If you're looking for an education on startup businesses, this year's Startup Week will be a great learning opportunity.
The five-day event organized by Peak Startup includes more than 60 free events - expected to draw more than 500 participants - that begin with a presentation on how entrepreneurs can use grittiness to sustain interest and effort toward long-term goals and end with Artini, an annual event that kicks off the Arts Month campaign. The events include presentations, panel discussions, keynote addresses and several investment pitch opportunities. A complete schedule is available at coloradosprings.startup.co.
Highlights include a panel discussion Monday on "Why Startup?" on the impact of startups on the community, another panel discussion Thursday on the impact of the buildup of cybersecurity businesses in the Colorado Springs area and a keynote presentation Friday by four-time Winter Olympics participant and motivation speaker Ruben Gonzalez.
The schedule also includes one-on-one mentoring sessions with Toddi Norum of the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship, technology industry veteran Margaret Breakey, Patrick Bultema of the Colorado College Innovation Institute, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs student body President Samuel Elliott, startup attorney David Steigerwald, PV Ventures Partner Aaron Stachel and Beth McKeon of the NMotion Accelerator in Lincoln, Neb. All but six of the 38 sessions are already full.
"We are trying to focus every event this year on high-growth startups, though some of what we will cover can be applied to starting a family business. We are focusing on the needs of startups," said Paul Nielsen, CEO of database company Tejon Tech and Startup Week chairman. "High-growth startups are designed to quickly develop an innovative product, prove their business model and be acquired by a larger company. A startup company begins with an exit by acquisition in mind, while a family-owned or other business is designed to provide an income for the owner."
- 8-9 a.m.: "Getting Gritty to Achieve Success," Wildcat Room at Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave. Lauren Hebert, co-founder of Spark Mindset, will discuss why some entrepreneurs succeed and others fail. Grit is the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals. Participants will learn how to discover, develop and deepen their passion.
- 8-9 a.m.: "Building Mobile Apps that Retain More Users," Epicentral Coworking, 415 N. Tejon St. Justin Bergen of Five3 Apps will discuss how app developers pour thousands of dollars into user acquisition, while overlooking user retention as a powerful strategy for the success of their app. User retention is best built in from the beginning. The session will cover user onboarding, common pitfalls and easy fixes and A/B testing for post-launch.
- 9:30-10:30 a.m.: "Balance Work and Life . How not to do it!" Wildcat Room at Ivywild School. Steve Kaczmarek, CEO of Borealis Fat Bike Co., will discuss this popular topic.
- 9:30-10:30 a.m.: "What the Tech Should We Know?!" Hosted at Epicentral Coworking by the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, panel discussion moderated by Diane Snead, developer of the Spiffy Goals app, and including Janine Brown, director of search marketing for W3PR Inc.; Gil Datz, CEO of Uzu Media; Heather Kelly, founder of web developer Altru Systems LLC; and Craig Mount, founder of digital marketing firm Classy Brain. Panelists will discuss do-it-yourself tech options, creating an effective website, search engine optimization, mobile apps and social media marketing.
- 11 a.m.-noon: "Scaling a SAAS (Software as a Service) Startup," Epicentral Coworking. Leif Ullman, CEO of child care software provider KidReports, will discuss his experience.
- 11 a.m.-noon: "Startup Law," Wildcat Room at Ivywild School. David Steigerwald, an attorney who specializes in representing entrepreneurial, medical and technology-based growth companies, will discuss this key topic.
- 1-2 p.m.: "Start With An End In Mind," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus, 555 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Renita Wolf, CEO of PoeWolf Partners, will discuss how most entrepreneurs don't think ahead to the day they will eventually transition their company and are reactive when it comes to exit planning. She will cover options for exiting your business and what you can do now to maximize the value of your business upon your eventual exit.
- 1-2 p.m.: "Your Brain on Pitch Decks," Wildcat Room at Ivywild School. Stacie Shaw, founder of Pitch Deck Fire, which helps startups prepare their investment pitches, discusses designing and executing a good pitch by telling a compelling story and exciting and engaging their audience.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Nonprofit Startup," Wildcat Room at Ivywild School. Amber Cote and Abby Laine Sienkiewicz of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence will discuss how to start a nonprofit, the nonprofit climate in Colorado Springs, assessing your readiness for a nonprofit startup and provide alternatives to achieving your social mission.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Get Happy With Apps," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Diane Snead will lead a panel discussion on how to create apps, industry terminology and how to build a money-generating business around apps.
- 4-5 p.m.: "Startup EQ," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Bob Kittridge, chief information officer of Kittridge Connection Inc., will discuss emotional intelligence (EQ), the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to enable high levels of collaboration and productivity.
- 4-5 p.m.: "Startup Finances," Wildcat Room at Ivywild School. Mark Patterson, an accountant and tax partner at M3 & Associates LLP, will discuss this critical topic.
- 5:30-7 p.m.: "Why Startup?" Epicentral Coworking. Samuel Elliott, student body president at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, will moderate a panel including Chris Franz, president of Peak Startup; Hannah Parsons, chief community development officer of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance; Lisa Tessarowicz, owner of Epicentral Coworking; and Jariah Walker, senior economic development analyst for the city of Colorado Springs. Panelists will discuss the impact of startups on the community, their employees and to the personal and professional development of entrepreneurs.
- 7-7:30 p.m.: "Peak Startup Info Sesh," Epicentral Coworking. Michelle Parvinrouh, Peak Startup interim executive director, will discuss the group and its programs.
- 8-9 a.m.: "Turn Goo into Go," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Matthew Hexter, chief operating officer of nonprofit Save the Storks, will discuss what to do when you have an idea for a product or service but don't know where to start or if you're trying to launch a concept but getting stuck in the goo. He will cover how he has repurposed a software development framework and made it applicable and accessible for all applications.
- 9:30-10:30 a.m.: "21 Marketing Hacks," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Mike Ruman, founder of Parenting Academy, will discuss 21 marketing tactics he discovered and used to find paying customers for apps and websites.
- 11:00 a.m.-noon: "Growing Entrepreneurs," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Tom Duening, the El Pomar chair of business and entrepreneurship at UCCS, will discuss how his research shows that most entrepreneurship development programs (educational, as well as accelerator-incubator programs) do not help aspiring entrepreneurs identify with entrepreneurship as a profession. He will cover his research into entrepreneurial identity construction and the professional virtues that underlie his efforts to increase attraction to and persistence within the profession.
- 1-2 p.m.: "What Startups MUST Know About Cybersecurity," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Alex Kreilein, co-founder of Denver-based cybersecurity SecureSet, will discuss the risks involved in outsourcing accounting and other services and how large customers view them from a cybersecurity perspective and how to assess risk, build infrastructure based on best practices, contract to your advantage and grow a business that works to protect customers data and the startup's own brand.
- 2-3 p.m.: "Take Me to Your Feeder," Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave. Natalie Johnson, executive director of the Manitou Art Center, will moderate a panel including Ken Cowdery, a Pikes Peak Makerspace artist; Jake Eichengreen, executive director of The Quad; Drew Johnson, founder of TechWears.com; Bonnie Weisburg of NorthStar Bank; and Terry Zarsky of the Pikes Peak Library District about ways that today's entrepreneurs can use free and often overlooked resources from affordable housing to area foundations.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Increase your reach through Inclusive Design," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Jerry Nixon, developer evangelist for Microsoft Corp., leads a discussion on this topic.
- 3-3:30 p.m.: "Tour of the Manitou Arts Center," Manitou Arts Center.
- 3:30-4:30 p.m.: "Happy Hour at the Manitou Arts Center."
- 4-5 p.m.: "Secret Weapon," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Samuel Elliott.
- 5:30-6:30 p.m.: "10 Reasons," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Julian Flores, CEO of GetOutfitted Inc., will discuss 10 reasons to start a company and 10 reasons to not.
- 7-8 p.m.: "Startups from 14,110 feet," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Jan Horsfall, a longtime local entrepreneur and CEO of Maxletics Corp., will give a high-level overview of what it means to be a startup, the general startup life cycle and the various components of a startup.
- 7:30-9 p.m.: "Startup Beers," happy hour at Triple S Brewing, 318 E. Colorado Ave.
- 8-9 a.m.: "Psychology and Innovation: Startup Essentials," Rail Yard at Catalyst Campus, 555 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Consultant Jody Alyn will discuss obvious and hidden challenges in building a management team, including some of the psychology behind those challenges and tools to help overcome them.
- 9-10 a.m.: "1 Million Cups: Startup Week Edition," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. A weekly event at which one or two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of their peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Afterward, each startup receives feedback via an audience survey and from the local organizers in their city.
- 9:30-10:30 a.m.: "Anatomy of a Software Startup," Rail Yard at Catalyst Campus. Chantz Large, a local software consultant, breaks down a software startup company.
- 11:00 a.m.-noon: "Finding Co-founders," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Timothy Tavarez, founder of PatronX, discusses how to find a co-founder for your startup.
- 11:00 a.m.-noon: "Go Ahead and Make Something," Pikes Peak Makerspace, 735 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Chris Vestal, president of Pikes Peak Makerspace, discusses the nonprofit and its mission.
- 1-2 p.m.: "Trademarks 101," Rail Yard at Catalyst Campus. Bill Robers of Sparks Willson Borges Brandt & Johnson gives a brief introduction to trademarks and why protection is important.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Intro into Databases," Rail Yard at Catalyst Campus. Paul Nielsen, CEO of database company Tejon Tech, gives an introduction to databases.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Building Social Impact into Your Startup," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Stacey Burns and Jonathan Liebert of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado discuss businesses that use their profits for a social mission.
- 4-5 p.m.: "Funding Your Startup Without Investors," Hosted by the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center at Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Todd Baldwin, founder of Red Leg Brewery; Carrie Mitchell, owner of TWS Home Inventory; Lacie Richardson, owner of Wild Woman Fish Co.; Robin Roberts, president of Pikes Peak National Bank; and Tom Young, owner of Intuitive Websites, discuss bootstrapping, crowdfunding, the 3 F's (friends, family, fools) or other self-funding options.
- 4-5 p.m.: "How to Make Your Product Resonate in the Market," Rail Yard at Catalyst Campus. Local business process consultant Chuck Boudreau will introduce market-driven techniques designed to make a product resonate with buyers and users. He will define what a market is, the role of marketing and describe persona-based techniques for positioning your product in the market.
- 5-8 p.m.: "Ignite," UCCS Berger Hall. Ignite Colorado Springs is a night of high-energy presentations that last five minutes and are limited to 20 slides.
- 5:30-6:30 p.m.: "Starting the Startup," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Timothy Tavarez leads this session.
- 7-8 p.m.: "Epic Fail: Go Big or Go Home," Harvey House at Catalyst Campus. Noel Boyce, information technology manager at the American Vein & Vascular Institute, discusses lessons he learned from his first epic failure.
- 8-10 p.m.: "Startup Cheers!" Brooklyn's On Boulder, 110 E. Boulder St. One free house-crafted Lee Spirits beverage, awesome music, tons of laughs, raffle prizes, and a live donkey.
- 8-9 a.m.: "Lean Startup," Penrose Room at Penrose House, 1661 Mesa Ave. Chantz Large discusses the lean startup concept.
- 9:30-10:30 a.m.: "Designing a Better UX," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Paul Nielsen discusses designing a better user experience.
- 9:30-10:30 a.m.: "When to Hire a CFO," The Venue at Library 21c, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive. Paige Burkes, chief financial officer of Health Solutions, discusses the variety of factors to consider to determine the level of financial expertise your business needs.
- 11 a.m.-noon: "Design Sprints," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Beth McKeon, program director of the NMotion Accelerator in Lincoln, Neb., discusses how to research, prototype and learn what your customers want in five days.
- 11 a.m.-noon: "MOVE: Minimal Objective Viability Experiment," The Venue at Library 21c.
