Denver Startup Week 2016: The Largest Startup Week in History!

In partnership with Chase Ink, I was given the opportunity to attend Denver Startup Week 2016. This year’s event hosted more 13,000 attendees and 100 unique sessions, making it North America’s largest free entrepreneurial event. Guests like myself had the opportunity to attend a variety of presentations, workshops, panels, job fairs, and networking sessions.

My favorite presentation was Mel Robbin's “Disrupt Yourself to Accelerate Your Startup Growth,” where Mel took a deep dive into her “5 Second Rule”: the idea that once you think of a goal, you should act on it within five seconds, before your brain begins to make excuses. Mel’s “5 Second Rule” has helped thousands across the country achieve their personal and entrepreneurial goals.

Tweets by Matthew Toren.


Another session I thoroughly enjoyed was “Bootstrapping Without Being Strapped” by Tynan Szvetecz of Commerce Kitchen, Dave Bacon of BWBacon Group, and Mike Freeman of Innosphere. Tynan, Dave, and Mike talked about making financial choices that build your credit history, leverage cash flow, and prevent living paycheck to paycheck. Donna Schulte of JPMorgan Chase, whose passion is educating entrepreneurs on financial fitness, moderated the presentation. Oh, and there were more than 300 guests in attendance—a clear winner.

When it came to networking at the event, a unique part of this year’s Startup Week was Basecamp launched by Chase for Business. Basecamp was a place for guests to refresh and network between sessions. This year’s Basecamp hosted happy hours, short keynotes, and places to chat. Denver Startup Week 2016 was Chase’s fourth year organizing and supporting Basecamp. The company is certainly the perfect sponsor: Chase for Business specializes in building small businesses through their business loans, business credit cards, merchant services, cash management, and other products.

With excellent rewards, employee privileges, and mobile account access, Chase Ink cards are perfect for any small-business owner. The points you collect as a Chase Ink card member are especially useful—I love to use mine on holiday gifts. With the gifting season coming up, credit card points are the perfect reward.

If you missed out on Denver Startup Week 2016, you can learn all about it through the social media hashtags #DENStartupWeek and #ChaseForBiz. You can also read some of my real-time updates on Twitter at @MatthewToren and @Blogtrepreneur.

Make sure you keep an eye out for next year’s Denver Startup Week—or for a Startup Week in your area. And head to Chase’s Business Resource Center for more tools and information on how to better your small business.


Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of, and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley).