First Timer’s Guide to Startup Week: What NOT to Miss

Columbus Startup Week is officially underway!

Didn’t make it to last year’s event? You’re in luck because there’s still time to get your ticket and learn a ton!  With 100+ free entrepreneurial events, it’s for sure that you can’t go to everything. But if you’re looking to build and grow a business, here are some of best sessions NOT to miss by topic.


How PR Can Make or Break Your Startup—and When to Use It – May 2 from 11 am – 12 pm

Hear PR best practices from all sides of the PR game: A startup that relied heavily on PR, a reporter from TechCrunch, and experts from local PR agencies.

Analytics: How to Track the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Efforts – May 2 from 12-1 pm

Moderated by Storyforge’s Barry Chandler, this session will bring together three of our region’s leaders in marketing and analytics—Mike Mike Amer of Resource/Amerati, Jim Thompson of Lift Engagement Strategies, and Tim Wilson of Analytics Demystified. Together, they’ll discuss how to optimize your marketing efforts based on real results.

How to Craft a Cohesive Marketing Plan – May 3 from 3 – 4 pm

Marketing and PR guru Stacey Wood (who gave me MY first PR training more than 15 years ago!) will lead this session on creating a measurable marketing and communications plan, including how to create your 30-, 60-, and 90-day action plan.

Health Wanted: Networking & Pitches – May 4 from 5-6 pm

Bill Balderez of Futurety and John Bishop of Martini Media Group will showcase entrepreneurs who are developing products, services, and unique collaborations that solve problems in the health and wellness problem domain. The fast-paced format will provide 20 entrepreneurs an opportunity to share their perspective in 3-minute pitches.

The Art of Selling – May 5 from 9-10 am

It’s a fact: Lack of customers is the #1 reason startups fail. Understanding your target audience and how to connect your product with their needs is fundamental to growing your business. Sales powerhouses James Rores and Greg Pugh will join together with Gartner’s Christian Fuellgraf and successful entrepreneur Joe Anstine, to riff on the best techniques for early sales success.

As moderator of this session (full disclosure!) I’ll help uncover best practices in how to know when you’re ready to start “selling,” how to overcome being the “startup,” and how to land the BIG CO!


Angel Funding & Venture Capital 101 – May 3 from 9-10 am

Funding is often the first thing entrepreneurs seek out when they start their businesses. This session brings together some of our region’s most experienced investment experts to talk about the various capital sources available for entrepreneurs: Bill Baumel of the Ohio Innovation Fund, Rich Langdale of NCT Ventures, Parker MacDonell of Ohio Tech Angel Fund, and Falon Donohue of Venture Ohio, joined by moderator Mike Nemeth of Veelo.

Capital Funding Options & Resources for the Startup – May 4 from 11 am–12 pm

Many would agree—it’s almost always harder to raise capital than you think and takes longer than you plan. Jeremy Gutierrez and Tracie Stamm of Huntington National Bank will be joined by Rev1 Ventures’ Ryan Helon to discuss the landscape of capital funding and business support resources.


Tools for Early Concept Design – May 3 from 12-1 pm

This session will teach you the basics of how to quickly go from concept to product faster in a truly “lean” way. Product guru Mike Blackwell (formerly with Rev1 Ventures and now with fast-growing PriorAuthNow) will lead the session and talk about best practices for leveraging lean validation tools like the business model canvas, the board of innovation, and the Lean Canvas.

Designing and Developing on a Dime | Right Sizing UX – May 5 from 11 am–12 pm

Dynamit’s director of design, Phil Franks, will lead a discussion about a UX process that can help set clear expectations and facilitate collaboration with your client and project teams.


Opening Night – May 2 from 6-9 pm

This will be among the best attended networking events of the week. Be part of an evening of discussion about learning to build, grow, and exit your company with insights from Matt Scantland, co-founder and CEO of CoverMyMeds, Ryan Frederick from Startup Grind, and Jon Grimm from Knotice.

Lunch at #ChaseBasecamp – Daily from 12–1 pm

Hang out at base camp daily, not just for the free grub but for your chance to network with other entrepreneurs, startups, and speakers!

Mentor Sessions – Daily from 10 am-2 pm at #ChaseBasecamp

Take advantage of free mentoring in product development, business strategy, legal, sales, marketing, and more from experts in the Columbus business community. Book your free 25-minute slot now as availability is limited!

Life Outside of 270 – Business Resources beyond Downtown – May 3 from 2-3 pm

I’ll moderate this discussion with some of our region’s economic development resource leaders—Colleen Colleen Gilger from the City of Dublin, Neil Collins from Innovate New Albany, Brian Lorenz from the City of Powell, and Matt Yerkes from Cultivate Grove City—where we’ll discuss the unique resources that exist outside of the Outerbelt.

Bunker Builds America Tour & <BLK hack> & Happy Hour Events – May 5 from 5-9 pm

In these overlapping events held at Rev1 Ventures, you’ll get a chance to network with entrepreneurs, startups, and community leaders to learn more about an exciting partnership with Bunker Labs—a veteran-focused accelerator and <BLK hack>, an organization focused on hacking, product creation and personal branding.

Closing Party – May 6 from 7-11 pm

Join the speakers, attendees, sponsors, partners, and the community in a big celebration of Columbus Startup Week. There will be local food, drinks, and jams from The Floorwalkers!