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Preparing for Year 6 :: Denver Startup Week

Mark your calendars for more than 350 free, entrepreneurial events in Denver's city center


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Featuring approximately 350 programs and expecting more than 13,000 attendees, Denver Startup Week returns to downtown Denver for its sixth annual celebration – September 25-29 — spurring the growth of entrepreneurship in Colorado's capital.

Planned and orchestrated by the Denver Startup Week Organizing Committee made up of Ben Deda, event co-founder and vice president of marketing at Vertafore, Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership and Erik Mitisek, president at IMAgine Analytics – the five-day festivival aims to hone Denver as an epicenter of entrepreneurial activity, enhancing the community connectivity and providing resources for independent professionals, startups and more mature businesses.

"Denver Startup Week is a showcase of a year-round culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that is home to nearly 5,000 center city startup employees and more than 700 startups yielding some of the most innovative companies and leadership in the world," Door says.

Events span networking sessions, mentor hours, workshops, leadership spotlights and panel presentations.

Sponsors for the week's worth of events include Aging 2.0, Chase for Business, Comcast, the Downtown Denver Partnership, WeWork and nearly 70 other organizations.

"Denver Startup Week is a powerful showcase of the strength of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Denver," says Deda. "No matter your stage of business, company role or industry, Denver Startup Week provides the tools, resources and community support to help you start-up and grow a successful business."

The week begins at 9 a.m. in the Seawell Ballroom with the Denver Startup Week Kick-Off Breakfast, sponsored by SendGrid and presented by the Downtown Denver Partnership, featuring keynote speaker, Casey Neistat, a film director, producer, developer and creator of popular YouTube videos.

The popular event attracted notable speakers including DISH founder and CEO Charlie Ergen, Mark Cuban, Brad Feld, Marty Cagan, Kimbal Musk, U.S. Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon and more. 

"Denver Startup Week is a high-impact showcase of the energy, talent, community and business success that makes Denver the best place in the country to start and grow a business," Mitisek says. "We encourage all of our attendees – those who live here and those who are traveling here to experience Denver's entrepreneurial ecosystem – to share their experience with their networks to continue to brighten Denver's star on the innovation map."

New for 2017, 50 Denver Startup Week Ambassadors will descend on Denver from across the country to showcase downtown Denver on a national stage.

"Downtown Denver is an enviable intersection of a talented workforce, high quality of life and engaged community that is attracting significant levels of investment and attention," Door says.

Basecamp, launched by Chase for Business returns as the hub and epicenter of Denver Startup Week at The Commons on Champa (1245 Champa St.) 

Sessions are organized by content clusters: IoT, Diversity and Inclusion, Cannabis, Healthtech, Social Impact and Business Basics. The tracks for the week include:

  • FOUNDER TRACK — sponsored by Healthgrades, featuring programs covering the fundamentals of business formation, development and growth with a focus on helping people get their businesses off the ground.
  • GROWTH TRACK – sponsored by AARP Colorado, featuring programs that help attendees find customers and scale.
  • DEVELOPER TRACK – sponsored by Fanatics, featuring programs that address broad industry trends with a mix of macro level conversations.
  • MAKER TRACK – sponsored by Colorado Lending Source, featuring programs that reflect the flavor of the community while staying relevant to broader trends in the field.
  • DESIGNER TRACK – sponsored by Herman Miller, featuring programs that serve as a guide to entrepreneurship in the creative economy.
  • PRODUCT TRACK – sponsored by Pendo, featuring programs that balance techniques, soft skills and stories of how to produce a tangible good.

The Denver Startup Week Pitch Challenge – September 28 – is sponsored by Project X-ITE, the Cable Center and WeWork, offering $100,000 in cash and prizes to the winner of 25 semi-finalists

The Denver Startup Week Mentorship Program at Basecamp, sponsored by Bold Legal, allows for one-on-one sit-downs, online mentorship and the opportunity to engage in small group discussions, featuring Ibotta founder and CEO Bryan Leach, Revolar founder Jackie Ros, Havenly CEO and co-founder Lee Mayer, Kimbal Musk and more. 

Stay connected to Denver Startup Week at www.DenverStartupWeek.org, by following #DENStartupWeek and #ChaseBasecamp on social media: @DENStartupWeek and @BasecampLiveDEN on Twitter, liking the DSW Facebook page and following us on Instagram.

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ColoradoBiz staff

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