Not sure which Startup Week sessions to check out? Here’s a handy guide

Each year the thrill of picking your Startup Week schedule comes around with the same familiar anxieties: how do you choose when there’s so much awesome content? How do you know what will benefit your business the most?

If you’re stuck with some analysis paralysis, we’re here to help.

If you’re really stuck, you should check out Pathway Pilot. It’s a quick set of questions that will take the guesswork out of picking sessions and help you get the most out of Fort Collins Startup/Artup Week 2020 by creating a custom schedule tailored to your specific needs, designed by Emily of ItyDity and Justin from Lateral Labs.

Expanding Your Horizons

Marketing for Latino Business Owners
Friday February 28, 2020 3:00pm – 3:50pm
Block 1

This panel is a workshop that has Latino business owners who have had varying degrees of success in Fort Collins. This will be a question/answer open session to talk through the struggles and successes that they have had in our community.

The goal is to learn, share and discuss ideas and experiences that brought them to this point in their path of success. It will also give you a snapshot of how these businesses bring diversity to our city.

We believe in the importance of a diverse community and would love to share how we contribute to its development.

Women Founder Panel

Women Founder Panel
Friday February 28, 2020 8:00am – 8:50am
Block 1

This group of female founders will share: 

  • The good/ bad and ugly of being a female founder
  • Fundraising as a female — the promotion vs prevention reality
  • Women in tech
  • Hiring women at a startup and how to plan for leave
  • Why it is important to put women in to your advisory, c-level positions, and boards.

The Punk Pan-Indian Romantic Comedy
Tuesday February 25, 2020 6:30pm – 7:30pm
At The Music District

The Punk Pan-Indian Romantic Comedy is a music-themed talk and performance piece by Indigenous artist and activist Gregg Deal. This new work focuses on the music that has moved him throughout his life, speaking in stories and antidotes that follow a timeline of struggle, survival, and ultimately healing through the power of music. A work that is upsetting, dramatic and at times pretty funny outlines the way music has affected Deal’s life from his earliest memories to the present and how it has influenced his ideas, his artistic work and his voice.

A Diverse Team: The Advantages of Employing Populations With All Abilities
Thursday February 27, 2020 3:00pm – 3:50pm
The CodeGeek Room (Innosphere South Conference Room)

When people of different backgrounds work together to solve problems, the result is more innovation and better outcomes. People with disabilities contribute by bringing unique perspectives to the table. Join our panel of experts at Fort Collins Startup Week for a discussion about employing this underemployed people group.

Fort Collins Startup Week Brain Crawl

Brain Crawl
Friday February 28, 2020 9:00am – 12:00pm

This year, Fort Collins Startup Week has added a brand new session called Brain Crawl. This event, February 28 from 9 am to noon at the Innosphere, is designed to bring business leaders together to focus on the topic of mental health. We are motivated to end the stigma around mental health and brain conditions and to promote the benefits of neurodiversity in the business community. Entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to experience mental health challenges than others in the workplace and this is a significant piece of data that we believe needs to be addressed.

The Brain Crawl will feature short, on the hour presentations from selected business executives who will briefly share a bit of their personal experience and background, while illustrating the need for improved communication around mental health. Audience members will hear different perspectives and challenges that these individuals have worked through; the goal is to offer a sense of community, connection, and inclusivity that will foster a new comfort level when it comes to addressing one’s needs to live a healthy life, both personally and professionally.

Additionally, table sponsors will be on-site, offering resources, information, and promotions that are all mapping to some aspect of mental health improvement. Guests will be able to speak directly to different types of service providers and business owners who are offering ways to assist in the journey of mental health improvement in our community. 

Join us for this very special event that has been immensely successful in both the Denver and Boulder Startup Week curricula! It’s a turning point in our lineup and our society; please be part of this shift. 

Don’t be afraid, blindness is NOT contagious!
Wednesday February 26, 2020 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Long Peak Conference Room

Blindness is my superpower. I am a disability advocate superhero. In my talk, I’m going to prove to you that people with disabilities are ASSETS not liabilities. 

In fact, hiring people with disabilities can bring superpowers to your firm, because we see the world from a different perspective. We make up 25% of the United States adult population, so we’re probably a significant, if somewhat invisible, percentage of your target market. 

Are you ready to learn how to add new superpowers, get perspectives your competition is TOTALLY MISSING, strengthen your business and possibly the world economy?

