Seattle Startup Week 2017 - Review
Why go to Startup week?
That was a question I was asked quite often. I don't currently have a start-up I'm pushing to market...
...So why am I here?
Startup week in Seattle is more than just pushing my personal agenda. Startup week is an awesome way to get a pulse on what is happening in (and around) Seattle. It's a way to look at upcoming business opportunities, new technologies, and expanding your network in a way that can only happen at these types of events. At Startup week you can sit down one on one and have conversations with CEOs, founders, & companies, that you may not be able to score a meeting with under other circumstances.
Overview of Startup week 2017
With the exception of a few minor hiccups, things went swimmingly! The overall feel was like a summer camp with my friends. The conversations I had between meetings, were sometimes more valuable than the take away at the various panels. My network nearly doubled with some pretty heavy hitters in the industry. It is definitely a personal battery charger!
The best bits of #SSW2017!
WHY IS THIS AMAZING? You mean outside of the free food, tea, coffee, the fact that it was free all week long, and the sheer number of heavy hitters packing each panel and sharing the secrets to success?!
I have to give a shout out to CHASE & Galvanized for sponsoring and supporting this event. I was extremely impressed with the span of talent and quality of speakers at every panel. The week covered so much. Panels spanned; startup in tech, new innovation, SEO, Marketing, Branding, 3D printing & prototyping, AI, VR, Music, Fashion and so much more. I started the week wondering if I had the energy to go to one of the panels and 15 minutes in I couldn't wait for the next one to begin.
There were a few issues that I heard mentioned and experienced myself. I am sure those kinks will be worked out in the following years.
That being said - I have some suggestions for next year.
Basecamp was awesome and a lot of the events happened right on site. This was great - However, It wasn't clear to me (at time of sign up) that some of the panels were going to be happening in other location. I ran into many people from out of town that had no idea where some of these places were. Many places were on the other side of town and, in some cases, in other cities altogether.
What I would like to see next year:
When you arrive at base camp - There is a big screen tv showing a schedule of events. My suggestion for improving that would be to have a digital map on a big screen at "Basecamp" that clearly identified meeting locations and offered transportation suggestions for offsite meetings. It would also be nice if one could include approx travel time or show a view of traffic between said locations. This would prevent someone from catching a cab to a panel only to find that it is on the other side of the lake and they wouldn't make it there in time for the panel.
GETTING CHARGED up
Another small complaint involved the lack of charging locations. Most outlets at Basecamp were being used by TV's or PA equipment. That left very few options for anyone that needed to charge their laptop, cell phone, tablet, etc. - A few of us were using moleskins and pens however, seeing that this was a tech startup - I would highly recommend setting up some simple charging stations. downstairs from basecamp where people could rest and catch up on notes or connect and have meetings.
WHERE THINGS WENT REALLY RIGHT?
That's easy - Nearly everything else was great.
They brought in food from a variety of locations for lunch and early morning snacks. Not a lot of places to park and eat but that didn't seem to slow anyone. Everyone seemed to be pretty happy to park wherever and munch the great offerings.
As I mentioned before - topics range from fashion to 3d Printing, From IA/VR to SEO strategies and literally covered everything in between. When my schedule had layover times - I happily was able to sit in on another lecture outside my itinerary and often learned something valuable that I could take away even though the industry may not have been something I was connected to.
AT THE END OF THE DAY
The weekend is here and I feel exhausted. I made many new friends, grew my network, had some job offers, and connected with some highly valuable partners. I am sad to see it end but but the inspiration from the event was so worth while. I already can't wait till next year. I look forward to seeing even more great companies rising through the ranks between now and then. Super big thanks to the folks that made this all possible - but - if you can excuse me - I I have a lot of emails to get to and a newfound network to grow.
Get out there and live those dreams.