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Denver Startup Week engages modern business strategies

Denver Startup Week headlined business executives across Denver.
Photo: Ayden Adair· The Sentry

A versatile event for Denverites and students

From Sept. 24–­28, Denver produced its sixth annual Startup Week, providing the business know-how and entrepreneurial spirit in the hopes of adding on to Denver’s budding economy. 

Hosted by Chase for Business, the late September event supplied the entire city of Denver—housed in locations spanning from just north of Coors Field all the way down to Capitol Hill—with a variety of seminars, lectures, and panels from esteemed speakers and experienced businesspeople that touched on a variety of subjects that explore a wide multiplicity of issues. From driverless cars to entrepreneurial Tai-Chi, the topics delivered industry information and insight of all capacities.

A common theme throughout the proceedings was focusing on the role of women in the business world and female empowerment. Included in these talks were messages of empowerment and resiliency for female entrepreneurs and businesswomen while breaking down conceptions of business and economics being a male-dominated line of work. 

Author and slam poet Confidence Omenai gave a speech in the “Secrets of Leadership with Women on the Rise” on the afternoon of Sept. 26. “The old boy’s club is dying,” Omenai said, referring to the historical conception of business spheres as a male-dominated field. She advocated for self-discipline within her audience and declared that “if you change one woman, you change everything around her.” 

This panel continued with Kathy Holmes, President of Holmes Consulting Group, who also promoted self-determination and confidence for women in the workplace, even in times of immense difficulty, describing times in which she was considered “just the girl in the firm.” 

The existence of this panel with Omenai and Holmes represents a growing movement in the modern business ecosystem outside of the panel itself, and one that strives to establish change within the workplace. 

Aside from Startup Week’s social message, other panels and sessions delved into industries and fields that are not commonly associated with the prospering business climate along the front range but are nonetheless critical. 

The panel immediately following, “Reframing the Narrative,” explored the Denver music scene and its growing presence. Matt Fielder, the founder and CEO of Vinyl Me, Please (a monthly record club subscription service), attributed that growth to a multitude of reasons whilst on the panel. “It’s hard to put it into a box,” he said, adding that, “Artists are their own businesses, and each label [and] publisher is unique.”

Forbes magazine named Denver #4 in the Best Places for Businesses and Careers, while the website Best Places puts the unemployment rate at 3.8% (against the national average of 5.2%). In any case, as long as the city of Denver continues to experience its economic proclivity, events like Denver Startup Week can grow in relevance and practical application. 

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