Beyond the Pitch

Columbus Startup Week 2016: Backyard Effect Amplified

This was a Startup Week for the record books. The entrepreneurial spirit in Columbus really rocks. More than 2,300 (a 40% increase from last year!) registrations for 100+ events with more than 180 speakers —and it was all about entrepreneurs and how CBUS wants to help accelerate innovation here.

From the kickoff last Monday to the closing event Friday night in the atrium of the Ohio State House, here’s a sample of the Rev1 team’s reflections of the week:

Encouraging New Entrepreneurs

  • “It’s so awesome, meeting people you haven’t met before. There were a lot of new faces. Everyone in town came out for these events. At the Ohio State Startup Snapshot event Thursday night, several entrepreneurs championed ideas that haven’t been licensed yet. They had to shoo us out of the venue at 9:30, so many people wanted to continue to talk about what they learned.” Bethany George
  • “I spent three full mornings at Startup Week. I love the enthusiasm. Events like this take us back to our roots. I got asked many, many times. What should I do? I have this dream, this dream of starting a company. My response was keep coming back. Keep making the connections. The hope, the dreams, the enthusiasm. That was the thrill of startup week for me.” Greg Pugh

Catching up with Those We Haven’t Seen for a While

  • “There were people at Startup Week that I have known, who are in the entrepreneurial community, some of them even in our co-working space. Normally when I’m working with entrepreneurs, we tend to stay focused on work. I learned more about people who I thought I knew in the Happy Hours than in the two years I’ve been working at Rev1. That’s how connections turn into relationships.” Matt Veryser

Creating Connections

  • “This was my first CBUS Startup Week. I was excited to participate. There were so many people from all types of industry from all different levels coming together with the common cause of by igniting innovation in Columbus and in the Midwest. That says a lot about the future. That so many people are becoming conscious of the opportunities that are in front of us and willing to take the initiative to collaborate and help one another out. These were people from very popular retail chains, innovative artists, designers, executives and programmers. It was really unbelievable. I’m fairly new here. Startup Week gives me a feeling of what this city is all about.” Alex Harshaw

Amplifying the Backyard Effect

  • “The energy was definitely impressive—the level of enthusiasm from the panels and speakers and from the crowds. I expected to know everyone there and see the same faces I see all the time. But that wasn’t the case. There were people who were interested that I would have never expected to be at Startup Week—from big companies to the state. I expected to see people I knew. I didn’t expect to see the people I saw. Dan Bruno

Not Just Investors and Entrepreneurs, but Leaders from Across CBUS

  • “There were all these prominent people, really prominent people who took the time to come in and talk to entrepreneurs, to really talk and share their experiences and take questions, and stay in the hallway talking well after their session was ended. One thing that has really stuck with me—the CEO of the Columbus Foundation spoke about the value of having artists in the community who are also interested in starting businesses. That was unlike any session I’ve ever attended. He and others in the arts were eager to learn more about what entrepreneurs do; they genuinely wanted to know what they could do to help.” Sandhya Elango

Next Steps

  • “A theme kept popping up in the sessions I attended. They covered a specific topic—licensing technology or selling to customers—but then morphed into discussions of community support. CBUS has raised the bar for ourselves. We want to be as entrepreneurial as Boston, Chicago, or New York. We are definitely moving in the right direction when it comes to supporting entrepreneurship, but there’s a lot more that we can do to get more of the whole community engaged. There’s a willingness here from the great institutions—Ohio State, OhioHealth, Nationwide Children’s—and the major corporations. They are buying in. The entrepreneurial community needs to be vocal and tell them how they can help.” John Hrivnak
  • “The best part was Friday night. What it showed is that even with this great and growing startup community, we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. There is so much energy, talent, and so many ideas, that we are just starting to tap into it.” Alicia Oddi

 

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