Celebrating its 11th year in September, Denver Startup Week is a showcase of Denver’s thriving entrepreneurial community, celebrating innovative companies and ideas, and the people and inspiration behind them.
Denver Startup Week is and always has been a catalyst for making truly meaningful connections with driven, ambitious people from all over Denver. From humble beginnings to becoming one of the largest free entrepreneurial events of its kind, DSW proves that great things stand the test of time. This year it returns in all of its former in-person glory.
Which is exactly why we are so excited to share that on September 19th at 5PM, BWBacon is hosting a panel chalk full of tech and talent professionals focusing on hiring tech talent in a changing world! This not-so-subtle plug to add BWB’s session to your own personal DSW schedule comes from the best intentions at heart—that we want to learn, brainstorm, investigate, scrutinize, and explore with all of you in person at Denver Startup Week just before the big kick-off party! Add BWB’s No Crying In Talentball, Competing For Tech Talent In A Changing World to your schedule here, and check out our list of recommended sessions for the rest of the week below...
When: Monday, 9/19, 12:00PM — 1:00PM
Title: BUILDING A HIGHLY PERFORMING AND SCALABLE ENGINEERING CULTURE
Culture is one of the most important and differentiating factors for any organization. It’s no longer a secret that high-performance culture delivers sustainable advantage and impact, both internally and externally. We consider culture a confluence of operating principles and values. Both the principles and values need to be cultivated and harnessed to build a sustainable high-performing culture.
In this session, Chirag Gupta, Director of Engineering at Pie, along with other Pie Engineering leaders, will discuss how they establish a clear set of engineering principles and values, how they then display an unwavering commitment to discussing, iterating, and upholding them to create a high-performing culture.
When: Monday, 9/19, 1:00PM — 2:00PM
Title: TRAINING YOUR PRODUCT MUSCLE
Product Management can be a challenging role where juggling competing priorities and managing overwhelming responsibilities can still make you feel like nothing is being accomplished. Thinking about the process and practice of building products in the same way you'd approach the gradual progress of a structured fitness program can help bring clarity to the mess.
Just like with exercise and training, you are never “done” in product management. That can be exhausting if you don’t focus on your incremental improvements and stick with your program. Reduce your pain and increase your gains!
When: Monday, 9/19, 5:00PM — 6:00PM
Title: NO CRYING IN TALENTBALL- COMPETING FOR TECH TALENT IN A CHANGING WORLD
BWBacon’s panel of experts will bring their insights to light on the nuances of playing ‘Talentball’ in a tight market. We’ll address changing expectations for benefits, work culture, and flexible working arrangements that have dominated since the start of the pandemic.
Focusing on the power of candidate choice, the goal is to understand how tech companies have changed what they are offering to reflect where we are now. What’s at the heart of a great company and how do you advertise that? Dig into recruitment strategies fit for modern day and how your team can gain the trust and confidence of prospective candidates.
Panelists: Cristina Brown, Nicholas Larche (Unanet), Kendra Haberkorn (Range Ventures) & Sarah McTate (TurboTenant)
Join Us After BWB’s Session For The DSW Opening Party at DSW HQ!!
When: Monday, 9/19, 6:00PM — 9:00PM
What: DSW OPENING PARTY
Talk about scaling: hundreds of your closest startup friends will come together for THE block party to commence the most anticipated week for the Denver entrepreneurial community, three years in the making! Come celebrate being back together in person, and join in on the inaugural festivities. Missing the biggest party of the year is not an option!
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 9:00AM — 10:00AM
Title: SO YOU’VE STUMBLED INTO PRODUCT: 5 MINDSET SHIFTS TO MAKE IN YOUR FIRST YEAR
If you’re new to the world of Product or trying to get your foot in the door, you aren’t alone – many have trod this path before you and have found success. You might find yourself trying to orient yourself in the right direction to be successful, wondering how you can leverage your existing experience and skill set in this challenging and exciting field, and just generally curious about how others got into Product and what has allowed them to be impactful in their early years.
