Columbus Startup Week is back for another year, bringing thousands of entrepreneurs and community supporters together for a week of events May 8-12, 2017. Sixty plus events spread out over five days will highlight the entrepreneurial communities around everything from fashion design to software in Columbus.
On Monday, May 8, the week kicks off with a keynote interview featuring the founder of one of Columbus’ most successful startups, Matt Scantland of CoverMyMeds. The hour-long event will be one of Scantland’s first public appearances since CoverMyMeds was acquired by pharmaceutical company McKesson Corporation for $1.1 billion.
Startup Week has made some scheduling changes this year, hosting only one set of events on the first day. (Meaning no more worrying about picking the right event.) Organizer Mike Nemeth says if an attendee can only come one day, Monday is the day.
“It’s designed to really kind of cover the basics,” he says.
Additional events on Monday cover topics like strategies for raising capital, pitching your idea, developing a company culture and creative ways to fund a startup. The day will wrap up with the first Columbus Startup Week Pitch Competition. Six established businesses will pitch for a combined total of $50,000 in promotional ad campaigns from the Dispatch Media Group.
“The pitch competition is much more focused on existing companies where the ad spend would help them grow,” Nemeth says.
Businesses interested in the pitch competition can find more information at cmhpitchcompetition.com.
Tuesday, May 9 brings another day of more core entrepreneurship and marketing basics before moving into more targeted tracks the rest of the week. Programming for 2017 will also go beyond just individual or panel discussions to include more workshop-focused events, like how to use Google Ad Words. Attendees may also recognize withstanding community events Startup Grind and WakeUp StartUp, which are incorporated into the week.
The schedule for Wednesday, May 10 includes a number of fashion-focused events – a new theme for Startup Week. Nemeth says the fashion programming will highlight and emphasize a piece of community that hasn’t had as much attention, but is ripe for growth. Thursday, May 11 is stacked with software-focused events, and Friday, May 12 will introduce the Smart Cities track, another new course spurred by Columbus’ winning of the federal Smart Cities grant. Additionally, food/Beverage returns with events on Wednesday and Friday.
Attendance at Startup Week Columbus has grown each year, with organizers hoping for 5,000 registrants in 2017. Nemeth says that Startup Week isn’t just useful for the founder or aspiring entrepreneur demographic, but valuable for those in the corporate community interested in seeing what’s happening in the startup world.
All events for Columbus Startup Week are free to attend, thanks to underwriting from Chase. The Vue, 95 Liberty St. in the Brewery District, will once again serve as basecamp for the week’s 60 plus events.
Registration is now open. More information, a list of events and registration can be found at columbus.startupweek.co.