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Fort Collins Startup Week is a free, five day celebration of entrepreneurship, community, and business education. Led by a diverse group of local entrepreneurs and experts, sessions will dive into the ins and outs of all things entrepreneurship, from being a business owner to branding yourself, setting goals, impacting company culture, and so much more!
Startup Week takes place across Fort Collins for five days, but on Monday, Feb. 24 and Tuesday, Feb. 25 sessions will be held in the College of Business, taking place at the Bohemian Auditorium in Rockwell West and the Venture Lounge in Rockwell Hall North.
See the Full Week's Schedule >
Sessions are already filling up! Due to limited capacity, if you're interested in attending, be sure to add sessions to your schedule on the Fort Collins Startup Week website.
What sets you apart from your competitors? What is your brand, and how is it marketed? Do you know your unique selling point? Many entrepreneurs, business owners and freelancers have a hard time answering these questions. One sure way to answer these questions is to look in the mirror. The answer is YOU, yes YOU! Your identity plays a vital role in business just as it does in other areas in life. Showing up as your most authentic self, and being confident in your ability has the potential to lead to an increase in business opportunities and partnerships.
8:00 – 8:50 am in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
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The Hispanic population in Colorado expected for July 2019, was 21.7%, while its national purchasing power was over $1.5 trillion. In this workshop, you will learn more about the impact acculturation level has on Hispanic consumers, explore their buying behavior related to some products and services, importance of understanding the Hispanic culture, best practices to effectively market Hispanics, and the importance of culturally sensitive marketing materials.
9:00 – 9:50 am in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
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Most people have this fairy tale like dream of being an Entrepreneur and all that but the reality is different. I will be talking about what you should know before getting into entrepreneurship, the realities of being an Entrepreneur especially a first time founder and then how one can increase the chance of success as they start. I will be talking the majority of the time about my experiences as a first time Entrepreneur and story. I will be opening up to question 20 to 30 minutes in, so please bring your questions!
10:00 – 10:50 am in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to bring your book to market. Using Amazon's platform, Harrison Hand has published four books in the last four years. Each one has cost him less than $100 to publish. In this session, he'll tell you how to do the same with your book.
11:00 – 11:50 am in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
Why improv for business? Improv training is good for individuals, the team, and your entire organization because it can serve as a lens to discuss anything that requires clear, collaborative communication. The Harvard Business School says that "Improvisation is probably one of the two or three cardinal skills for businesses to learn in the future..." But why wait until the future...say "Yes, and..." do improv now!
1:00 – 1:50 pm in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
Are you anxious in social situations? Are you a constant worrier? Do you fear being negatively judged or scrutinized? Do you fear rejection? Is this impacting your performance at/in work?
Improv can help:
2:00 – 2:50 pm in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
A strong foundation on establishing and building a great culture is essential to scaling a business. As more team members join your company you'll need to think about how to effectively greet them into your whole team. It may be difficult to assimilate new members from the original core ofemployees and coworkers. If not done properly, it leave room for disaster. If done correctly, it promotes not only happiness, productivity, it cements a culture rooted with the people, not just mission statements and value props.
3:00 – 3:50 pm in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
This snapshot of the CSU Flagship "Venture Validator" program will do a quick dive into helping you figure out if your idea has what it takes to turn become a venture. We'll do a quick dive into best practices for understanding & communicating with your customer and learning your competitive landscape.
4:00 – 5:50 pm in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
Are you running your business or is your business running you? Many entrepreneurs are working more for less and less return. Get control of your work-life balance and boost your business success with a few simple and easy-to-implement productivity tools! You can increase your impact and income by working smarter, not harder!
8:00 – 8:50 am in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
Often we know that we want our business to grow. But “growth” can mean many different things. What does growth look like for you? What key factors should you focus on to measure your success? In this session you will learn how to define your goals more clearly, break them down into measurable chunks and create action plans for execution.
9:00 – 9:50 am in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
Join this panel for a conversation exploring what it means to be a mentally fit human; family; workplace; city... now and coming centuries. We will specifically discus immediate actions to steward well-being for ourselves and those around us in the workplace.
10 – 10:50 am in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
So your business has grown and you have your first employee. Now what? Businesses often think that Human Resources is only for corporations. The reality is, as soon as you have one employee or independent contractor, several rules and laws apply. This session will take you through the basics of what rules apply to small businesses, how to implement basic structure, and how to find resources to ensure you're compliant and minimizing risks to your employees and your business.
11 – 11:50 am in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
Visuals are a powerful way to share and understand information. They are also a great planning tool. I wish to share some basic techniques to help participants use visuals to start and improve their businesses.
2:00 – 2:50 pm in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
You have a newer business. You have spent the time and money to create your marketing plan, build a website, set up funnels, have a list of contacts and yet still little (or gasp...no) sales! Do you find yourself thinking “I’ve been sending them the information and we had a few phone calls. I can’t make them buy.”
