Tuesday September 23, 2014 0 comments
Attending Denver Startup Week, Sept. 15-20, was truly inspiring.
The third annual Startup Week - celebrating a thriving startup community in the Denver area - was jam packed with fun networking events and informative sessions about how to succeed in starting a business.
Successful startup entrepreneurs offered insight on their triumphs and failures in leadership panels and in one-on-one mentoring sessions.
Startup Week attendees traversed downtown Denver all week, going on-site for visits to offices of many of the ever-growing number of startup entrepreneurs who call the downtown their home.
It was a week full of opportunity to meet potential investors and business collaborators and to possibly score a job with an up-and-coming startup.
The following week, Sept. 21-26, saw the inaugural Colorado Springs Startup Week. Colorado Springs is now the fourth city in the state to host a Startup Week, joining Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder.
Boulder was the pioneer Startup Week city, marking its fourth year in May. Fort Collins joined the Startup Week club in late May, an effort spearheaded by Fort Collins entrepreneur Chris Snook.
Snook spent part of Denver Startup Week giving away Fort Collins Startup Week T-shirts and signing up volunteers to help with the second Fort Collins Startup Week set for May 26-31, 2015.
Snook said he was inspired by Boulder and Denver to create Fort Collins Startup Week and noted Colorado Springs' addition has made the state the first to have four Startup Week celebrations.
"This is a cool time," he said. "I see this startup ecosystem really starting to light up."
Indeed, a fifth Colorado city - Loveland - may be getting close to joining in. The city will host its first "Accelerate CO" event Oct. 1-3 at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology.
The free event, which features an 'innovation ecosystem symposium and showcase,' is aimed at companies, entrepreneurs, engineers, educational institutions, students, government agencies and nonprofits specializing in innovation, technology advancement and manufacturing.
Loveland plans to host the event annually.
'Ecosystem' is a word being used more and more when talking about Colorado's rapidly growing startup scene. And why not, given the fact that a national survey last year found four Colorado metro areas (Fort Collins-Loveland, Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs) among the top 10 metros in the nation for high-tech startup density.
We hope the growing Startup Week phenomenon in Colorado does indeed become an 'ecosystem' for the state's startup community that isn't limited to what town you happen to live in.
We also hope these nodes of startup energy and creativity feed off one another and continue to spread across the state, lighting up - in Chris Snook's words -- the spark that fuels the fire of innovation burning brightly in Colorado.
Click here to view a slideshow of Denver Startup Week photos