Denver Startup Week: 12 Must-Attend Design Sessions

denver-startup-weekDenver Startup Week is here, with sessions every day this week through October 2. Participation is free, and with an entire track devoted to the design community and plenty of networking and inspiration, it’s well worth your time. “It’s not just technology; it’s for everyone,” said Denver Startup Week Designer Track Chair Castle Searcy. “Design is in everything, making Denver a center millennials want to move to. Design is about place making and bringing people to Denver. If we don’t have good design, the right people won’t want to do business here.” We caught up with Searcy to get her picks for design-minded attendees. Below are her top 12 sessions you should add to your schedule this week. And be sure to take her solid advice: “People are interested in design—not just designers. You don’t have to be a designer to come to the events.”

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Becoming a Well-Fed Artist
Monday, September 28 | 4-5:30
We’ve all heard the familiar term “starving artist.” Why not a well-fed artist? In this session on economizing art, we will explore what it takes to be an artist and financially viable. The panel will be moderated by Jennifer Mosquera and Eric Jaenike of Artistry Events & Design. Panelists include:

• Patrick Marold who is currently creating exterior artwork for the new DIA Transit Center
• Dan Sjogren, a modern furniture and home goods designer
• Nicky and Stu Alden from Ink Lounge, designers, screenprinters and creators of the infamous Mancraftival event

Our panelists will kick things off with a series of presentations of who they are, what they do, and how they got there. This will be followed by a moderated panel discussion with a question and answer section. Hosted by: Gensler

2015: A Startup Odyssey Nightcap Lounge in collaboration with the Denver Film Society
Monday, September 28 | 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
THE late night event of Denver Startup Week for 3 years running! In collaboration with the Denver Film Society’s Reel Social Club, mix it up in the Denver Startup Week Nightcap Lounge area created by Impromptu Company. DJ. Free drink with DSW wristband(while supplies last) + drink specials all night.

What’s Your Personal Brand DNA?
Tuesday, September 29 | 10 a.m. to noon
We often hear that being an entrepreneur means following our passion and building a meaningful business model and choosing to work with people with similar values as our own. However, we don’t often hear about how to approach identifying our passion, defining our success and articulating our core values in an analytical process with meaningful metrics and a strategic vision. Corporate brands apply proven methodologies to ensure the success of their brand. We as entrepreneurs should also strategically manage our personal brands to create a meaningful success and pursue it with purpose while enjoying every step of the journey. This presentation will cover the comprehensive landscape of personal branding with the focus on identifying our own meaningful and authentic personal brand DNA.

It’s Past Beer Thirty: How to Differentiate Your Brand in a Saturated Market
Tuesday, September 29 | 2-3:30 p.m. 
Colorado produces more beer than any other state and ranks third in terms of breweries per capita. So it’s no surprise our craft beer industry is booming. But how do you remain relevant in such a popular market? Join branding expert and Brandfolder CEO, Steve Baker, and a panel of your favorite brewers to ingest branding best practices, including defining your brand, building your identity, and differentiating yourself from the competition. We’ll uncover real, beer-based case studies as well as more general branding tips and tricks. This session will feature Matt Neren of Cultivator Advertising and Design, Shannon Berner of Great Divide Brewing Company, Grant Babb from Joyride Brewing Company, Chad Melis from Oskar Blues Brewery and Steve Baker from Brandfolder.

Building Communities In Unexpected Places
Wednesday, September 30 | 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The lead developer for the upcoming Stanley Marketplace—a food-centric adaptive reuse project on the border of Aurora and Stapleton—along with the general contractor for The Source and TAXI share experiences tackling a big project in an unlikely location, and using community as the driving force behind building a business.