- 1-2 p.m.: "Business Model Canvas," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Led by Chantz Large
- 1-2 p.m.: "Startup Resources," The Venue at Library 21c. Sarah Nagle and Terry Zarsky of the Pikes Peak Library District will discuss the wide array of resources the library district has to support small business, entrepreneurs and innovation in the Colorado Springs region.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Selecting Strategic Partners Without Getting Ripped Off," The Venue at Library 21c. Chris Meredith, CEO of Colorado Springs-based Strategic Pharma Inc., is the speaker.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Tech Trends and Futures," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Paul Nielsen and Chantz Large are the speakers.
- 4-5 p.m.: "Accelerators," The Venue at Library 21c. Beth McKeon discusses how accelerators work, how to evaluate them and what to include in the application, etc.
- 4-5 p.m.: "Idea to Launch," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Clint Knox, founder of Brainitz, will discuss his journey as a public school teacher going from an idea to launch over summer break, including what went well and didn't go well. He will recommend resources that were valuable and what he found to be time wasting.
- 5-6:30 p.m.: "Pitch Night," Slocum Hall at Colorado College, 130 E. Cache La Poudre St. Event will feature investment pitches from Unmentionables, PatronX and FoodMaven.
- 6:30-8 p.m.: "Women Who Startup," Epicentral Coworking. Event is the first meeting of a new group (womenwhostartup.co) that will meet on the first Tuesday on every month and begin with 30 minutes of networking. This meeting will include a presentation on "Redefining Culture" with Lauren Hebert of Spark Mindset.
- 6:30-8 p.m.: "Cyber Panel," Slocum Hall at Colorado College. A panel discussion moderated by Chris Franz and including Alex Kreilein, Jeff Greene, chief of staff for the city of Colorado Springs, and Jack Waters, chief technology officer of Zayo Inc., who will discuss the economic impact of cybersecurity companies and expertise in Colorado Springs.
- 7:30-9 a.m.: "Finale: Becoming Unstoppable - Success Secrets of a Four-time Olympian," The Venue at Library 21c. Ruben Gonzalez, a four-time luge competitor at the Winter Olympic Games, will discuss methods and techniques for developing a winning mindset.
- 9:30-10:30 a.m.: "Managing Technical Debt," Epicentral Coworking. Chantz Large is the speaker.
- 9:30-11:30 a.m.: "Pitch Academy," Carriage House at Penrose House. Peter Adams, executive director of the Rockies Venture Club and author of "Venture Capital for Dummies," will conduct a two-hour workshop on what entrepreneurs need to do to prepare for, practice and present a high-quality investor pitch.
- 11 a.m.-noon: "5 Sales Strategies for Startups," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Suzanne Kladder, a Colorado Springs sales and motivation consultant, will discuss how sales performance is not just about the actual sale but actually plays a role in many aspects of the startup including product development, market validation, raising capital, and team development.
- 1-2 p.m.: "Fifty Shades of Gray: Building a Social Enterprise," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Jake Eichengreen, executive director of the Quad Innovation Partnership, will discuss building businesses with positive impact and the increasing criticism of the various business models employed to do so.
- 1-2 p.m.: "Startup in College," Epicentral Coworking. Connor McCormick, a UCCS student who is co-founder of Lot Spot Inc. and Narrativ Inc., is the speaker.
- 1-2 p.m.: "Angel Investing 101," Carriage House at Penrose House. Peter Adams will discuss analyzing a deal, negotiation and valuations, legal and tax issues and more, skills that are highly relevant to entrepreneurs, prospective investors and even experienced angel investors.
- 2:30-3:30 p.m.: "Accelerate Success Through Hiring for Growth," Penrose Room at Penrose House. Tim Sparks, growth officer of ProAutomated, will discuss strategies for how and when to hire, how to train and why to step back and up into a new role as a leader.
- 5:30-8:30 p.m.: "Artini," The Mansion and The Mezzanine, 20 N. Tejon St.; Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. This event is the kickoff for Arts Month campaign and is a free, community celebration with live entertainment on multiple stages.
Source: coloradosprings. startupweek.co