What a ride. With over 5,000 attendees and 125 events and sessions about all things related to entrepreneurship, Denver was buzzing during Denver Startup Week.
The Cottonwood Institute was 1 of 13 nonprofits selected to compete in the Chase Community Giving Campaign at Denver Startup Week. We were along side some pretty amazing, well established nonprofit organizations, so we had our work cut out for us.
It was then up to Denver Startup Week participants to vote for their favorite charity. We dropped everything, rolled up our sleeves, attended as many events, sessions, and happy hours as we could to maximize our presence and talked to as many people as we could.
Our hard work paid off and the Cottonwood Institute was selected to be 1 of 6 nonprofits that each won $25,000 from Chase Community Giving! We are still on cloud 9!
One thing I love about the startup community is their openness and willingness to help. Here are a few of my takeaways from Denver Startup Week:
- Hustle Harder. You have to work hard to win and you can’t lose if you never give up. Bart Lorang, CEO of FullContact, talked about being tired of hearing about “fail fast” and that “failure is not an option” is even better.
- Doerocracy. Bart Lorang also coined a new term to describe the startup community in Denver. If you are a doer, or in his words, “if you can get s$#@ done,” then you are welcome in the startup community, regardless of your education, pedigree, or title.
- Give Before You Get. Brad Feld, investor and entrepreneur, talked about helping others without expecting anything in return…at least initially. You do expect to get something in return down the road, it is just not an up front expectation when you first meet.
- Marketing Is Everything. Seth Godin, world renown author and entrepreneur, reminded us that if we are trying to talk to everybody, we are talking to nobody. Think about who your tribes are, where they are, and what they are like so you can speak directly to them.
We would like to give a huge shout out to all of the Denver Startup Week sponsors, organizers, and volunteers, including Todd Munson from Chase, Tami Door from Downtown Denver Partnership, and Erik Mitisek from Colorado Technology Association.
Written by Ford Church, Cottonwood Institute Founder and Executive Director.