20,000+ Attendees, 50 Ambassadors, 1 City…
Denver Startup Week (DSW) 2019, was the largest free entrepreneurial event in the world. That by itself is quite impressive. However, I walked away with so much more; standing out to me was the palpable energy, diversity, and impressive brainpower; all focused on further building Denver’s culture of innovation.
One of the first things you will notice is how open and welcoming everyone is you meet. Tied with this is a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm in all things Denver. Frankly, it’s contagious.
As with many communities, Denver is looking to further build and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Their commitment to this was evident throughout DSW from numerous and varied DEI workshops to engaging discussions we participated in at host company visits (several, Pie Insurance and Guild standing out to me), to the make-up and extremely diverse backgrounds of the DSW Ambassadors which I was one (representing Boston, MA). Our 50 Ambassadors came from/represented Entrepreneurial Communities across the Nation with the purpose to not only share best practices but also build a much broader community and on-going collaborative network.
Smart people everywhere. Whether it be at the large speaking events, small/interactive workshops, host company visits (including Catalyst, Ibotta, Inspirato and Evolve) or informal/fun social activities (such as large carnival-like block parties, beer gardens and/or expansive dance floors) you easily meet and quickly engage in very interesting and memorable conversations. Everyone has and wants to continue to make a difference.
We all have moments and events in our lives which stand out and stay with us. Denver Startup Week is one of those for me. I’ve made numerous new relationships and contacts which I’ll definitely keep as well as benefit from in the future. Beyond that the warmth and openness of Denver as well as its energy, diversity of thought/action, and intellect; all these are now part of who I am moving forward.