s largest business gatherings.

Ashton and Yancey
Ashton and Yancey

The four-day event hosted at the McCormick Centre in Chicago – with more square footage than sixteen American football pitches – saw 600 product sessions and workshops that focused on the future of tech, giving thoughts on what’s next to enable businesses to drive success, work more efficiently and create a better customer experience. There was also a mentoring neighbourhood where attendees could go for 1:1 business mentoring.

Celebrity entrepreneurs also shared their experiences, learnings and insights. Customers, partners, sponsors and colleagues witnessed business legend, Sir Richard Branson, join Sage CEO, Stephen Kelly, in the keynote presentation. Other guests included Kickstarter founder, Yancey Strickler, as well as A-list entrepreneurs and tech investors such as Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow, who discussed global business issues and start-up challenges from a first-hand perspective.

Sage also made a number of announcements during the week about its latest product innovations and developments, including:

  • Launching the world’s first accounting chatbot, Pegg TM. The smart assistant allows users to track expenses and manage finances via messaging apps such as Facebook messenger and Slack – find out morehere
  • A collaboration with Apple to enable Sage One and Sage Live products to be fully optimised for iOS to enable a better experience for iPhone and iPad users. This development will support partners and accountants by helping them to manage finances on the go – find out more here
  • Giving customers what they want and becoming the first company to use Microsoft Office 365 as a platform, Sage unveiled an extension to its relationship with Microsoft, which sees Sage become the first company to use Microsoft Office 365 as a platform, integrated with Sage 50. The new solution gives improved functionality and allows customers to do business anywhere, make faster and better decisions, communicate quicker and work towards going paperless – find out more here
  • Showing the continued development of theSage X3 business management solution in a bid to deliver faster, simpler and more flexible business management to mid-sized enterprise customers, Sage launched the new Sage X3 cloud release Update 10 – find out more here
  • Setting out an ambitious new vision for its global philanthropy initiative Sage Foundation, and also a pledge to help more military veterans transition into civilian life through its Sage Foundation global philanthropy initiative – find our more hereand here
  • A full list of press releases can be found here.
Stephen Kelly and Richard Branson
Stephen Kelly and Richard Branson

Bringing together Sage’s customers, partners, and colleagues, Sage Summit is designed to encourage learning and networking, while celebrating the power of the global entrepreneurial business community.

Stephen Kelly, CEO of Sage said: “Sage stands for social, connected businesses. It’s a very exciting time for entrepreneurs. We have an unwavering dedication to supporting Small & Medium Business owners, who are the true heroes of our economy.

“At Sage, we have invested £139 million on research and development during FY15/16, all in a bid to support entrepreneurs in the way they need to be supported, not just now but in the future. Part of this means we need to be first and leapfrog the competition.

It is through the introduction of smart and intuitive technology – like our new admin bot, Pegg-  along with partnerships with some of the world’s largest and most well-known technology providers, that we will support our Small & Medium Business customers as they step up to the next level. It’s such an exciting time for us all.”

So, what did Sage Summit attendees say?

  • Gwyneth Paltrow: “Loved participating in Chicago’s #SageSummit this morning, always so inspiring to be in a room full of brilliant entrepreneurs”.
  • Partner (Pinnacle): “That was stunning – thanks @Sage_Summit@SKellyCEOwe were #inspired #educated #mentored #connected#entertained! Looking forward to 2017!”
  • Ashton Kutcher: “Couple of companies worth checking out to make building your business a little easier @BlueCrewJobs @fundbox @SentinelSec #SageSummit”
  • Attendee (JarrenAllise):” #sageSummit was more than I could have imagined but meeting [Sage UKI customer] @gemma price took my experience to a whole new level!”