Registration is LIVE for 2020 Techstars Startup Week Dayton!

Week-long, free entrepreneurship conference brings out top speakers

Registration is LIVE for the 2020 Techstars Startup Week Dayton, Sept. 21-25, online.


In its fifth year, this free, annual, week-long, entrepreneur-led, community-focused conference brings together the region’s entrepreneurs and small business owners — this year in a virtual setting. All experiences are welcome — whether a seasoned entrepreneur or new to the community, there is space to jump in.

“We’re excited to bring Startup Week back for a fifth year, and while we’re disappointed we can’t see everyone in person this year, we hope this pivot to a virtual event will allow more people to tap into the expertise and energy in Dayton’s startup community,” said John Owen, Wright State Applied Research Corporation Program manager and lead organizer for Techstars Startup Week Dayton.

On Monday & Tuesday, Sept. 21-22, Startup Week Dayton will bring the community together around inspirational local founders offering advice applicable across industries. High level speakers who will grace the virtual main stage include:

  • Marty Grunder, founder of Grunder Landscaping;
  • Kala Gibson, Executive Vice President & Head of Business Banking at Fifth Third Bank, as well as MORTAR Board Chair;
  • Jerricha Hoskins, founder of million-dollar haircare line Arcani Coil Care;
  • Robin Gentry-McGee, the Functional Formularies founder who recently sold her medtech company;
  • Erica McGeady, founder of EricaFitLove and trainer on The Biggest Loser;
  • Lance Juhas, COO of Piada;
  • Stephen Hightower, founder of Hightowers Petroleum Co. one of the country’s largest fuel suppliers.

Wednesday through Friday, attendees will be able to delve deeper into their own business needs with industry-specific tracks that include sessions on how to find funding and customers in the food & beverage, health/beauty/wellness products, medtech, materials & manufacturing and defense industries. Topics & speakers include:

  • in Health/Beauty/Wellness: Holistic Branding — How to Stand out in a Crowded Marketplace;
  • in Medtech: Don’t Tell Me, Show Me: 12 Months of MedTech Deals;
  • in Food & Beverage: The Rapid Fired, Hot Head Story, from founder Ray Wiley;
  • in Defense: A Look Forward at USAF R&D Priorities, Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, Air Force Research Lab Commander;
  • in Materials & Manufacturing: The State of Manufacturing in Ohio, from JobsOhio’s Glenn Richardson.

Monday evening will wrap with a social event featuring two local businesses — snag your signature Startup Week cocktail from new avant-garde bar Tender Mercy and play Dayton startup trivia hosted by Liftoff Entertainment.

Tuesday evening will feature the annual Startup Week Early Risers Pitch Competition. Ten startups across both tech and main street categories will compete for cash prizes. Apply to pitch by Sept. 8.

Throughout the evening, we’ll also present the first Launch Dayton Startup Storytelling Night in collaboration with LORE. Founders, including The Chicken Spot’s Anthony Head and Baba Love Organics’ Vaniti Bryd, will take the virtual stage between pitches to share their launch stories.

“Winning the pitch competition during Startup Week Dayton was by far one of the most exciting milestones yet for Baba Love Organics,” said Byrd, who was one of the 2019 Startup Week Early Risers Pitch Competition winners. “It was my first time to compete among other small business owners and share the Baba Love vision in front of so many guests.”

View the full Techstars Startup Week Dayton 2020 schedule here.

This year, Startup Week Dayton will also broadcast 30-second pre-recorded elevator pitches from attendees between sessions. Submit a 30-second recording introducing yourself and your business and sharing a need. We’ll broadcast it to connect you to the community in the room who can help you move your company forward. Submit your elevator pitch here.

Techstars Startup Week Dayton 2020 is made possible through support from title sponsors Fifth Third Bank, The Entrepreneurs Center and Wright State Applied Research Corporation.

We can’t wait to see you at Techstars Startup Week Dayton 2020! Register here today!

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