What’s in store for DC Startup Week at MakeOffices
Politics might get all the glory in Washington, DC, but the local startup scene deserves the spotlight, too. DC Startup Week was founded to celebrate this fact, and this year’s event—the fourth annual–will be bigger than ever. Between September 9th and 13th, roughly 7000 founders, entrepreneurs, investors and other members of the startup community will have the opportunity to attend 115 events across the city, from panels and networking meetups to pitch competitions and hackathons.
“Everyone is really supportive of one another in this community,” says Rachel Koretsky, founder of upace and Lead Organizer of DC Startup Week. “When you meet another founder, they want to give back, they want to help others go through the process. Especially when you’re a young founder, having that supportive community—people who have been there or are in the trenches—is so important.”
The term startup casts a wide net, too. “The participants aren’t in any one industry,” says Rachel. “That’s the beauty of DC startup week.” This diversity means plenty of opportunities for cross-pollination across industries, including tech, food service, and fashion. And special themed pitch competitions are aimed to help give underrepresented leaders a leg up, including an event that focuses on women-led businesses.
To kick off the week, MakeOffices at the Wharf will be hosting a special pitch competition for teen entrepreneurs. “It’s so important to have them involved with the community,” says Rachel—and that includes the entrepreneurs’ parents and guardians. They’re entrepreneurs along with their child, she says, “That’s really unique to this year.”
On Thursday, September 12, MakeOffices at 2000 Penn is the main location for a day of programming devoted to fundraising. The day-long dive into fundraising and pitching techniques for founders includes sessions like:
- The fundamentals of capital, to prepare founders for outside fundraising–whether from friends and family, seed, angel, or venture capital investment, or corporate gifting.
- Tips on healthy habits for founders, to prevent burnout
- Guidance on creating an authentic brand,
- Tips on design thinking for better user experience,
- A pitch workshop for crafting the perfect message.
The program also coincides with the launch party for our partnership with the George Washington University’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship—MakeOffices will be home to their new GW Innovation+Entrepreneurship Lab, an exciting launchpad for future startup leaders.
Thanks to the flexibility of shared office space, there will be two programs going on every hour, with one programming track in the open common space and another in a large office space. “It’s great for the attendees, with one place where they can go to multiple sessions,” says Rachel. MakeOffices is perfect for an event like this, she explains. “It’s a space that allows for collaboration and discussion.”
Register for DC Startup Week and join the excitement!