A five-day celebration of all things startup, Columbus Startup Week returns May 2 – 6, 2016. Vue, 95 Liberty St., in the Brewery District will serve as the basecamp for the 90 plus events taking on topics from social enterprise to technology.
The inclusive week features programming for startups of all stages and industries, all with a local thread and flavor. General, horizontal tracks address broad categories including design, diversity, entrepreneurship, finance, food and beverage, insurance, marketing, retail, social enterprise and technology. Organizer Brian Zuercher says that some presentations will appeal to any early-stage company, while others will take a more niche or industry-specific focus.
Content will come in many forms, from entrepreneurs telling great stories, to keynote addresses, and more practical, actionable presentations, which were an attendee favorite in 2015.
Startup Week 2016 will build on content from last year with a few new additions based on trends and popularity. Healthcare earns a more substantial piece of the bill with many Columbus-based healthcare startups like CrossChx, Aver, Beam, CoverMyMeds and Updox scaling to success.
Social enterprise and corporate innovation are also getting more stage time. A track dedicated to marketing was introduced for 2016 after marketing-related events saw much popularity last year. And while it is Startup Week, the topic of how to scale will also see more representation.
Programming starts each day around 9:00 a.m. and wraps up at 4:00 p.m. followed by a happy hour at Vue basecamp. A special Monday night keynote featuring Robert Smith, former OSU running back, and Dhani Jones, former NFL linebacker, TV Host and philanthropist, will kick off the week. A closing party on Friday evening will cap the entrepreneurial celebration.
The major difference for Columbus Startup Week 2016 will be the centralized location at Vue.
“We really focused on being able to have a venue that could host two to three events simultaneously and that could house 90 percent of the things that happen during the sessions during the day,” Zuercher says.
Drive-park-leave to last year’s 14 event locations cut down on the amount of events people could attend. The centralized location will help attendees consume more content for longer time spans. A better parking situation, a stop close to the CBUS, high-speed WiFi and a continuous flow of coffee will also allow more entrepreneurs to work from Vue.
All events for Columbus Startup Week will be free, thanks to underwriting from Chase. While dozens of Startup Weeks happen around the world, Columbus joins Seattle, Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Dallas and Detroit as the only six events in the U.S. sponsored by Chase.
To add even more local flair to Startup Week 2016, organizers ran a poster contest to be used for promotional materials. Jason Duignan has been announced as the winner for his design featured below.