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Voice of Denver: Be Part of Silicon Mountain at Denver Startup Week 2013


Suzan Bond puts out the rallying cry for speakers and sponsors as organizers plan for Denver Startup Week 2013 to be bigger than the lauded inaugural event last year.
Though Boulder has become known for being an entrepreneurial hub, Denver isn't far behind. To wit: Denver made the list as one of the 10 best cities for startups in the nation according to a report by Kiplinger due to high startup investments, low cost of living and an educated workforce. Denver was also selected as one of the Top 5 American Cities for Startups by VentureBeat. Finally, Time recently featured Denver's own Galvanize in an article about startup schools and workspaces designed to support entrepreneurial activity. It's hard not to come to the conclusion that there's an entrepreneurial renaissance happening in Denver. 
 
One of the reasons that Denver is poised to emerge as a national leader for the entrepreneurial community is the backing from government to established business, support of local entrepreneurs and a great quality of life with its proximity to the mountains. While Denver may be known as an undiscovered gem of opportunity of entrepreneurism, if Erik Mitisek of the Colorado Technology Association, Tami Door of Denver Downtown Partnership and the rest of the Denver Startup Week organizing committee have their way, it won't be for long. Indeed, one of the most memorable moments from the 2012 Denver Startup Week was when Mayor Michael B. Hancock threw down the gauntlet to become recognized as the entrepreneurial hub with his rallying cry to become known as Silicon Mountain.  
 
In 2012, the organizing committee set out to produce an inaugural Denver Startup Week with 15 to 20 events to showcase the ideas, innovation and business growth in the city. What happened instead was much bigger with more than 70 events that attracted more than 3,500 participants.

"Denver Startup Week was created to convene all entrepreneurial stakeholders in Denver to showcase the ideas, innovation and business growth in the city," says Mitisek. "We hope Denver Startup Week 2013 includes even more thought leaders, innovators and those entrepreneurs who want to make Denver the place to build companies."
 
The 2013 rendition of this event will be held Sept. 16-21 and will include presentations, panels, tours, workshops, happy hours and social events throughout downtown Denver. After bringing in the always entertaining and often profane Gary Vaynerchuk at last year's opening lunch, the organizing team seeks to again bring in other innovators in the entrepreneurial landscape for marquee events throughout the week. This year the event will feature four tracks: Business, Design, Tech and Social Enterprise from last year's rendition. The 2013 version adds a Manufacturing track to showcase the innovation of this industry that's currently taking place in Denver. 
 
"With the energy from the first Denver Startup Week , 2013  is well on it's way to being bigger, better and even more inclusive than last year's event," Mitisek adds. "We hope that the the companies, events and ideas showcased help further define Denver as the innovation city between the coasts."  
 
While the organizing committee looks to double attendance at this year's event, what won't change is the quality of the events. "Denver Startup Week is really special," Mitisek adds. "What makes it unique, is that the event is driven and produced by the ideas, people, and companies that define our entrepreneurial ecosystem in Denver. " 
 
Putting entrepreneurs first makes the event so successful. In Denver, the community is baked into the equation from the beginning with events suggested by the community. If you're interested in hosting an event, you can submit your idea at DenverStartupWeek.com. If you're part of a company who is interested in sponsoring the event, you can also get in touch with the team there as well. 
 
Suzan Bond is a Denver-based writer, speaker and CMO-For-Hire who works with tech startups. Contact her here.
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