Over 150 Events, 10 Tracks, 5 Days
San Diego Startup Week (SDSW) is the region’s premier catalyst for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurialism. Featuring a week of scheduled events, panels, and revelry in the heart of downtown San Diego, Startup Week showcases leading innovators in Software as a Service (SaaS), consumer Internet, mobile tech, hardware, and defense tech. Participants include San Diego’s brightest entrepreneurs, top-tier regional and national investors, strategic advisors, and high profile community and political supporters, all of whom contribute to San Diego’s thriving startup ecosystem.
Startup Week Highlight Events
Kicking off with Opening Ceremony
SDVG hosts Keynote Speaker, Mark Suster
Entrepreneurs Trek the Streets Downtown for the Startup Crawl
SD Tech Founders Showcased 7 Growing Startups at Demo Night
The 2016 San Diego Startup Festival at Quartyard Open to the Public with Startups Tables and Live Music.
Businesses lack chlorophyll! Meaning, sunlight and water won’t grow your Startup… but the Seed Track during Startup Week can give you the right tools to nurture your Startup seedling into the blooming business it is meant to be.
The San Diego Startup Week Seed Track is focused on taking your startup to the next level by helping you prove your MVP, get traction, and prepare for seed financing! Hire for skill or for culture? Join an incubator? Raise VC money or bootstrap it? When you start to get the feeling that your wild idea really has legs you have important decisions to make and you don’t get a second chance to make the right choices. Join San Diego’s own entrepreneurs to hear stories from the Startup trenches and learn from their mistakes and successes. The Seed track at Startup week offers something for any entrepreneur or would-be bootstrapper.
Kick off the week at Noon on Monday with $h!t Founders Don’t Talk About a no-holds-barred truth talk about the ups and downs of early-stage startup life. Mel Gordon, co-founder of Tap Hunter, Bryan Hall founder of embarke (formerly email co-pilot) and David Warren CEO of LIA will tell you the $h!t that all of the mentors and TedX talks gloss over. If you’re an entrepreneur you don’t want to miss this.
Rise and Shine and get your groove on with a not-so-typical breakfast event. The IoT Startup Breakfast Table event promises food trucks, a DJ (@ 7:30AM!!!) and hands on workshops on Traction, Proving your MVP and Prepping for Seed Financing. Moderated by Darrin Andersen Chairman of CyberTech and featuring speakers such as Navid Alipour of Analytics ventures, Ray Major of Practicum Advisory Services, Melanie Ruthrauff of Mintz Levin and Marsha Wilson of DaulSpark. The early bird gets the seed funding so come on down and get your entrepreneurial juices flowing, Tuesday 6/16 from 7:30 – 9:00AM.
Thursday 6/18 from 4:30 – 6:00PM, learn How to Launch a Product KickStarter. CleverPet, WareHouse Innovations, and Hush, all EvoNexus residents, share their knowledge and experience with launching product Kickstarter Campaigns. Then walk on over to Demo Night @ 6:00.
Make yourself a cheese sandwich wrapped in gluten and head on down to the brown-bag lunch event Is an Accelerator/Incubator Right for You? Friday @ Noon, Join Austin Neudecker – Y Combinator, Adam Riggs-Zeigen – EvoNexus Plug and Play, Jason Riggs – Relocated to EvoNexus & Bach Le – Boulder TechStars to hear about their decisions to join Incubators/Accelerators and what it has meant for their Startup’s journey.
The Seed Track metaphors abound but in the end, you need information and Seed Track’s the place to find it so sign up, come down and learn about what it takes to get your bloomin’ startup seeded and on a path to growth and success!
The Idea Track of San Diego Startup Week is a series of events created specifically for people interested in the earliest stages of a startup company. Whether you think you have your first big idea and just want to find out if you’re on the right track or you’re trying to find co-founders to help you develop your idea, the Idea Track is for you.
