West Slope Startup Week goes virtual with new format
Techstars Startup Week returns to Western Colorado in July 2020
Techstars Startup Week West Slope is pivoting in light of COVID-19 and moving forward with a new, virtual format this July. Starting July 7, there will be one week of free, virtual programming and events every Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon throughout the month of July.
The organizers originally postponed the gathering to the fall in hopes of an in-person event, but have decided that during this critical time, Startup Week could provide tremendous value by sharing important and relevant educational programming, and also highlighting and celebrating companies and entrepreneurs with stories of resilience, innovation and adaptation.
“We believe in the entrepreneurial spirit and know that a crisis such as this can reveal new opportunities, creative partnerships, and alternative ways to launch and run businesses outside of the front range. Although we may be apart physically, West Slope Startup Week wants to bring our entire region together, virtually, to capitalize on these opportunities to innovate and pivot,” says Taylor Grande, an organizer with Startup Colorado.
The goals of the event are the same: learn from each other, share expertise and experience, tell the stories of businesses, and build connections across the region. “We know so much of the magic of Startup Week comes from the in-person interactions and we are cooking up some fun ideas to create a meaningful, engaging experience,” says Brian Watson, the co-founder of Proximity Space.
Organizers will initially select sessions from a list of more than 100 ideas submitted by Coloradans earlier this year to fill eight tracks. In addition, they are opening the call for session submissions and ideas again to address the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has impacted every industry and business, and West Slope Startup Week will play a critical role in establishing the community and resources for us all to move forward,” says Jamie Finney, a partner at the Greater Colorado Venture Fund. “In addition to sessions around small business recovery and survival, this will be a great opportunity to connect over new business possibilities.”
Ideas may be submitted via online form by June 5, 2020. The Startup Week organizing team will make selections shortly after.
All of the sponsors are continuing to support the gathering in this new format, including title sponsor U.S. Bank. “It’s no surprise. It’s further proof of the strength and generosity of Western Colorado. These companies care about their communities. They see the value in bringing us together right now,” says Tom Benton, director of the Colorado Mesa University Innovation Center.
“We know that us western innovators and pioneers are gritty and to forge ahead in the face of adversity. We feel it’s good timing to rise up to this challenge,” says Mara Hardy, business development manager at the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.