Longmont Startup Week goes digital

LONGMONT — For the first time in it’s six-year history, Longmont Startup Week will feature an all-virtual program for it’s 2020 event this month. 

Startup Week, which is free to attend and runs from July 20 through July 24, will utilize Facebook and YouTube to host live-streamed lectures, classes and discussions with local tech luminaries. 

“It was quite a decision,” Longmont Economic Development Partnership vice president Morgan Smith said of the COVID-19-influenced pivot from live events to a virtual program. The partnership is one of Startup Week’s lead organizers.

“We saw Boulder Startup Week shift to virtual pretty much on a dime, and we realized that this pandemic wasn’t going anywhere,” he said.

Rather than offering week-long tracked programming —  for example, a mobile application track, a biotech track and a cloud computing track  — as is typical in startup weeks across the country, LSW is offering themed days “to help consolidate some of the content,” Smith said during a recent BizWest Podcast interview scheduled to be released this week. 

Those daily themes include creativity and disruption, financial health, living digitally, and team building. The overall theme of LSW 2020 is “Create. Disrupt. Grow. Digitally.”

Speakers will include StickerGiant chief operating officer Beth Smith, WinterWinds Robotics founders Valerie and Caleb Eastman, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade senior manager Katie Woslager and University of Colorado media studies professor Nathan Schneider.

“We always consider startup week to be a touchstone for the year — a big celebration of our entire entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Smith said. “It is a way to knit people together, to introduce people to others in the ecosystem they may have never met before, and to highlight a lot of people from the local area who can offer their wisdom and expertise.”

Unlike many other startup weeks, which emphasize panel discussions on macro-level trends and topics, LSW’s focus is on providing practical information, resources and training.

“We want people to walk away from a session with something useful and something they can implement at their businesses,” Smith said.

To register for Longmont Startup Week, visit www.longmontstartupweek.com.