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DC Startup Week 2020 is going virtual this September. Here’s what to expect

The annual weeklong event series for entrepreneurs will take place online Sept. 14-18.

The organizers behind DC Startup Week officially announced that the annual weeklong event series for entrepreneurs will take place virtually from Sept. 14 through 18.

The series was created in 2016 as a means of bringing the startup community together. DC Startup Week is led by Chida Sadayappan, lead specialist at Deloitte Consulting; Rachel Koretsky, founder of Upace; and Cory Lawrence, founder of IRL Agency. The organizers decided to take the fifth annual event series virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been working hard the past few months to create a virtual experience that aligns with the values typically associated with our in-person events — great educational sessions, impactful connections, and access to resources,” Koretsky told “We are putting extensive focus on fostering and enabling connections in a virtual setting to help attendees network, find resources and make connections they need for their startup.”

Registration for DC Startup Week 2020 is now open and the organization plans to share the schedule and details on the streaming platform in mid-August.


Previously, DC Startup Week livestreamed and recorded sessions to post online for attendees who could not attend events in-person, so the organization is familiar with running virtual events.

Last year’s DC Startup week attracted nearly 7,000 attendees. Much like the in-person experience, attendees can expect to connect with other founders and investors, be able to build their own event schedules and gain access to resources and exclusive offers. The week will be filled with live, interactive events, and the platform will allow for attendees to interact in customized chat groups and online micro-communities. Koretsky said there will be a pitch competition to conclude the week as usual.

“To us, it’s extremely important this year that the DMV startup community comes together in a robust yet safe environment to help one another survive and thrive,” she said.

Since the spread of COVID-19 promoted the nation to practice social distancing, DC Startup Week wasted no time providing ways to keep the local startup community connected. Back in April, the organizers launched Startup DC Online, a virtual event series for local entrepreneurs to learn about different topics from marketing to strategies for staying productive while working at home and more. The organization has also been hosting virtual coffee check-ins on Fridays.

“The team at DC Startup Week is determined to continue to offer our support and resources to ensure that this community comes back stronger than ever,” the organizers said in a statement. “Now more than ever we all need the connections, collaborations, and educational workshops that DC Startup Week is known for.”


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