Sep 15, 2023 - News

Denver Startup Week shines spotlight on AI

Illustration of a human hand and a computer cursor hand engaged in a handshake

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Denver Startup Week returns with a focus on something that's top of mind in the tech world: artificial intelligence.

Driving the news: The weeklong event starting Monday expects to draw roughly 10,000 people downtown to sessions and panel discussions.

Catch up quick: Downtown Denver Partnership CEO Kourtny Garrett, whose agency is responsible for putting together the startup week, tells us that with AI permeating nearly every industry, panel discussions will focus on exploring its potential — including its current uses and drawbacks.

Of note: At least 25 out-of-state investors will be in attendance, Elyse Kent, head of platform at Access Venture Partner, tells us.

  • Many are drawn by the city's warm economic climate: Kent said when compared to cities like Austin or Chicago, the Mile High City is much more collaborative and far less competitive.

Context: This year's event takes shape after venture capital funding dropped in the state from 2021 to 2022, rattled by labor shortages and layoffs.

  • Chris Erickson, co-founder and managing partner at Range Ventures, says he expects a bounce back due to interest from initial public offerings this year by companies like Instacart, Klayvio and Arm.

What they're saying: "I'm just generally excited about the breadth of different types of sessions and discussion they offer," Erickson tells us.

  • He said what makes this week different from similar events is it offers sessions for people at basically any stage, from someone interested in starting a business to people looking to invest.

Pro tip: The first four days will feature multiple sessions, so use its website to help narrow down what to attend.

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