Seven Things I Learned From Denver Startup Week

The largest free entrepreneurial event in North America took place Sept. 25-29 – Denver Startup Week 2017. The event featured approximately 350 programs, more than 75 sponsors and hosts, and 13,000 people participating in mentor sessions, workshops, leadership panels and endless presentations.

denver startup week

I learned social media advice from the founder of the wildly popular @1000thingstodoinDenver, attended a discussion called “Turd in a Punchbowl” and was able to walk 50 feet from my desk in WeWork to hear “How the FBI’s Negotiation Playbook can Change Your Growth Strategy.”

Because even the savviest entrepreneur wouldn’t have been able to make all of the events, here are the seven most thoughtful, profound and quirky lessons that I took from DSW.

  1. Look to a business you admire, which has a bigger marketing budget and then emulate their social media. – 1000 Things to Do With Instagram
  2. If you’re looking for social engagement, people love naming things, such as a new office fish, a new office mascot or a new campaign. – 1000 Things to Do With Instagram
  3. Colorado publications can receive 400-700 press releases a day – use data to make your pitch stand out. Data drives powerful PR. – Storytelling in the 21st Century
  4. Listen to what your audience is already saying about your industry or brand on Amazon, Reddit and other message boards. – Turd in a Punchbowl: Why Your Copy Sucks (and what you can do about it)
  5. To create compelling website copy, talk to your customers about why they use and pay for your services. – Turd in a Punchbowl
  6. The future of ski towns isn’t about doubling tourism. It’s about creating livable communities that more people can afford. – The new “skim bum”: Re-inventing the future of mountain towns through rec tech and innovation
  7. The new ski bum is defined by resilience. The definition has moved on from the traditional connotation of a “ski bum” who doesn’t have a steady job or ambition. – The new skim bum

The pulse of the event was truly one-of-kind. If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend this year, I strongly encourage everyone to try and attend in 2018. The Denver Startup Week blog features a variety of resources for those who attended and those didn’t. More recaps and videos are expected to be posted in coming weeks. See you next year!