In its fourth year, Colorado Springs Startup Week (Aug. 21-25) is changing its format and the number of events offered.
Each day of Startup Week, sponsored by Peak Startup, will provide sessions that focus on different stages in creating a startup company. The event starts Monday with the ideation and concept stages and ends on Friday with sessions focused on funding.
Instead of having around 70 or 80 events like in previous years, Michelle Parvinrouh, executive director of Peak Startup, said that Startup Week will have daylong intensive workshops with topics delivered in sequential order.
“We’ve taken the typical lifecycle of a startup and basically spread it out over five days,” she said.
For those who are in the middle stages of creating a startup company or are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, this week of events is a great way to be supported and be part of the startup community, said Parvinrouh.
“Startup Week is a celebration of the startup community here and the people who are doing it and contributing to it,” she said. “We have a lot of knowledge in this community and it’s a way of getting that knowledge and sharing it from person to person, so I feel like it’s more about sharing those experiences and sharing information that all can benefit from.”
Chris Franz, president of Peak Startup, said this week serves to bring together founders, participants and people interested in startups.
“It’s important to help improve the connectivity and talent of our [startup] ecosystem,” said Franz. “There’s also a support factor in that growing a startup is very, very difficult, and you really need an ecosystem around you to provide that support.”
Colorado Springs’ startup ecosystem is 60-70 percent of where Peak Startup wants it to be, said Franz, adding that this is the first year it feels like Colorado Springs has critical mass with how many companies are in town, how many people are raising money and the number of startup companies that are selling their companies.
“We’re starting to get to a maturity level,” he said.
Around 200 startup companies exist in Colorado Springs right now, said Parvinrouh, adding this year’s week of events will bring in several organizations and speakers from around the state.
A few key events at this year’s Startup Week include the unveiling of the Colorado Institute for Social Impact by the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado on Wednesday, Aug. 23; Pitchnight Competition: Startup Week Edition; and a workshop on how to be an angel investor on Thursday, Aug. 24.
“The expectation is not that people will come to all five days, it’s that they would come to the one or two days that are most relevant to where they are now and able to get them to the next stage,” Parvinrouh said. “The people who are going to find the most value are the people who are serious and committed about starting up and who are already starting up and are looking for help in getting to the next level.”
Access to free videos of Startup Week will also be available to those who cannot attend, said Parvinrouh.
The schedule of events, times, locations and list of speakers and workshops can be found at coloradosprings.startupweek.co/#schedule.