Startup week will demonstrate region’s impact and future
Come June 3, Dayton will be swarming with startups, entrepreneurs and community members from across the region. The reason? Dayton’s own Techstars Startup Week, a conference hosted by Dayton Tech Guide, is in town and ready to inspire and inform. We talked to Tech Guide’s co-founder and conference organizer, John Owen about what this event means for the area’s startup enthusiasts and conference participants.
“When we brought Techstars Startup Week to Dayton four years ago, we weren’t sure what to expect, but we knew we wanted a big event that the startup community could rally behind and make their own,” said Owen. “Our first event brought 400 people together, and many of those people have become champions for the startup community. In year two, we grew to 600, and last year we topped 900.”
While Owen hopes that every entrepreneur or future entrepreneur learns something new at Startup Week, he emphasizes that the relationships and community support fostered by the event are really the stars of the show.
“My favorite part of Startup Week actually happens months later,” said Owen. “It’s the stories that come from entrepreneurs who found the confidence during Startup Week to launch their business. It’s the founder who made a connection during the week that helped them grow their business. Those impacts are what make Startup Week worthwhile.”
To further embody these connections and Dayton’s booming startup scene, event organizers have adapted the content to fit the needs of the area’s entrepreneurs.
“Startup Week has become the biggest entry point to our startup community and we continue to expand to meet the needs of our entrepreneurs,” said Owen. “This year, we’re launching a few industry-specific tracks like Arts & Music and MedTech. We will also have evening sessions for the first time. Both of these ideas came from past attendees.”
This year’s Startup Week will be held June 3 – 7. You can check out the complete schedule of events here. Below, we’ve included some “must-sees” for every startup lover:
June 3 – 10:00 a.m. — The First Months: How to Set Yourself Up for Success: Hear from our panel of entrepreneurs who made it past those messy first days, weeks, and months. They’ll share how they dealt with the terrifying freedom, complete lack of structure, arbitrary self-imposed deadlines, mistakes they made along the way, and the questions they wish they would’ve asked themselves.
June 3 – 2:00 p.m. — Funding Sources for Growing Companies: Growing businesses can tap different sources of funding including Angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity. Learn what these different funders look for in their search for companies and how you can land the next investor for your growing business. (Featuring The Entrepreneurs Center, Allos Ventures and more)
June 3 – 5:00 p.m. — The Longest Table: Neighborhood Pitch Night: The Entrepreneurs Center and its partners are launching a new event series to highlight, connect and support entrepreneurs within Dayton’s neighborhoods. The neighborhood pitch event will feature a foodpreneur from the neighborhood providing the meal, while other innovators, small business owners and entrepreneurial-minded nonprofit leaders pitch ideas to start and grow in the community. A panel of experienced entrepreneurs and service providers will offer feedback on pitches. Attendees from the community can donate for the meal, then vote to determine who wins the pool of money raised at the event!
June 4 – 1:00 p.m. — Smart Cities Conference: How can the community leverage smart technologies to improve the quality of life for citizens
June 4 – 3:00 p.m. — How to Build Influence for Your Brand: Wouldn’t it be nice for half a million people to see what you share on Facebook every day? What about over a million downloads of your podcast or 2.5 million views of your YouTube videos? Our panelists will share how they have strategically built influence for their brand through contemporary media platforms, how they leverage that influence, and what it took to get there.
June 5 – 1:15 p.m. — Finding Early-Stage Medical Money: How do you find early stage money? As a healthcare / MedTech company it can be tricky. Learn about some of the earliest money available, and the views of “next stage” investors. Featuring Roger Edwards, Accelerant, Peter Kleinhenz, CFO Myonexus and Ben Pidgeon, VisionTech Angels.
June 5 – 2:00 p.m. — Artists + Techies: Unexpected Entrepreneurial Partnerships: Inspired by Scott Hartley’s “The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World,” artist, professor and Think TV host Rodney Veal has compiled a panel to speak on unusual partnerships in the digital entrepreneur world. He will explore the ways incorporating creatives on your team can increase your chances of entrepreneurial success.
June 5 – 5:00 p.m. — Mini Bootcamp – Get Fit and Focused with ESP: The Entrepreneurial Services Provider program managed by The Entrepreneurs Center on behalf of the State of Ohio’s Third Frontier initiative supports the growth of our region’s most promising technology startups with a variety of powerful resources. Learn more about the program and get a taste of the ESP day long bootcamp with a mini bootcamp workshop. The session utilizes Wendy Kennedy strategic commercialization methods designed to allow you to explore where your creation fits in the world and who really cares about it. Napkin Drawings, Category Maps, Fishbones, and more! These lessons can be utilized by non-tech companies as well so come one and all!
June 6 – 3:00 p.m. — An Intro to AFRL Entrepreneurial Opportunity Program: Launched by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as another pathway to commercialization, the idea of the AFRL Entrepreneurial Opportunity Program (EOP) is that AFRL scientists and engineers will apply their skills, and possibly intellectual property from the lab, to start or help grow a technology company. AFRL lab employees pursue one of three avenues: consider the possibility of licensing Air Force technology, apply their skills from the lab in a commercial role that could help solve Air Force problems, or temporarily support a business already licensing Air Force technology.
June 7 – 1:00 p.m. — Structure Your Social Enterprise: Legal Entities and Certifications: Hear from a lawyer on legal entity options for social enterprises, including public benefit corporations, non-profit LLCs, cooperatives and more.