Another Denver Startup Week is in the books and this year’s record-breaking summit was full of wins for the Denver small business community. According to Tech.co, the 2016 Denver Startup Week set a record for the world’s largest free entrepreneurial event in North America with over 12,500 attendees and 300 events taking place over the span of five days. For comparison, the inaugural Denver Startup Week in 2012 clocked in at 3,500 attendees and 70 events. This annual event has grown by leaps and bounds in just a few short years!
The week kicked with entrepreneurs gathering to hear Under Armour co-founder Ryan Wood speak about how the athletic brand grew from just a two man shop to a household name in sports clothing. Wood has since left Under Armour to found another entrepreneurial endeavor, the Sweetwood Cattle Company in Steamboat Springs.
Startup activity in Denver is seeing an upward trend.. According to the Downtown Denver Startup report, 4,508 people work for 664 tech startups in the city and nearly 8% of businesses in Denver are tech startups. In addition, 56 tech startups raised over $420 million in venture capital in this last year.
But even though Denver provides a nurturing environment for start ups, many companies seeking capital may not be ready.
According to the Denver Business Journal, founder and managing partner of Blue Note Ventures Chris Marks was one of five investors from Colorado-based venture capital firms who spoke on Thursday at Denver Startup Week. Marks spends the first 10 minutes of every meeting trying to convince entrepreneurs not to raise capital based solely on the market they are going into or the way leadership wants to grow the company. This is not meant to discourage entrepreneurs but rather to raise awareness that before raising venture capital, the company’s leadership should be in sync with what the investor wants.
We continue to be amazed by the influx of entrepreneurial activity in Denver and how it continues to grow. For more information about Denver Startup Week, including key takeaways from the event, check out this blog post.