Loveland Startup Week is small but growing. Last year's event, pictured, took place over a day-and-a-half. This year's event, held in April, will span three days.

Loveland Startup Week focuses on interaction as city’s entrepreneurship grows

LOVELAND — In two weeks, Loveland startups will have the opportunity to gather, network and participate in panels during Loveland Startup Week April 6-8.

The event, part of Techstars’ startup week series, is a three-day weekend event and has grown steadily since the Loveland Startup Day it was two years ago.

Starting on Thursday and going through Saturday, the function will include more audience participation than previous years, said Wilynn Formeller, one of the organizers.

“There will be a lot more panel or interactive-type discussions we’re putting out there,” Formeller said, adding that the decision to be more interactive came from attendee feedback. “We wanted workshops and audience participation. We also expanded our arts track this year, with a lot more of the talks concerning artists, marketing and how they can promote, establish and support their business.”

One panel Formeller is particularly excited about is a Northern Colorado Regional Panel, which will have economic business development directors from Greeley, Windsor, Longmont, Loveland and Fort Collins talking about branding North Colorado as a region and having the cities work together to appeal to different businesses.

Loveland’s entrepreneur scene has been growing quickly, said Richard Toftness, founder of the non-profit Made in Loveland, which brings area startups together and is the organization behind Loveland Startup Week.

“The interesting thing about Loveland is it’s kind of a sleeper,” Toftness said. “There’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye. There’s a lot of startup activities that aren’t very visible to the public. But what amazes me is when you scratch the surface here and get to know someone working on something, you find out about all kinds of things going on here.”

Toftness said Startup Week’s goal is to bring some of that attention to Loveland’s entrepreneurs.

“We plan to increase the visibility of startups and entrepreneurial activity in Loveland,” he said. “We really want to make sure people are aware there’s a lot going on here and we want to help people succeed in their business.”

 

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