5 Lessons Learned from Denver Startup Week

Denver Startup Week is the largest of its kind in North America, and this year it is bigger than ever before, with over 12,500 having registered for the free events that go on for the entire week around downtown. The event boasts hundreds of sessions on tech, design, entrepreneurship, marketing, and more.

From the @DENStartupweek twitter

Here are five quick things that I learned from this year’s Startup Week:

1. Don’t be on time. Be early.

I got shut out of one event and almost got shut out of another (though I was able to weasel my way in the door to stand in the back), and I wasn’t even late to either one. The sessions fill up and they fill up fast — better to get there at least 15 minutes early, especially if you want to have a seat to sit in and some time to mingle and meet people.

2. Always be camera ready.

Denver Startup Week is copiously covered by photographers, videographers, reporters, and bloggers. I arrived with some friends at the Launch party at Union Station on Monday night along with thousands of other people, but somehow it was my mug that ended up on 9News. Be ready to strike a pose, or at least look really engaged in what your group of friends is talking about.

3. Get ready to shake hands, deal out your business cards, talk about yourself, talk about yourself, and talk about yourself some more.

Startup Week is all about networking. People are there to meet other people, so be ready to introduce yourself and talk about your current company or the startup that you are trying to get off the ground. Who knows who you will meet at a session or party? It could be the person who makes something happen for you.

4. Come armed with something to take notes.

Startup week is also all about learning. The Notes app in my iPhone now has many new, extended entries with all the notes I have taken on the UX process, innovative VR technologies, how to freelance like a pro, and much more. Don’t just come and listen — come and write, record, or take pictures. You aren’t going to want to forget this stuff.

5. Be open, be willing, be ready.

The Denver tech community is an exciting place to be right now — it’s booming, but still has an intimate, supportive feel about it. Startup week is all about that community, so I learned I have to be open, willing, and ready for where Denver takes me in the year. If this week is any sign, it will be a busy, but incredibly fun ride.