Career development / DC / DC Startup Week / Events

Here are 9 can’t-miss sessions at next week’s DC Startup Week

Tune into keynote talks, AI panels and even a speed-dating session at the annual event for local founders and startup enthusiasts.

(L to R) editor Sameer Rao and Northern Virginia Technology Council CEO and President Jennifer Taylor during DC Startup Week 2022. (Courtesy DC Startup Week) is a media partner for DC Startup Week.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said that DC Startup Week organizers will not be livestreaming sessions this year. They will actually aim to stream about three sessions per day. (10/11/2023, 9:13 a.m.) 

If you’re thinking about attending DC Startup Week, held Oct. 16-20, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed looking at this list of over 150 events.

Of note: Organizers are aiming to livestream about three per day. And with many sessions to choose from, it might be a little hard to figure out what you should be calling out of work, hiring a babysitter or pushing back a project for. But have no fear, we pulled together some of our top picks for the week’s events, which will be held all over DC and feature some powerhouse local speakers.

View the full schedule

Monday, Oct. 16

The CAVA Story: From a Local Idea to Going Public with CEO Brett Schulman

11:15 to 11:45 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Library

Brett Schulman, cofounder and CEO of CAVA, speaks about his journey from the beginnings of the restaurant chain in 2006 to its IPO earlier this year.

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Startup Showcase & Competition

12 to 2 p.m. at the National Union Building

Consumer packaged goods brands take part in DCSW’s inaugural showcase and competition for startups in this space.

Tuesday, Oct. 17

How to Build a Niche AI Startup and Cut Through the Noise

11:25 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at the National Union Building

This panel covers how you can identify unique opportunities in AI, build a promising product and stand out among others in this popular sector. Panelists include FIN Digital CEO Marcus Finley, CoNote Cofounder and CTO Nisha Iyer, IndyGeneUS AI Founder and CEO Yusuf Henriques, and Mentor and Advisor Debra Cancro.

Looming Recession: How Investors Navigate Risk, Returns, and Impact in the Current Economic Climate – A Guide for Founders and Impact Investors

4:40 to 5:25 p.m. at the National Union Building’s own Sameer Rao hosts this panel on the challenges and opportunities among impact investors and how they might move forward in a changing landscape. Panelists include Calver Impact Capital Director Kevin Fanfoni, JPMorgan Chase Executive Director Katherine Hunter and Squadra Ventures Principal Arianne Price.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

Developer-Founder Speed Dating

4:15 to 5 p.m. at Expansive Coworking

You never know when you might find your one true (work) love. Founders looking for a technical cofounder and developers looking for their next opportunity can take part in a speed-dating-style networking event to find The One (you might found your startup with). ThinkNimble marketer Katie McKenzie hosts.

Thursday, Oct. 19

Scaling Innovation the Nordic Way — A Technopreneur’s Perspective for Sustainable Impact and Growth for Your Startup

1:45 to 2:25 p.m. at Studio By Tishman Speyer

Fori CEO Musstanser Tinauli flies in all the way from Oslo for a session on Nordic innovation and how that lens can help with fresh takes for solving the biggest problems of today.

Doing It All: How Female Founders and Funders Juggle Startups, Funding, and Family

3:30 to 4:10 p.m. at International Square Conference Center

All-star founders Angel Livas (ALIVE Podcast Network), Kalsoom Lakhani (i2i Ventures) and Cameron Hardesty (Poppy) share their journeys of running a business, motherhood and more in this panel.

Friday, Oct. 20

Fireside Chat: The Business of Wellness: Building A Mental Health Technology Company That Impacts Millions

10:30 to 11 a.m. at the National Building Museum’s Michaela Althouse (yours truly) moderates a conversation with Daniel Lieberman, the senior VP of mental health at Him & Hers — a company you probably know from your Instagram ads. This discussion will cover business, ethics and more in building a medtech startup.

DCSW23 Early & Growth Stage Pitch Competition

1:30 to 2:15 p.m. at the National Building Museum

Don’t miss the annual event pulling together some of the top startups around. Founders of 10 startups will compete in two tracks for funding and the next step up for their company.

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