Tuesday January 12, 2016 0 comments
FORT COLLINS -- What was once part of the Spring blossoms and greenery of late May will this year have a crisp and possibly snowy backdrop when the third annual Fort Collins Startup Week is held Feb. 1-5.
Just under three weeks away, the event – which highlights the thriving startup community in Northern Colorado – will be headquartered at Galvanize Fort Collins, 242 Linden St., and feature dozens of events and networking activities in and around downtown Fort Collins.
For the last two years – beginning in 2014 – Fort Collins Startup Week has rolled out during the last week of May. But the event was right on the heels of Boulder Startup Week, and Charisse Bowen, director of Galvanize Fort Collins, said the intent this year is to put some separation between the three main startup weeks in the state.
“We wanted to separate them by quarter,” Bowen said. “We thought, ‘Let’s see if spreading them out doesn’t help draw more people from the region.’”
Denver Startup Week, the second to be established in the state, this year is set for Sept. 12-16.
Bowen, formerly director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship in Colorado State University''s College of Business, is spearheading this year’s Northern Colorado event, taking over from entrepreneur and former Fort Collins resident Chris Snook, who has moved out of state to pursue his dreams.
Bowen, named director of Galvanize’s Fort Collins campus that opened last summer, said this year’s February event is more of a “grassroots” effort, with collaboration by Galvanize, the city of Fort Collins, Innosphere, Colorado State University and co-leader Christine Hudson, who helped start the Fort Collins New Tech Meetup group.
Bowen said most of the events in February will be held at Innosphere, one of the state’s premiere startup incubators, and at Galvanize Fort Collins, which will serve as the event’s base camp.
Also helping out is Boulder-based Techstars, a highly-successful startup and mentoring community with campuses across the U.S. and in the U.K. that often partners with Denver-based Galvanize.
“We consider them a great friend,” said Bowen.
Holding the event in February instead of May holds other advantages, Bowen noted.
“Fort Collins is still very beautiful that time of year with our (downtown) twinkling lights, and hotel availability is good,” she said.
A full listing of free and open-to-the-public events for the third FCSW can be found at http://fortcollins.startupweek.co with most set for Galvanize Fort Collins or at Innosphere, 321 E. Vine Drive.
“Right now, events will be hosted mainly at Galvanize and Innosphere, however I anticipate that additional events will be scheduled at other locations as more people find out about it,” Bowen said.
Indeed, Bowen is hoping that word can spread quickly to pull the event together within the less-than-three-weeks that remain before Feb. 1.
“I know we’re a little behind the eight-ball on this,” she said.
Bowen said sponsors and volunteers are still urgently needed and she encouraged any interested businesses and individuals to contact her to help launch the “reborn” event.
“We are still accepting applications for people who want to host an event,” she said.
Bowen said the final two days of the week are “very full” but there are still openings for events on the first three days of the week.
Bowen said organizers of the event have been meeting since last fall to pull it together and keep the momentum established during its first two years.
“The startup community in Fort Collins is robust and growing, and it’s important for us to have this time of year to come together and celebrate our accomplishments and set our future goals for what this community can become,” she said.
“We cannot not have one here.”