Everyone in the startup community faces similar challenges as they pursue their first ideas and the Idea Track puts you into the room with other founders who are in the same position as you are now or have been in your shoes at least once before – if not more. As a new startup founder, you need to think about co-founders, product development, marketing and intellectual property – where are you supposed to start?
The events developed for the Idea Track are there to help you answer those exact questions. Here are some of the highlights of the events in the Idea Track:
Startup Week Idea Competition Kickoff: One of the events featured on the first full night of San Diego Startup Week will pull people up into the spotlight to pitch their idea to the crowd in two minutes. The top five ideas will be selected to present in front of a high profile panel for the chance to win $1,000!
Lean Product Development for Startups: This event will feature Bryan Hall discussing how startups can shorten their product development cycle by focusing on hypothesis driven experimentation and validated learning. This will be a great session that will explore how startups can reduce risk and lower the need for initial funding to get their product launched.
Trademarks, Copyright, Patents and Prototyping: What’s the difference and when should you start?: This event will focus on the various intricacies of the intellectual property. Getting ready to launch a product but have questions about IP? Join us for this workshop and get your questions answered by leaders and attorneys who have the answers.
The Idea Track promises to be a phenomenal track for anyone in the beginning stages of their startup. We’re looking forward to having you join us!
Taking a startup from the idea to a thriving business can be difficult to say the least. The Growth Track of San Diego Startup Week had the idea, proven its market viability, developed the product and gotten some seed capital to start building your business. Now it’s time to go beyond your next 10 customers, beyond your next 100 customers and start to figure out how you’re going to scale your business to capture your next 1,000 customers and start seeing a return on all the time, energy and capital that you’ve invested into your business.
The challenges that face companies at this phase are vast. Between the limited resources available to startups that require you to stretch every dollar to its limit, marketing and sales management, there are a lot of pitfalls along the way that can cause startups to fail. The Growth Track offers programming to help you avoid those pitfalls and keep your business growing.
Here are just a few of the programs offered in the Growth Track of San Diego Startup Week:
2015 Seachange Funding Startups: For the past few years, we’ve all been wondering what the impact of the JOBS Act (Regulation A+) was going to have on our community. We knew that it would be big – it turns out it’s bigger. RegA+ could be the single largest game changer since the inception of the stock market. Get your questions answered during this moderated discussion.
From the Eyes of the VC…You Be the Judge: Come learn some crucial fundraising tips at this lunchtime session from experienced startup and venture capitalist Austin Neudecker. Stick around to put your VC hat on and judge a startup pitch for yourself!
Marketing and Sales for Companies with Series A Investment: Are you ready for your Series A investment? Typically you need to show that you have a marketing strategy that is able to scale but you just need the money and staff to help you implement it. In this session we’ll focus on how to create a scalable marketing strategy and how to communicate that strategy and show its impact to potential investors.
The Growth Track of San Diego Startup Week will prove to be an impactful track of programming with great speakers, experienced moderators and, of course, other startups who are and have been in your shoes to network with.
Summer is here!
The way you can tell is that all of the smart, fun, interesting people of San Diego are out on the Broadway Pier on a Sunday. Oh, wait! That’s not summer (it’s always summer here) that’s Startup Week!
Whether you’re already clued into the Startup Scene or just want to check out what all of the buzz is about, Startup Week is for you. Sunday, June 14th starting at 3:00pm local Startups host booths outside all along the Broadway Pier and everyone from VCs to developers, from marketing gurus to UCSD students will be there mingling, having fun and getting ready for the evening’s social event.
You do NOT want to miss the party in the pavilion that kicks off Startup Week. Live music and beer from San Diego’s own micro (and macro) breweries and San Diegans young and old (ok, mostly in their mid 20’s) gather to kickoff the event.
So get out from behind those monitors and come on out. You can’t watch this on Netflix (but you can tweet pics it while it’s happening #SDSW @sdstartupweek) Join us June 14th from 3 – 6 and then party into the evening from 6 – ??.
