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DC Startup Week 2020 is on the horizon. Here’s what to expect

The fifth annual conference slated for Sept. 14 through 18 will be virtual and feature more than 100 events.

A panel at AARP Innovation Labs during DC Startup Week 2019. (Photo via @DCstartupweek on Twitter) DC is a media partner for DC Startup Week.

When the organizers behind DC Startup Week announced in July that the buzzy annual event series for entrepreneurs and startups was going virtual, it might have been hard to envision what that would look like.

Fast forward two months and we are just a few days out from the fifth annual DC Startup Week slated for Sept. 14 to 18. The event series led by Upace founder Rachel Koretsky is known to attract thousands of attendees to its in-person experience. Koretsky and her leadership team — Chida Sadayappan, lead specialist at Deloitte Consulting, and Cory Lawrence, founder of IRL Agency — are coordinating more than 100 virtual events for DC Startup Week in a few days.

This year’s conference will be hosted on Attendify, a mobile events app curator and online registration software, though all events will be livestreamed on Zoom. ASL interpreting will be provided by Jeenie, a mobile platform that connects people with on-demand trained interpreters. Attendees will be able to still use Attendify to access Zoom links and to tap into some unique new opportunities for learning, networking, professional development and personal growth. Once you’re registered for the conference, you’ll be able to customize a simple profile, and each attendee’s homepage will feature an activity stream, community tab and the current event taking place.

DC Startup Week is free to attend and since the conference is virtual, interested entrepreneurs, investors and creatives from all over can register.


Events at this year’s DC Startup Week will be spread across five tracks: growth, founder, social impact, creative economy and culture. The inaugural culture track will be led by Amira El-Gawly, founder and CEO of Manifesta (who recently shared with how she’s avoiding work-from-home burnout).

At 11 a.m. each day, Upside Business Travel cofounder and CEO Scott Case will lead “ask me anything” discussions with founders about the challenges and wins of entrepreneurship.

Here’s some other cool events taking place at DC Startup Week 2020:

  • Monday, Sept. 14 — How To Move From Startup CEO To Scale Up CEO: Learn about the mindset and strategy it takes to scale your business.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15 — How To Take Your Projects From Half-Finished To Done: This session will feature a three-part project planning process.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 16 — Show Me The Money: A No BS Guide To Getting Funded: Learn how to build a strategic fundraising plan and target investors.
  • Thursday, Sept. 17 — Lunch & Learn: Get Unstuck: This interaction session will feature tips and tricks on how to keep your ideas flowing.
  • Friday, Sept. 18 — Increase Your Chances For Success: Choosing The Right Partners: Learn how to choose the right foundational services for your startup as you plan to launch.

The conference normally concludes with a pitch competition, but this year’s pitch event will be a little different. Instead, the competition will be split in two with a semifinal round taking place on Monday, Sept. 14, and a final event happening on Friday, Sept. 18. The first pitch event will feature 10 companies, five of which will advance to the final competition at the end of the conference.

Here’s who’s slated to pitch:

P.S. As part of DCSW, and GiveCampus are partnering for a panel discussion about building a better startup on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 3 p.m. Hear from leaders at fast-growth startups on the most important aspects of building your team, advice on shifting strategy and recruiting/retention strategies. Register here.

Projects: DC Startup Week

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