Colorado Springs Startup Week narrowing event focus as part of major makeover
Startup businesses typically revise their business plans several times before they sell their first product or land an initial investment.
They pivot to a new market or make major changes in their product to adjust to changes dictated by the marketplace, investors or government regulations.
Now in its fourth year, Colorado Springs Startup Week has gone through a major makeover from a collection of more than 60 events at locations spread around the Colorado Springs area to daylong workshops at a single location on the five major stages of startup company development.
The five-day event also has been moved from mid-September to late August to spread out Startup Week events in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins over a longer period so participants could attend events in multiple cities, said Paul Nielsen, chairman for Startup Week.
This year's local Startup Week is from Aug. 21 to 25 at the National Strength and Conditioning Association, 1885 Bob Johnson Drive, near The Broadmoor World Arena, and will allow participants to learn about startups "from idea to exit," Nielsen said. Related events will be held at several downtown locations and at Penrose House, 1661 Mesa Ave.
"A few years ago, we tried a broader community event that included something for just about everybody. We are trying now to focus just on startups," Nielsen said. "We set it up this year as a progression with a different stage on each day - foundations and developing a concept on day one, coming up with a minimum viable product on day two, launching your startup on day three, gaining traction and scaling up on day four and exiting your startup on day five."
Each daily workshop includes a session on funding options for startups at the stage featured on that day and a presentation from a startup at that same stage, Nielsen said.
Attendance at the workshops is limited to about 40 people. A special 1 Million Cups presentation by angel investors, a freelancer academy, a presentation on the Colorado Institute for Social Impact, a workshop on how to become an angel investor, a business pitch competition, a seminar on funding options and a finale party also are on the schedule for Startup Week.
Sponsors for Startup Week are Boulder-based telecommunications company Zayo Group Holdings, Colorado Springs law firm Sparks Willson and 5Star Bank.
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STARTUP WEEK SCHEDULE
- Startup Workshop on Foundations and SketchUp: Ideation and Concepting, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the National Strength and Conditioning Association, 1885 Bob Johnson Drive. Presentations on business models, core competencies and beachhead markets by Lisa McElvaney, co-founder of WISRD and owner of Manitou Springs-based Business Transformation Consulting; Chantz Large, a software development consultant at the Connections Lab in Colorado Springs; Paul Weisgarber, a management instructor at the Air Force Academy; Mike McCausland, founder and CEO of the Colorado Springs-based Leadership Institute For Entrepreneurs; and Staci Shaw, founder and lead designer of Pitch Deck Fire. Forrest Senti of Car.ly will give the startup pitch.
- Startup Workshop on Minimum Viable Product, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Presentations on designing and testing a prototype, working toward product-customer fit, validating the product and pivoting by Eva Lutz, general manager of Design Concepts Inc. of San Francisco; Paul Nielsen, founder and CEO of Tejon Technologies Inc.; Tony Perone, assistant professor of finance at the Air Force Academy; Jan Horsfall, founder and CEO of Maxletics Corp.; and Michelle Parvinrouh, executive director of Peak Startup. Samuel Elliott, co-founder of Tejon Technologies Inc., will give the startup pitch.
- 1 Million Cups Colorado Springs, 9-10 a.m., Harvey House at Catalyst Campus, 555 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Special Startup Week edition with presentations by angel investors.
- Startup Workshop on Launching a Startup, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Presentations on designing the product life cycle, demonstrating the product, acquiring customers and pricing models by Elliott; McCausland; Nielsen; Brenda Speer, attorney and founder of BL Speer & Associates; David Steigerwald, an attorney with Sparks Willson; Justin Hein, owner of Inheinsight LLC; James Wieker, director of community engagement for Accelerated Wealth; and Randel Castleberry, founder and CEO of Aspen Logix LLC. Leif Ullman of Kid Reports will give the startup pitch.
- Freelancer Academy, 8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. at the Carriage House at Penrose House, 1661 Mesa Ave. Presentation on thriving in the gig economy by Mike Ruman, founder of Parenting Academy.
- Presentation on the Colorado Institute for Social Impact and happy hour, 3:30-7:30 p.m. at location to be announced by Stacy Burns, Jonathan Liebert and Gina Sacripanti, all of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.
- Startup Workshop: Traction and Scale Up, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Presentation on operations/metrics, financial runway, marketing and sales, investor pitching, organizational development and scaling by Ullman; Dave Harris, director of operations for the Rockies Venture Club; Jesse Marble, chief marketing officer of Magneti; Sara Kinney, CEO of RimTechnologies; Donna Carlson, coach and trainer with 360° Life Strategies; and Rib Rusher, director of the Founder Institute in the Denver area. Dan Lewis, co-founder and president of FoodMaven, will give the startup pitch.
- Rockies Venture Club's Workshop on How to be an Angel Investor, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., Penrose House, presented by Harris and Peter Adams, executive director of Rockies Venture Club.
- Pitch Competition, 5:30-8 p.m. at Epicentral Coworking, 415 N. Tejon St. Shaw, Adams and Aaron Stachel, a partner in local venture capital fund PV Ventures, will judge competition among six companies, and Chris Franz, president of Peak Startup, will deliver the keynote address.
- Startup Workshop: Exit, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Presentations on company valuation, due diligence and exit strategies by Adams and Harris.
- Workshop on Funding Continuum, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Penrose House. Presentation features a complete review of funding for all stages by Stachel and Michael Larson, founder and president of Sleep Shepherd LLC.
- Finale Party, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at RimTechnologies (old Michelle's restaurant), 122 N. Tejon St.