Join Kate & Amanda from SonderMind as we share some of the insights we’ve gained from our journey into Product management and design and lessons learned in our first few years in hopes that it will help you on your own unique path!
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 11:30AM — 12:30PM
Title: PITCH LAB: TELL A CAPTIVATING STORY LIKE A STAND-UP COMEDIAN!
Somewhere in the middle of a decade of slinging jokes from Denver to Miami, the founder of Pitch Lab, Jay, found that his success wasn't on stage, but in his sales job, and it was the sales job that was turning into real money. Heartbroken, or stoked, depending on which way you look at it, a light bulb went off: There's a connection between stand-up comedy and sales.
In this session, you'll dive into the essential elements of telling a great sales story to differentiate from the competition, build stronger connections and win more deals!
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 12:00PM — 1:00PM
Title: TRAILBLAZERS: THE FIRST OF FIRSTS: WOMEN AND PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THE WORKPLACE
Female entrepreneurs are changing the Denver landscape with their innovative and incredibly unique businesses-and it's not even their full-time job. Through each of their unique businesses, these women are navigating an oversaturated market of creatives and trying to stand out on top. Female and entrepreneurs of color often find themselves to be the ONLY person of color or female in the industry and are sometimes the “firsts” in their given field. Their experiences are incredibly unique given they are navigating these spaces alone and paving the path for other folks.
Downtown Denver Partnerships Dil Khan will moderate a panel of trailblazing women to discuss how they’re navigating their business with their current full-time job, being a POC/women in a predominantly male/white field, and share their story of inception to success.
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 1:00PM — 2:00PM
Title: UNAPOLOGETICALLY AUTHENTIC: EXECUTING ON YOUR VISION
There have been numerous reports and studies regarding the lack of representation of people with disabilities in the media. The Disability Media Network (DiMe Network) is changing the media landscape by offering a streaming app that focuses exclusively on content created by or featuring people with disabilities.
Founder & CEO, Jennifer Price, is unapologetic about her focus on ensuring media and storytelling accurately reflect the disability community, in spite of challenges to the business concept. This session will discuss how you must also learn how to trust your instinct, stay ahead of competition, and execute effectively when you have a big idea that would create a new category.
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 4:00PM — 5:00PM
Title: COLORADO PRODUCT KEYNOTE FEATURING DAN OLSEN: DEFINING A WINNING PRODUCT STRATEGY
For many product teams, Product Strategy can be a mysterious black box. Few companies have a clear, cohesive strategy for how their product will win in the market. In this talk, product expert Dan Olsen will use frameworks from his book The Lean Product Playbook to teach you a simple but effective approach to defining your product strategy. You will learn how to focus your strategy on customer needs instead of features, the Kano Model, and the Product Strategy Matrix. Dan will illustrate the concepts with real-world case studies.
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 4:30PM — 6:00PM
Title: PUPPY PANEL
The beloved puppy panel returns to DSW!! Choozle’s Puppy Panel is back again! Join us for a tail-wagging happy hour where you'll gain paw-some insight from the industry's best Labradors, Retrievers, Spaniels, Terriers, and more. We can't think of a better way to de-stress from the week than cute puppies!
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 5:00PM — 6:00PM
Title: HEADSHOT HAPPY HOUR AT SOONA’S STUDIO IN DENVER
Whether you need a new headshot for your job search or are just wanting a fresh look for your LinkedIn profile, everyone deserves to look and feel their best. Join Soona for a Headshot Happy Hour at our Denver studio and get a free headshot.
Headline Event: DSW 2022 EQUITY PITCH COMPETITION
When: Tuesday, 9/20, 6:00PM — 8:00PM
What: Denver Startup Week's second annual EQUITY Pitch Competition.
This event shines a spotlight on underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Denver community. DSW second annual EQUITY Pitch Competition finals will be hosted live at DSW HQ on September 20th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. If you would like to learn more about the second annual EQUITY Pitch Competition or learn how to apply, visit their article here.
When: Wednesday, 9/21, 10:00AM — 11:00AM
Title: INFUSING AUTHENTIC HUMANITY INTO YOUR GROWING ORGANIZATION
Every product or service you offer must reflect the full diversity of your clients and the world. People are looking for more ethical technology, more thoughtful technology: technology that considers the essence of what it means to be human in everyday life at home and at work. But what does that look like as you build your products? How do you know if your products respect diversity and treat your customers ethically? Our panelists will tell their stories and interact with the audience to share their startup stories that cross government, nonprofit, for-profit, politics, and education.
Headline Event: VENTURE CAPITAL 201: CREATE PITCH DECKS THAT GET NOTICED
When: Wednesday, 9/21, 10:15AM — 11:15AM
What: One of several VC specific sessions- make sure to look at Venture Capital 101 and 301 as well…
The pitch deck is a key element of the Pre-Seed, Seed and Series A fundraising process and most founders don’t know how to make them stand out. Experienced VCs and founders will share helpful information to create powerful pitch decks that get noticed and lead to meetings with VCs.
When: Wednesday, 9/21, 11:00AM — 12:00PM
Title: HAPPY HOURS AREN'T ENOUGH: YOUR ROADMAP TO BUILD CULTURE
During this interactive workshop session, we’ll share the science behind team connection and practical ways that you can build a positive culture to retain your talent.
In this interactive workshop, you’ll:
When: Wednesday, 9/21, 12:00PM — 1:00PM
Title: HOW TO GET S*#$ DONE AT ANY SCALE
It’s the age old problem - how to stay fast and lean as you scale. There’s a lot of fluff and snake oil out there on ways teams can be more effective. We’ll share the lessons we’ve repeatedly found to be the most impactful based on years of studying, partnering with, or working at companies like Shopify, Snap, Amazon, and Gusto. Whether you are a CTO or a PM, Series A or IPOed - come learn actionable tips and tricks that are relevant to you.
When: Wednesday, 9/21, 1:00PM — 2:00PM
Title: GENERATION ALPHA: YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS FOCUSING ON CLIMATE CHANGE, WARS, PANDEMICS AND TECHNOLOGY
This is Generation Alpha's third year at DSW. They return to discuss topical social and economic issues and how they affect their outlook on the future and entrepreneurial pursuits. The panel features a diverse group of young entrepreneurs and mentors, who are full of hope and are committed to change.
When: Wednesday, 9/21, 2:00PM — 3:00PM
Title: DISRUPTING CORPORATE: CREATIVE WRITING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
How can small business owners and makers stand out in a sea of competitors with cheaper products? Creative writing. It’s powerful… but it’s not what’s taught in business courses. Join teen entrepreneur and TEDx speaker Anna Brekken as she shows you how to use creative writing techniques to give your brand a personality (and make yourself unforgettable).
Because you ARE a creative person… but no one could tell by reading your website. If you want to write emails that get opened, make your blogs more entertaining than Wendy’s on Twitter, or (finally) figure out what to say on social media – without seeming incredibly cliché or nerdy – this presentation is for you.
When: Wednesday, 9/21, 7:00PM — 11:45PM
Title: NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER
This one’s for the artistic souls out there. Night Lights Denver, brought to you by the Denver Theatre District, is a permanent, free-to-attend projection mapping art installation outdoors on the side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower. Every night of Denver Startup Week from 7pm - 11:59pm.
Each month, Night Lights programs a new 10-15 minute looping show featuring commissioned artworks from a wide range of local and international creatives. This September, Night Lights Denver is a central component of Denver Digerati's annual Supernova Digital Animation Festival, a month-long celebration of digital animation and motion art from around the world, offering an active, nightly engagement with artworks commissioned by Denver Digerati.
Works are presented looping each evening commencing around 7:00pm on the facade of the Daniels & Fisher Tower, Denver’s iconic and historic building located in the center of Downtown. The non-traditional format offers artists an opportunity to compose and express their creativity in new ways, for an exclusive public forum that is seen by thousands of visitors for free throughout the month. Learn more about all that Supernova 7th Dimension has to offer through denverdigerati.org. Night Lights Denver is brought to you by the Denver Theatre District.
Headline Event: THE FUTURE OF WORK: TOWARD A GREENER, MORE JUST AND EQUITABLE GLOBAL ECONOMY
When: Thursday, 9/22, 9:00AM — 10:00AM
Where: DSW HQ
The Future of Work is a panel discussion from WorldDenver, the World Affairs Councils of America, and the International Labour Organization (ILO) focused on the many ways that Denver’s international business community is leading a global transition to a greener, more just and equitable workplace.
The panel will be led by Kevin Cassidy, a Director from the ILO and an expert in international development and workplace culture, and will feature top executives from Denver’s global business community. Panelists will share innovative approaches for increasing equity and sustainability in the workplace and discuss challenges and opportunities for the future of work in a post-COVID environment.
When: Thursday, 9/22, 11:30AM — 12:30PM
Title: DESIGNING AND PRIORITIZING FOR DIVERSE USER GROUPS
Designing for the goals and needs of users is the cornerstone and purpose behind a product team's work. Designers are meant to be the voice of the user and advocate in their best interests. But what do we do when our users have conflicting or varying needs?
Explore ways to design for the varied needs of our users and how to understand our users on a spectrum of behaviors, interests, skills, demographics, and motivations. We will present case studies showing how to make informed product decisions and prioritize for different user goals. Finally, we will discuss how to communicate the nuances of our users and resulting impacts on the product to stakeholders who may be more accustomed to overly simplistic personas of the past.
When: Thursday, 9/22, 12:00PM — 1:00PM
Title: SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT
Do you really know what your customers want? Can you back that up? What are you going to do about it? Countless companies launch products without understanding this. This panel will discuss how they answer these problems before building products, and convince key team members or stakeholders that they understand the problem enough to start investing in building a solution.
Headline Event: DSW FINALS NIGHT PITCH COMPETITION
When: Thursday, 9/22, 5:00PM — 7:00PM
Where: DSW HQ
The 2022 Denver Startup Week's Finals Night Pitch Competition will be held at DSW HQ from 6:00-8:00 PM. If you're interested in applying, check out their article about the Pitch Competition here!!
This year’s event is sponsored by the VF Venture Foundry. VF Venture Foundry strives to identify, grow, and support the most promising startups and founders in the active wellness space, with a special interest in digital products and new, impactful business models. We partner with a diverse set of passionate and thoughtful founders working relentlessly to connect individuals and communities more deeply to themselves and others via nature, body, and mind—with a focus on accessible and sustainable solutions.
When: Friday, 9/23, 12:00PM — 1:00PM
Title: BUILDING THE BETTERVERSE: WHY THE NEXT MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT REVOLUTION WILL START AT HOME, AND HOW DENVER CAN LEAD IT.
As the creator economy reaches new heights in content creation and production, a new ecosystem of media entertainment is emerging. One that is centered on independent creators, and one certain to unlock enormous economic growth for the creators and the communities they call home.
The universality of digital streaming platforms and social media led us to believe that there wasn’t a need for local connection. We now know this couldn’t be further from the truth. On the eve of the Metaverse, we need a unifying and diverse “Local Blueprint” to meet this moment and build a sustainable creator economy right here in Denver. This panel will engage current and future stakeholders in the community to discuss why and how Denver becomes a regional and national leader in the next era of media entertainment.
When: Friday, 9/23, 4:30PM — 6:00PM
Title: GET #DORKDANCING: STEPS TO BETTER MENTAL HEALTH
COVID19 worsened an existing mental health crisis. Dancing like a dork is something that can help: it’s important to prioritize our mental health and create moments of joy. In this session you will learn how to dork dance & let loose. After 20 minutes of free dance, you will view a screening of a Dork Dancing documentary, learn the STEPS to better mental health, and then dance again! Dork Dancing is a free mental health resource always available to you & our Denver community.
We can’t wait to see you at DSW 2022!
Note: Cover Photo Courtesy of Downtown Denver Partnership
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!