San Diego Startup Week is a chance to get an inside look at the startups making changes in San Diego and beyond. A full week of events, panels, and festivities right in the heart of downtown San Diego.
Explore leading innovators in Software as a Service (SaaS), consumer Internet, mobile tech, hardware, and defense tech alongside San Diego’s brightest entrepreneurs, top-tier regional and national investors, strategic advisors, and high profile community and political supporters.
If you’ve been to San Diego Startup Week in the past, you’ll notice that we’re doing things a bit different this year. We’ve designed educational tracks to match each unique phase in an entrepreneur’s and startup’s life cycle.
Idea Track: If you’re interested in learning about startups, testing an idea that may turn into a business, finding a co-founder or simply joining a startup, this track is for you.
Development Track: This track will help you identify the local resources and communities that can enable technical co-founders to build a fantastic product.
Seed Track: The Seed Track is focused on taking your startup to the next level by helping you prove your MVP, get traction, and prepare for seed financing.
Scale Track: If you’re in the growth phase and have already got a product and some customers, but are looking to scale, hop on this track.
Social Events: While not track specific, these events will be anything from meetups to happy hours to dinners. Attend these events to meet and mingle with local entrepreneurs.
Whew! San Diego Startup Week is behind us. I hope you were there, met someone interesting, enjoyed yourself &/or learned something. Thanks again to all our sponsors and volunteers that made it all possible – we couldn’t have done it without your efforts and support.
Personally, I am glad for many reasons, but generally 1) thought it was overall a success and am proud of what a small team was able to put together, 2) it was a huge improvement over what we were able to do last year and 3) we can finally relax a bit and get back to personal priorities.
In the spirit of transparency, I wanted to share some takeaways, thoughts, and requests with the community. The organizers had a recap meeting a week after the event and synthesized your feedback from the survey (+ we want to hear more in the comments!).
- Attendance. ~600-700 total attendees (~300 week long passes purchased, lots of one-off event passes sold) Almost all events were full, except end of week (burnout?)
- Quality & Involvement. General caliber of events was vastly improved, still a range. 15 total events from 8 different startup organizations (+ some more the appeared last minute). Top 3 events (by ratings) were (in order): Opening Ceremonies, Tech Crawl, Mentor Night
- PR. Attention in local press about the event, a few national pieces, even some TV spots!
- Demographics. Especially impressed with the m/f balance (more than I’ve seen in any city)
- Better organization / information for events ahead of time
- Too many parties. One opening party and one to close would have probably been enough. Parties didn’t have the same attendance or energy as the week progressed.
- Too many demos. While demos have their place, our feeling was there were ~4-5 pitch/demo-centric events within the same number of days. The events that were either geared towards topical issues or smaller interactions (or just fun) faired better.
- Some events will be cut/changed as the response was only mediocre.
- Moving the date so we have students in town
- Topical tracks. Perhaps by stage (idea/team-building phase, pre-seed, post-funding) or biggest issues (like GTM or Customer Development or Fundraising)
- Small interaction activities (more events like Mentor Night – one idea we plan to try is to enable groups of 4-8 people to grab dinner around town)
- Career-fair type event for startups to recruit talent & interns (hopefully open-air)
Finally, we need your help! If you came to an event and want to help out (either during the year on some of our regular events or for next startup week – please let us know! Email me and we’ll find a spot for you.
Please feel free to comment or send us information / suggestions below. Thanks again to the rest of the team, the sponsors and the volunteers for making it happen!
Austin is a co-founder of Startup San Diego, SD Startup Week and serial entrepreneur. His last company went through the Y Combinator program and was previously a mentor at TechStars & DreamIt while working as a venture capitalist. He survived MIT with degrees in EECS and Business and UPenn’s Wharton School for his MBA. He grew up in San Diego and returned 1.5 years ago on a mission to improve the ecosystem. For more about Austin – check out his blog: aneudecker.com where he regularly posts about observations, tips & tricks for startups and his other passions (film, food & philosophy).