The Pen is Mightier than the Computer: Sketch First, Build Later
Wednesday, September 30 | 2-3:30 p.m. 
Creative Director Ian T. Nordeck and Rob Barnes, Owner of iNPEND™ and Foils + Dies Vintage Pressworks, are teaming up to provide an extraordinary workshop experience for Denver Startup Week attendees. Ian T. Nordeck will lead with a workshop about sketching and rapid visualization techniques. The goal of this workshop is to provide individuals with the skills to bring visualization into their ideation process to get to better ideas faster. Wether you are building a site, creating a product or designing a campaign; putting pen or pencil to paper first is the fastest way to collaborate with team members and generate many ideas quickly so you can focus on building the the best ones and not waste valuable time on dead ends. There is a misconception that you need to know how to draw in order to benefit from the process of sketching and visualizing ideas. Ian will guide attendees through several exercises to disrupt this belief and provide people with the skills, techniques and tools to benefit from sketching and rapid visualization. In the second half of the workshop Rob Barnes will lead a workshop where attendees will get the opportunity to build a one-of-a-kind custom iNPEND™ notebook. Attendees will get to design their own cover art using Foils + Dies incredible collection of vintage wood type. Each will get the opportunity to print their cover design on a Vandercook Proofing Press, and assemble the notebooks by selecting from a variety of paper and finishing options. Attendees will leave our workshop armed with not only the skills and confidence to make sketching part of their process, but they will also have the best journal on the market, designed and printed by their own hand, to start capturing all their ideas and sketches.

PechaKucha Denver Vol. 27: Brewing a Better Denver
Wednesday, September 30 | 7-9:30 p.m.
PechaKucha is a simple presentation where the speaker shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds, while speaking to the images. This informal and fun gathering will feature creative people sharing their ideas, works and thoughts around how to “Brew a Better Denver.” Come listen, learn and then participate in the post-presentation forum where you’ll get a chance to meet the presenters and discuss their ideas and yours. Refreshments will be provided.

Startup Style: Peddling to RiNo’s Most Unique Spaces
Thursday, October 1 | 3-5 p.m.
A cornerstone of the RiNo neighborhood is the re-purposing of existing buildings for use by many of Denver’s most exciting companies – restaurants, offices, retail stores – and in turn, RiNo is becoming an important hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in Denver. This Pedal Hopper tour stops at a series of fascinating businesses in RiNo where you will meet with the company founders and get their insights on how they transformed their space into what it is today and why RiNo is a neighborhood where their business can thrive. Join us at Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club, Laundry on Lawrence, and Topo Designs to meet these visionary business leaders and discuss what design principles they implemented to align with their company’s mission. Between stops, tour guides will direct the Pedal Hopper conversation and make sure you meet your fellow RiNo tourists.

How Placemaking Helps Drive Innovation
Thursday, October 1 | 4-5:30 p.m.
Millennials are flocking to Denver in record numbers. LoDo, LoHi, RINO, Highlands, Curtis Park, and South Broadway neighborhoods, just to name a few, are exploding with entrepreneurial and innovative places to live, work and play. At this interactive roundtable session learn how developers, designers, market researchers and real estate think tanks are creating dynamic mixed use communities, projects and public spaces in Denver to attract this innovative segment of the population. Understand how physical places, infrastructure and our environment help to attract and retain innovation economy residents and workers.

Friday, October 2 | 8:30-10 a.m.
CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.

In House vs. Agency: Where Do We Go With Design?
Friday, October 2 | 12-1:30 p.m.
There are so many different aspects of a new business to consider when embarking on the road to startup success, that often design is left until the very last. But as design and branding are quickly becoming more important to every business, startups are asking themselves much earlier where they should go when it comes to graphic design, web design and branding – create an in-house design team? or hire an agency to do the work? Ian Atchison from the Denver design firm Insyntrix, and Rebecca Yaffe who leads the In-House Creative Team at HomeAdvisor, address this dilemma by answering many of the questions voiced by both startups and established businesses: Is it less expensive to hire an agency or go in-house? Can we use both resources effectively? Will an agency know our business well enough to give us what we want? Will an in-house team be creative enough to produce cutting-edge work?

Cotton Blend: A T-shirt Art Show
Friday, October 2 | 6-9 p.m.
Cotton Blend is a limited edition, curated T-shirt art show, featuring designs from denver/boulder artists and designers.

Opening Reception at Mode Set / Ello HQ (1610 Little Raven, suite 135, Denver). Complimentary cocktails from Spring 44, keg by Ratio Beerworks and boozy ice cream sundaes featuring Deliciousness Jam from RedCamper. Proceeds from the show will be donated to DAVA, a non-profit that provides free after school and summer art classes for kids who don’t have art in their schools in the denver area.


Build your schedule and register online. 


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