Frequently asked questions
Do you have a question about Denver Startup Week? You might not be the first. Check out our answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Track listing and descriptions can be found on our About Page.

  • Our goal is to be a week of free and open events for the startup community, with costs generously covered by our sponsors, but we do realize that some events cost money to organize and may exceed our sponsorship dollars. Please contact us if you require a budget for your event and we will work with you. In the case of sponsorship coordinated by others, we ask that you notify us prior to making any arrangements in order to avoid potential conflict with other DSW sponsorship efforts. Please note that charging attendees for admittance to sessions is prohibited.

  • The community is encouraged to submit session ideas every year for Denver Startup Week. There is an open call for submissions every spring and interested presenters may submit their session ideas through the website during that time. Due to the volume of session proposals received, we cannot guarantee consideration of submissions submitted through alternate means and/or after the close of the CFP and reserve the right to decline these events. Additional events may be added at the organizers' discretion up until a few weeks before the event, but we cannot guarantee promotional or marketing support should we choose to accept a late session.

  • The voting process makes Denver Startup Week a true community fueled event and encourages thousands of people to be a contributing part of building the week’s agenda. The community is encouraged to cast their votes for event and session ideas during the open voting period and organizers will announce the final program in the weeks thereafter.

  • Denver Startup Week is a community organized event. Sessions and events are organized by the community, voted on by the community and produced by the community. In addition, the Denver Startup Week organizing committee plans and hosts all keynote and headline events throughout the week.

  • You may vote for as many events as you want, albeit only once per event. Be sure to tell your friends and colleagues to vote too!

  • Not a problem. Denver Startup Week will be 100% virtual this year! 

    Read this message from our Organizing Committee.

  • Events take place throughout each day, beginning Monday morning through Friday afternoon.   

    The 2021 schedule is now live! Check it out here.

  • Our tentative schedule is as follows:

    • May 10 - Call for Session Submissions Opens
    • June 11 - Call for Session Submissions Closes
    • June 18 - Public voting & feedback on submissions begins
    • June 25 - Public voting & feedback ends
    • July -  Content decisions and notifications
    • Mid-August - Schedule is announced and attendee registration opens
    • October 4-8 - Denver Startup Week 2021! Please note that exact dates may be subject to slight change.

    We kindly request that all sessions be submitted through the Panel Picker within the CFP window. Due to the volume of session proposals received, we cannot guarantee consideration of submissions submitted through alternate means and/or after the close of the CFP. Additional events may be added at the organizers' discretion up until a few weeks before the event, but we cannot guarantee promotional or marketing support. 

  • Denver Startup Week is organized by a small group of committed, year-round volunteers in conjunction with the Downtown Denver Partnership. You can learn more about our organizers on the Team Page.

  • Once a track chair has approved a submission for posting to the panel picker, the community will be able to vote and comment on their favorite proposals. The organizing committee will use the vote totals and comments to guide final selection and scheduling decisions.

    Track chairs reserve the right to withhold from public voting at their discretion any submission containing profanity, hateful or offensive language, or content that otherwise violates our Code of Conduct. Denver Startup Week is a community-driven event focused on knowledge sharing and relationship building. Sessions consisting primarily of pitches for products or services will not be considered.

  • We're primarily looking for sessions that embody the goals and values of the week, provide real value to attendees, and promote the local community. We use a number of different criteria to evaluate sessions, including the appropriateness of the session to the goals of the week, the quality and thoughtfulness of the session description, the results of the public voting/commenting period, the overall balance of content for the week, the overall balance of speakers/companies represented during the week, and other factors.

    We also tend to get many session proposals covering similar topics. In those cases, we may either pick representative sessions or try to combine multiple sessions into a single panel. However, in many of these cases we do feel that it is important to open up the schedule to different speakers and topics than we’ve had in previous years in order to expand our audience and subject areas. Occasionally, this may mean that sessions with high vote counts from the public voting period are not selected for inclusion in the current year's program.
  • There are several reasons, but the the one thing that is consistent is that we all want to make Denver an entrepreneurial center supported by a strong community of entrepreneurs, investors, government, and education.

  • No. Denver Startup Week operates under the 501(c)(3) umbrella of Denver Civic Ventures. All sponsorship income goes towards covering costs for the week and/or for future editions of DSW. Our organizing committee is comprised of full-time volunteers who are not compensated for their time.

  • Sponsorship information is available on our Sponsors page. You do not have to sponsor to organize a session, nor do we require sponsors to organize sessions. We could not produce an event the size or caliber of DSW without the generous support of our sponsors and we are extremely appreciative of any support to make the week the best it can be!

  • This year, all applicants must submit a 90-second video about their company with their applications. This video should convey your mission, inspiration, and team. This is your moment to shine, and to get the community excited about your company. Check out this video for a great example.
    You can access the application form at
    All submissions will be evaluated by objective criteria and narrowed down to 18 semi-finalists.
    Semi-finalist judging will be done in two parts:
    • The DSW Community will vote on videos they want to advance to the finals. All DSW registrants are eligible to vote, but can only vote for each company once. Community judging will be weighted 20%.
    • All semi-finalists will also have to do an in-person pitch to a panel of expert judges on September 16th. In-person judging will be weighted 80% as well, so if you scored poorly online but great in person, you could still be a contender!

    Denver Startup Week is committed to keeping our community safe. With Denver Startup Week 2020 being 100% virtual, attendees will be able to watch the semi-finals and finals from the comfort of their homes. Startups that are selected to participate will pitch in-person to a small group of judges and a camera, allowing attendees to watch live. If you are selected and are unable to pitch in-person, please reach out to and we will allow for you to pitch virtually. All CDC guidelines will be upheld.

    Please review the 2020 Pitch Competition Handbook before applying.

