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Monday, September 11, 2017

Meet Your Next Mentor: Mentor Speed Dating & Networking! Sponsored by Talener.

In entrepreneurship, who you know can make or break your company's success. This exclusive speed-mentoring event gives you an unprecedented opportunity to connect with DC's leading entrepreneurship experts. With expertise in fundraising, team-building, marketing, legal, and more, the mentors lined up are ready to share how they grew successful businesses. Come for the level-up network experience, stay for the real connections and advice you won't hear anywhere else.

Mentors include:
Mary Iafelice, humble ventures
Callum Booker, Associate at NextGen VP
Rob Runett, Lead Project Manager, Next Adventures at The Motley Fool
John Keeling, SVP Business Development, The Motley Fool
Sibyl Edwards, Co-Founder Black Female Founders
Zach Giegel, CEO and Founder at GSP Consulting
Karen McCord, CEO at Breezio
Philip Olive, CEO and Managing Partner of Experiencia Social, LLC
C'Pher Gresham, National Expansion at Seed Spot
Kristina Francis, CEO and Founder at Esteem Logic
Natty Zola, Managing Director at TechStars
Lex McCusker, Director of Student Entrepreneurship at George Washington University Entrepreneurship
Xina Eiland, CEO and Founder at Xina PR
Jim Chung, GW's Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Larry Cynkin, Consulting CTO, GreenBar

Featured in The Washington Business Journal and Entrepreneur, The Mentor Method is a social enterprise that provides curated mentor matches, connecting the next generation of tech leaders with change-making mentors at the top of their game.

Thank you to our light breakfast sponsor, Talener and The Mentor Method for hosting the full event.

How to tell your Startup Story!

Any growing startup knows the importance of communicating value to a variety of stakeholders - potential customers, investors, and talent. In this session, you will learn the art of crafting a narrative and how to employ it across different channels and audiences. It won't suck!

Email Marketing Strategies to Achieve 40x ROI

Please join us for an engaging workshop about email marketing best practices. Full of real world examples, this workshop contains a variety of actionable takeaways that you can implement yourself.

- Learn how to authentically grow your email list
- Easy strategies for better customer segmentation
- How to build a strong Call to Action
- Why A/B testing is critical to email campaign success

5 Costly Errors That Destroy Startups: Lunch & Learn

Are you an entrepreneur who thinks the "legal stuff" is not that important? Maybe, you started your business without first establishing a solid legal foundation. Or perhaps, you figured you would just wing it and wait to get into legal trouble before speaking to or hiring an attorney. During this session, attendees will learn: the common legal errors that start ups make and how to avoid them why legal is an important and necessary investment for their business the steps to keep their business out of the legal hot seat. Please bring your own lunch!

How to Talk Tech: An intro to the language of software development

What’s your stack? What frameworks are you using? What APIs are you working with? Upon entering the world of tech startups, you’re immersed in new terminology of coding languages, software tools, and development methodologies. We’ll discuss key terms that will help you hire developers, talk to investors, and grow your tech business. At the end of this talk, we will open up for Q&A to talk about any issues specific to your business.

Office Hours with SendGrid (Sign up required)!

Sign up here: for a 20-minute session with Jennfier from SendGrid to discuss:

  • Growing your email list 
  • Transactional Emails 
  • Customer Segementation
  • A/B testing
  • SendGrid Accelerate- Program for Startups 

SendGrid is a Techstars company founded in 2009. We have developed a cloud-based platform that solves the challenge of email delivery. We successfully deliver over 1 billion customer engagement emails each day for Internet and mobile-based customers like Airbnb, Pandora, Spotify, Uber and FourSquare. 

How to execute a data-driven growth strategy: A workshop for Startup Founders and Growth Hackers

Growth is critical to the future of your business, but doing so strategically and consistently can be one of the greatest challenges that startup founders face. In this workshop, we’ll chat about three critical growth areas: Retention, Viral Growth and Paid Growth. We’ll analyze successful strategies and share tangible, data-driven tools that you can immediately put to use to grow your business.

How to get the most out of an accelerator?

Startup accelerators have helped thousands of companies build their business, but how do you get the most out of an accelerator? Join Natty Zola, MD for Techstars Boulder, for a session discussing accelerators and how to get the most out of them.

Startup Accelerators: AMA with Natty Zola, MD for Techstars

Interested in learning more about startup accelerators? Join Natty Zola, MD for Techstars Boulder for an info session on accelerators. Techstars has had over 1000 companies go through their accelerator and will be there to answer any questions you have about Techstars, accelerators, and startups. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Starting a #MadeinDC Business and its Economic Impact

How can connecting small and local businesses in DC with big businesses and institutions spur economic development? In conversations with Think Local First DC, a nonprofit business alliance, and Cureate Connect, an innovative procurement platform, local makers and business owners will share their stories of finding meaningful connections in growing their operations and community by working together. 

Launching a Startup Without a Tech Background

Think it's not possible to build a startup unless you know how to code? Not true! Come learn about options and pitfalls for building and launching a product when you aren't an engineer and have no technical co-founder.

Applying Intuition To Grow Your Business

Do you sometimes feel like you're walking on eggshells when it comes to making business decisions? The two top personality traits of entrepreneurs are intuition and perception. We all have them, but don't always practice them because we're often so caught up in our daily grind and end up operating on autopilot. Learn how to maximize your intuitive power so that you're better equipped to make conscious, optimized decisions for yourself, your business, your team and your clients. 

Ideation Jam Session | How Might We Create a Culture of Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC

Do you have the desire to help reimagine how might we support small business in creating a Culture of Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC? Join us for an exchange of ideas on how to create a local innovation community, build a collaborative experience around pressing business, cultural, and environmental challenges.  This jam session is for all entrepreneurs, future entrepreneurs, and innovation-focused individuals. You will have the opportunity to share and pitch ideas using Human Centered Design strategies — with an entrepreneur-first focus — to tackle challenges faced by entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Making it Rain: Attracting Funding & Finding Investors If You're A Minority Founder

Join Black Female Founders (#BFF) as we discuss the holy grail for all startups - getting funding for your business! Attracting investors and securing capital does not have to be daunting quest or impossible for minority/diverse founders. In this provactive and interactive panel, our financing and investment experts will share their extensive expertise, on how to break through the wall of the mostly exclusive ‘investor club’.

During our panel we will discuss how to:
- Grow your network of investors and advisors
- Overcome any deficits to keep investors on board
-Develop alternative sources of funding
- Gage when best to reach out to investors
- Decide how much equity to give an investor
- And more...

Come hear and learn how to grow equity and build your business!

The Public Good App House: Apps for Social Good and Public Good Technology

The Public Good App House is a non-profit initiative that promotes local technology responses to global problems, using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the taxonomy. We advocate for more sharing around developed technology projects, so that communities worldwide can benefit from open-source or free technology tools, even if they were created half a world away. The Public Good App House works on creating and supporting community around technology for social good, and amplifies the reach of technology projects that work towards solving community problems. During the presentation, we will show examples of innovative apps that have been demoed during our events, We will show the wiki that we use to catalog public good apps, and make a call to action for others to help raise the profile of local projects that are working towards attaining the SDGs.

We are actively seeking demo participants to share their public good technology apps and projects at a festival-style conference to be held in DC this coming November.

Come to learn about the larger community initiative and the festival in this session.

Inclusive Design and Power of Constraints

Many Product, Services and Experiences (PSEs ) such as the flexible drinking straw, OXO Good Grips, Rolling Luggage, and sidewalk ramps were initially created to address a unique diverse ability that resulted in benefiting all universally.

Currently, diverse abilities have proven more challenging to address due to increased use of mobile technology at points of interaction, both on and offline.

The challenges presented also provide a design constraint to: check assumptions and challenge the myth of the “average user”; recognize opportunities presented in identifying diverse user ability; and design inclusive PSEs that are relatable and effortless for both customers and users.

Let’s Tackle Tech Inclusion!

Let’s face it, the news lately has been a bit grim on the tech front. From Uber, GitHub, and even Google, tech inclusion is all over the news. It's about time we stopped talking about tech inclusion and do something about it. After years of creating more inclusive and diverse communities, Wetogethr has developed an immersive, hands-on workshop that lays out several steps for improving inclusion within organizations and startups.

In our workshop, we will tackle:
-How job descriptions determine the “types” of candidates who apply
- Why your company team page says way more than you think
- How to organically build pipelines to your organization to attract the best and the brightest talent
- How to retain and develop diverse talent in your organization

This is going to be the most ‘realest’ workshop you can take part in.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mastering Body Language for Business

What you say is not nearly as important as how you say it: 93% of communication is nonverbal. Entrepreneurs face many body language challenges while starting their business, especially since they wear so many hats. Mastering simple body language techniques can help you save costs, get higher returns, increase your bottom line, and make connections to sustain your business. In this workshop, the Co-Founder of Innovazing, Saleema Vellani, and award-winning actress, Stella Damasus, will share body language tips and tricks so you can increase your sales, win negotiations, and build rapport with your team members and clients.

The Most Important GrowthHack: Why and How Mission-focused Businesses Rise to the Top

Leah Nurik, CEO of Gabriel Marketing Group, one of the tech industry’s fastest growing marketing/PR agencies, will speak on how some of the world’s most innovative and mission-focused tech companies are unleashing the power of digital marketing and PR to drive growth and rise to the top. Leah will also share noteworthy tricks for building out your team’s knowledge base to put your brand on the hyper growth track.

How Tech Startups are Changing Politics

Technology is disrupting politics, and campaigns have no choice but to get on board. Backroom dealmaking is out – voters define today’s agenda. Savvy campaigns are finding that the new digital landscape, influx of data, and emerging technologies empower greater insight into – and connection to – voters. Abandoning direct mail for direct text and gut instinct for machine learning, they can mobilize supporters with strong personalized outreach. DC is the epicenter of this sweeping change. Learn the current state of political tech and the opportunities for entrepreneurs in the space.

How to Combat Violent Extremism Online?

The Countering Violent Extremism Task Force (administratively housed at DHS) and the DC-based digital marketing firm Fifth Tribe are looking to host an 1 hour workshop for startups and community organizations to cover best practices of creating counter-messaging campaigns online against extremist groups. In this workshop, we will start with an overview of what is taking place in the online space and cover best practices with online and offline marketing techniques. 

Panelists include:

Clara Tsao, Chief Technology Officer, Countering Violent Extremism Task Force
Khuram Zaman CEO, Fifth Tribe

Friday, September 15, 2017

Balancing Features, Functions, and Funds

In an ideal world we would have unlimited budgets to apply cool technologies to solve high impact problems with the most talented people in the world. In our world we don't. This session identifies the keys to creating amazing products while balancing the natural pressures features functions and funds

How to create your pitch deck!

Learn how to create your pitch decks with:

  • Design
  • Strategy
  • Fundraising considerations