But this is where the magic of a sales process comes in. Sales is psychology. It is an art and a science. Many people say that they hate sales and that they are bad at it but it could be that they just don’t really understand sales.
3:00 – 3:50 pm in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
Brand is a word that is used a lot. Most entrepreneurs agree that strong branding is critical to the success of their business. But it’s hard to pin down exactly what brand means and it’s often hard for founders to know how to get started. In this session, we’ll provide answers to the following three questions with a focus on helping founders and early executives clarify their brand and begin charting a course to build it.
4:00 – 4:50 pm in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
A panel discussion on how to expand globally. Produced by the Global Chamber Northern Colorado, a journey into the experiences and skill sets necessary to be successful globally and how to connect with partners and customers globally.
The panel will be made up of global professionals from Northern Colorado who have insight and experience in global business in different parts of the globe. Topics will be chosen that are of interest to and applicable to local businesses. Taking into consideration global-minded skill sets, communications, best practices, and what to be aware of when going global.
5:00 – 5:50 pm in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
Tuesday, Feb. 25
In this session we will go through and talk about the purpose of data analysis and how to accurately use it to improve efficiency and effectiveness of digital marketing efforts. Using real life case studies we will identify what data should be collected, how to review the data, and how to use that data to make business course corrections to improve marketing.
At the end of the session, all attendees will get access to the spreadsheets that I have personally developed to help businesses collect and analyze information. This will save hours of development work and give businesses context for their own companies.
Adapted for brevity from the Larimer Small Business Development Center course. (Two 50-minute sessions instead of two 3-hour sessions so expect a high-level overview absent most of the exercises in the SBDC course)
Day 1: Defining the Business You are Creating
Session One Objectives:
I grew my business from a shared office space in the basement of an office building to a full natural health center with 6+ employees and 10 renters. Knowing which risks to take and then tweaking instead of freaking to make them work for you is what scaling up is all about.
Avatars are imaginary people--my customers. I've identified 5 customer-avatars as part of my client base. A great marketing plan includes the use of avatars. In this session, I will share the avatars I have created as examples. You will leave with a new understanding of this tool as a way to improve your marketing, in the following ways:
1) It will open a window into your various customers' mindset, their lives, motivations and the solutions you bring.
2) Sharpen your communication styles for each avatar
3) help you design appropriate marketing pathways to each.
Your big idea is ready to be put into action. But, how to you get to the next step? You’ve done the work to get things started, you’ve polished your business plan, identified your customers, and so much more. Now, whether you went through our Venture Validator or have a business on the brink of making bank, this is where the fun really begins: we’re going to help you make it happen.
4:00 – 4:50 pm in the Rockwell West Bohemian Auditorium
For even intermediate marketers, finding the right channel and getting the right results is challenging. It’s nearly impossible if you’re just starting out. Tyler Brooks from Analytive will help you sort through this digital mess to determine the right strategies, tactics, tools, platforms, and content that fit well with your unique business model.
This session will give participants the tools they need to master delivery of their messages. So many times we pore over the content but skimp on rehearsing it for maximum impact on the stage. When it comes to investor pitches, sales pitches, keynotes and elevator pitches, total message mastery takes speakers to a new level of credibility.
10:00 – 10:50 am in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
Content is now the way that businesses should be selling their products and services. Creating a consistent content strategy will set you up for success. The presentation will cover ideal target market, marketing messaging, content creation, content hack to create a month worth of content with just one source and creating a content calendar.
11:00 – 11:50 am in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
CCompetitively pricing your services is a challenge for many freelancers and service-based entrepreneurs. Come hear from our panel of prosperous entrepreneurs discussing the nuances of pricing your services right. Learn from their pricing successes and mistakes so you can enjoy a successful and thriving business!
1:00 – 1:50 pm in the North Rockwell Venture Lounge
In this panel, you’ll hear from professionals who are hybrids and how they lead one-of-a-kind work because they’ve tapped into ways of combining their professional identities together.
They’ll share stories as well as lessons on how they’ve leveraged their identities and created new ways to brand themselves that break conventional stereotypes and trends. If you’re a jack/jill-of-all-trades, a multi-talented professional, or are trying to figure out what differentiates your professional identity, this panel will fill you with a whole new vision of who you are in the workforce.
Language has rules, but those rules change over time as every new generation influences the way we speak, the way we write, and what we think of as "standard" or "formal".
In this session, we'll talk about what the standards are now, where those standards come from, and how they are changing.
We all know story is important. But how do you choose the right one for your investor pitch, sales pitch, or keynote?
How do you build the story itself in the script for your pitch or talk? How do you know if it's too much of a lead in, or too much explanation before getting to the a-ha, or not enough at the end for the insight to click with your audience? Don't wing it, bring it. Bring your forethought to this fun and creative exercise so your story really sings. So it's memorable. So your audience can see themselves in it. So they want to act.