An Expo For Creatives


We’ve planned all of the Startup/ARTup panels at the Music District for one gigantic day – Tuesday, February 25. Kick it off with free coworking at the MD starting at 9am (yes, that’s early; yes, coffee is provided), followed by a digital marketing-focused Lunch & Learn (lunch is provided too!) with Amanda Alexandrakis and Sophia Babb.

In the afternoon, make plans to attend a session we’re calling Creative Outfitters, a resource expo for your professional art career with photographers on hand to provide free headshots, writers to review your band bio / website / EPK, attorneys from CAFTA to review contracts or discuss any other legal matters, design professionals to review your visual identity, and more. There’s a few thousand dollars’ worth of free help built into this session – don’t miss out! This is followed by a networking and gratitude hour, complete with tea from Happy Lucky Tea.

In the evening, join Alysia Kraft and Sarah Slaton for a conversation on how to maintain a healthy art/life balance, and conclude your night with the premiere of a lecture and performance entitled The Punk Pan-Indian Romantic Comedy by acclaimed artist and activist Gregg Deal.

Sessions for Scaling Businesses

ScaleUp Startup Week Fort Collins

Want to know the 5 things necessary to grow your business to 7 and 8 figures? Come to ScaleUp day at FoCo Startup Week

Learn about the 5 operating conditions necessary to scale a business. 

It starts with a keynote from Charles Fred who recently completed research into what sets businesses up for success. Then we’ll talk to 13 highly successful entrepreneurs. We’ll dig deep into their businesses to find out what specific things they did to grow their enterprises.  

Our speakers represent a wide range of businesses from B2B technology to B2C consumer products. Their businesses range from $1M to $110M in revenue.

Come hear their stories and network with them throughout the day. Then join us for an afterparty where you can connect with entrepreneurs directly and ask questions about your business.

Sessions for Better Business Foundations

Decisions that Entrepreneurs Should Make… But Often Don’t
Thursday February 27, 2020 3:00pm – 3:50pm
Innosphere North Conference Room

Over 2,000 deals, Bill Dieterich and Denichiro “Denny” Otsuga have screened startups.  They will discuss big decisions entrepreneurs should make before taking the plane up in the air.  It is like a pre-flight checklist that will improve your chance of safely arriving at the correct destination for your business.

Discover the framework of decisions to be made during Fort Collins Startup Week on Feb. 27 at 3 PM. 

Debt vs Equity: How to Leverage Capital for Scaling Your Business
Thursday February 27, 2020 10:00am – 10:50am
Innosphere North Conference Room

Are you putting the right fuel in your business to take off?

Mike O’Donnell and Denichiro “Denny” Otsuga will be presenting a session on the Debt and Equity Financing at Fort Collins Startup Week. If you want to learn about the different capital (i.e., fuel for the business) sources that match with your business type and the goal, come and join us in the session on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 10 AM!

Venture Validator

CSU Venture Validator
Monday February 24, 2020 4:00pm – 5:50pm
CSU Bohemian Auditorium

Excited to get your venture off the ground? This snapshot of the CSU Flagship “Venture Validator” program will do a quick dive into helping you figure out if your idea has what it takes to turn become a venture. We’ll do a quick dive into best practices for understanding & communicating with your customers and learning your competitive landscape. This session is led by Dr. Scott Shrake, Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship with a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

CSU Venture Jump Start
Tuesday February 25, 2020 4:00pm – 4:50pm
CSU Bohemian Auditorium

Come join us and learn how the CSU Institute for Entrepreneurial helps new business owners and entrepreneurs understand the world of business finance as it relates to their startups. This snapshot of the CSU Flagship “Venture Jump Start” program will do a quick dive into helping you create financial projections and learn how to apply accounting vest practices for business success. This session is led by William R. (Bill) Cobb, a prolific business leader who has held executive positions across the telecommunications industry, working with large corporations and startups alike.

In addition to his corporate assignments, Bill has served as a member of the Colorado Commission for Space Science and Industry and has held multiple roles as both an officer and as a board member for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. He currently volunteers as a business coach for the Northern Colorado entrepreneurial community. Bill is also the author of “Targeted Tactics – Transforming Strategy into Measurable Results,” and co-author with M. L. Johnson, Ed.D., Ph.D. of “Business Alchemy: Turning Ideas into Gold.”

If you can’t find something amazing on the lineup, you’re just not trying. Check out the full schedule here, and RSVP soon – many sessions are filling up!

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