  • Denver Startup Week has grown tremendously since its inception and we are proud that the thousands of people involved each bring their own different backgrounds and experiences. However, we have also found that as communities grow, our expectations of what is and is not appropriate are not always in line with one another. A code of conduct helps to clearly articulate these expectations so that we're all on the same page. It also clearly outlines all of our roles and responsibilities in ensuring that Denver Startup Week continues to be a safe and welcoming event for all who participate.

  • Any Denver-area based startup with less than $2 million in outside investment is eligible to compete.

    Please review the 2020 Pitch Competition Handbook before applying.

  • This year, we’re focusing on videos. Applicants will pitch their company in a 90-second video submission and judging will take place in 3 rounds:

    • Entry Round: Videos will be judged on objective criteria to narrow the pool to 24 semi-finalists
    • Semi-Final Round: Community judging via DSW website, plus in-person judging during DSW
    • Final Round: Six finalist companies will compete at a virtual  live pitch event 

    All rounds of judging will be based on a combination of objective and subjective criteria to help guide community and official judges:

      1. Strength of Value Proposition / Competitive Advantage
      2. Clarity and Presentation
      3. Market Identification / Target Market
      4. Financial Model and Team
      5. Intangibles and Funding Readiness

      Judges will award each pitch with a score of 1-5 in each category. 

      Please review the 2020 Pitch Competition Handbook before applying.

  • July 17 – Applications open.

    Aug. 17 – Applications and video submissions due (at 11:59pm).

    Aug. 24 – Semi-finalists are decided, and video slating begins 

    Aug. 31 – Semi-finalists announced, online voting begins 

    Sept. 16 – Semi-final pitches - 6 selected to pitch at finals

    Sept. 17 – Finals

  • Innovation is no stranger to Denver Startup Week, and we are excited to announce a hybrid (partially virtual, partially live) event for 2021. This format gives our community the programming flexibility and accessibility that was so appreciated in 2020, while reinvigorating our core focus of bringing people together. By keeping our sessions virtual, we are able to remove barriers to access, and select in-person components will allow attendees to safely choose live interaction if they wish. Our goal is to create options that will suit everyone and allow our community to build the Denver Startup Week experience that will work for them. Read more here.

  • You can find information about each session via the schedule. All sessions will be available virtually.

  • Denver Startup Week would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. However, unlike other conferences, Denver Startup Week does not have sponsored talks. All talks, whether submitted by sponsors or not, are evaluated via the same process and criteria. Sponsorship status does not factor into whether a submission is included in programming.

  • Denver Startup Week is completely free to attend! Once you have registered for Denver Startup Week, you may add any virtual session to your schedule by clicking on the RSVP button at the bottom of the session. This will add the session to your custom schedule. RSVPing to sessions is a great way to share with others what you're planning to attend and lets the organizers know how many people to expect. Virtual sessions allow the first 250 people to join in the Zoom webinar itself; once that fills up, you are welcome to watch the Youtube Live stream.

    For in-person events, there will be a limited capacity and a separate RSVP system. Please note that RSVPing to a session does not necessarily guarantee you a spot. All sessions are seated on a first-come, first-served basis; the logistics of running a free event of this size unfortunately prohibit us from being able to save spots. Because of this, some sessions do occasionally fill up. Please arrive on time for the best chance!

    Red more about the hybrid event format here.

  • All manner of sessions are welcome! In the past, individual or group presentations, panels, workshops, and social events have all worked quite well. Ideas focused on transferring knowledge to the community have the best chance of being selected, and we will give particular consideration to those that are unique, new or different, as well as those that showcase the diversity of our community. Pitches for a product or service will not be accepted.

    Please review our 2020 CFP Submission Guidelines for more information.

  • Every year, we receive close to 1000 session submissions. However, time and logistics don't allow us to include nearly this much content and unfortunately this means that we have to tell some folks no, including some sessions that may have received a high number of votes. While community voting absolutely plays a big role in the selection process, sometimes other factors take precedence. There are several reasons why we might decline to include a session in the final program, despite the total number of votes:

    - There were too many similar sessions to yours and another was chosen instead

    - The session was not adequately reflective of our diverse community, either in regards to topic or speakers

    - It felt like something was being sold or pitched instead of focusing on transferring knowledge to the community

    - The session topic was not relevant to or in line with the goals of the week

    - The quality and thoughtfulness of the session submission: vague, incomplete, or otherwise unclear or missing something

    - The submission lacked broad audience appeal

    - The session submission violated our Code of Conduct

    We truly appreciate the time and energy it takes to submit a session. There are myriad opportunities to be involved with Denver Startup Week aside from speaking, which we encourage you to explore here.

  • Denver Startup Week is a free, community-organized event with sessions taking place all over Downtown Denver. Because of this non-traditional format, we do not have an exhibit hall or booths. Instead, we offer some alternatives for getting your company or business name in front of more people:

    Sponsorships: Denver Startup Week would not be possible without our many generous sponsors. Sponsors may be recognized on official signage, slides, and at other points during the week depending on sponsorship level. If you are interested in sponsoring, please email

    Job Fair: The Denver Startup Week Job Fair and Showcase is the largest career fair in the state of Colorado. Each year, over 100 companies exhibit to several thousand job seekers and attendees. Find more information here.

    • Video submissions must be a maximum of 90 seconds in length
    • Incomplete applications or those received after the deadline will not be accepted
    • Companies must have received less than $2 million in outside capital and have been in business less than 3 years (based on first revenue, incorporation, or both)

    Please review the 2020 Pitch Competition Handbook before applying.

  • Yes. Please find more information about the Pitch Competition here.

  • Find all of the 2021 Job Fair information here.

  • If you have a general question, please feel free to hit us up via e-mail

    For specific inquiries, you may also contact a member of the organizing committee: