Come See What the Buzz is All About at Columbus Startup Week 2018

Columbus, Ohio skyline

Check out why Columbus startups continue to make national headlines

It’s springtime in Central Ohio, so pitches are flying… and we’re not talking about the city’s beloved Columbus Clippers. Early-stage, high-energy startup companies from around the state are convening in Columbus May 7th through the 11th to network, raise the visibility of their ventures and sharpen their skills at Columbus Startup Week, powered by Techstars and Chase for Business.

In its 4th year, Columbus Startup Week is a 5-day celebration of startups, the people who power them and those who hope to one day establish their own. Through diverse programming led by leaders across a wide range of industries—from fashion to FinTech ––attendees can get connected, educated and inspired. Most activities are held at Vue, an event space in the Brewery District.

Back by popular demand this year is the Columbus Startup Week Pitch Competition, with the top-three finishers awarded a total of $50,000 in advertising. Six companies will have the chance to pitch their companies to a panel of leaders from community organizations like Columbus 2020, NCT Ventures, Drive Capital and more, and convince them of their startup’s viability and investment potential.

If you were lucky enough to attend last year, you may recall CleanTurn Enterprises dazzling the panel of community leaders to win $25,000 in ad value, rounded out by Aunt Flow ($15,000) and Grypshon ($10,000). The event, which caps off a jam-packed Tuesday, will be held at the Bluestone in downtown Columbus. And that’s only one of many worthwhile events taking place during the week. With so much to do from Monday to Friday, we want to highlight some of the exciting speakers and events of Columbus Startup Week!  Here’s our list to help you plan your week.


Family Meeting with The Grotes (10-11 am)

A conversation with the family who created Donato’s Pizza. See how one dad’s dream and vision turned into a family-run business.

The State of Entrepreneurship (3-4pm)

An in-depth conversation about entrepreneurship with the leaders of Columbus’ Rev1 Ventures, Cleveland’s JumpStart, Inc. and Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse. Learn how they differ and how they collaborate.


Leading with Culture (10-11am)

Heather Buck will be sharing the magic ingredient for the Cameron Mitchell brand success, and how their focus on culture and leadership has gotten them to where they are today.

Columbus Startup Week Pitch Competition (5-9pm)

Columbus Startup Week Pitch Competition brings the Midwest’s top startups together on stage to compete for $50,000.


The Smart Columbus Approach to a Smart City (11am-12pm)

Primer on what it means to be a “smart city,” what smart cities of the future may look like, and how it impacts you.

Generating Diversity in the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (1-2pm)

How can we all encourage diversity within the Social Entrepreneurship ecosystem?


How to Use Data and Research When Building a Brand (9-10am)

Dive into unique ways to market your story using video production, graphic arts, and more.

Customer Discovery or Die Tryin’ (4-5pm)

The biggest reason startup companies fail is due to a lack of product/market fit. Through utilizing methods of customer discovery, you can determine what your customers really need and avoid wasting your precious time and cash on bad assumptions.


The Playbook Live with David Meltzer (1-2pm)

Live Podcast of David Meltzer’s “The Playbook,” a Top Five podcast on Apple exploring the relationship between sports and entrepreneurship. The live broadcast will center around an interview with Doug Ulman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Pelotonia.

To register for any of these events, be sure to visit

And if you can’t make it in-person––don’t sweat it! We’ll be posting updates throughout the week, so you won’t miss a thing!

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