Soon after hosting Techstars FounderCon in October of 2016, we were quick to proclaim the event as a watershed moment for StartupCincy.
“FounderCon Cincinnati marks the most significant expansion of our Active Network to date,” we cheered on our blog. As Techstars Network Catalyst John Hill said on stage, “this puts Cincinnati on the same level as Austin, Chicago, Boulder and Boston.”
The high praise was exciting for our community and for me. Many months of logistical planning (blood, sweat and some tears, too) and years of “big dreams” came to light.
Having our tech scene mentioned in the same breath as Austin, Chicago, Boulder and Boston (some larger than Cincinnati, some at it much longer) was electrifying, but also not a mantle to rest our laurels on. If anything, it was a signal for us up our game.
From the moment our FounderCon week wrapped up, we began planning the next stage of our startup community growth. FounderCon was never meant to be a solo lightning strike in our city. We all knew we were just getting started.
Enter Techstars Startup Week.
What better way to evolve our commitment to Techstars than through a big splash, full blown execution of Techstars Startup Week. The event unifies our community at a completely new scale. StartupCincy has run Startup Weekends for years, but now — because of our appetite for business building — we need five full days to highlight our resources.
Startup Weeks take place all over the globe. Last year, there were 47 different host cities in 16 different countries. We’re jumping into the mix now. Even though this will be our first, we are not new to this. Cincinnati knows how to connect, collide and create on a big stage.
A Startup Week is another significant stride towards bigger, bolder goals and more fertile ground for new startups to be born.
When I look at the schedule for Techstars Startup Week Cincinnati, I see how we are changing the conditions again. More than 60 speakers. Over 50 events. And 3,000 signups with two weeks to go. We are set to touch more entrepreneurs than ever before in our region. Better yet, I see these numbers as proof that we’re fast approaching our big, hairy audacious goal — a critical mass of technology startups in the Greater Cincinnati region.
Critical mass is something we’re all focused on. To continue to grab the attention of outside investors, our community needs high quality 800-1,000 startups in its soil. And we’re on our way there with 400+ right now.
We’re proud to be the number one startup region in Ohio (see report). The Kauffman Index of Startup Activity is one of the most widely respected reports on entrepreneurship and new business creation in the country. When they rank cities, it’s aggregated data and trends, not “flashes in the pan.” Our community is working hard — and it shows. Thank you, Kauffman Foundation, for recognizing our progress!
So, Techstars Startup Week is coming. It’s all over the news and social media and inside our own Slack channel (yes, StartupCincy has one). Headlined by CincyTech’s sponsorship, everyone in the community wants a piece of the action.
It’s a chance for anyone to come and connect with developers, entrepreneurs and investors in casual settings. You can come talk business, share code, make plans or just have a beer at a happy hour. You’ll learn from incredibly smart entrepreneurs, experienced mentors and venture-building experts through a wealth of events geared towards small businesses and startups. Best of all — people take their learnings and build new businesses.
Do not forget, this event is free and open to the public. Come and go as you please! It’s quick and easy to create an “a la carte” tour through our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Immerse yourself and your company in a culture that understands the importance technology and celebrates business building and learning from one another. Come experience the number one startup ecosystem in Ohio.
Casey and I will see you there! #giddyup
Wendy Lea, CEO
More About Startup Week:
Techstars Startup Week Cincinnati, powered by CincyTech, is a five-day (October 9-13, 2017) event free and open to the public, designed to connect people across the Greater Cincinnati region who have a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. Techstars Startup Week Cincinnati, powered by CincyTech, educates aspiring and established founders alike on best practices, highlights central struggles to small businesses and showcases how to access the dynamic network of investors and resources StartupCincy provides.