Check out the agenda for Startup Week Tampa Bay, Oct. 5-9

Techstars Startup Week Tampa Bay, a free five-day event focused on community and entrepreneurship, will be Monday, Oct. 5 through Friday, Oct. 9.
In keeping with its mission to "develop and support our thriving community by providing industry-leading knowledge to empower entrepreneurs across Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg," the event gathers professionals and leaders from the region and provides them with the tools and connections they need to succeed.
Now in its sixth year, Techstars Startup Week Tampa Bay will cover a broad spectrum of topics, from legal and marketing to tech and finance, in a virtual event packed with engaging tracks from start to finish. An "opening party" session, with Tampa mayor Jane Castor, and JR Griggs, founder of Red Wall Marketing and Techstars Startup Week Tampa Bay organizer, will wrap day one. 

Throughout the event, participants can choose events that are grouped into tracks of similar topics of interest. Local and global business leaders are brought in to share their expertise to motivate and inspire the entrepreneurial community.

"After Startup Week, participants benefit from a strong connection and a new sense of inclusion within the local professional community," says JR Griggs, organizer of Tampa Bay Startup Week. "It’s this support network that can make the difference between closing up shop and pushing through to success."

From experience, Tampa knows how to get it done.

What began as a startup weekend nearly 10 years ago gained traction and evolved into a five-day event that has been going strong since 2015. 

"While startup week happens all over the world, Tampa is one of the premier cities because we were one of the founding cities of the startup weekend," explains Griggs. "We had a group of people that just thought it was cool and started doing it. And then Techstars reached out and asked if Tampa would be one of the flagship cities for startup week. We tend to put on a pretty good show; they like the event we put together."

Griggs, who started as the marketing lead in 2016, has witnessed its enormous growth not only in content but in attendance.

That's been huge for us, the number of people that keep coming in," he says. "We get thousands of people registering every year."

"The quality of content has certainly gone up, because of the attention we get, we get more speakers to speak. With Gary Vaynerchuk in 2018 as our keynote, that really put us on the map globally, which was great."

Griggs says that the deluge of attendees, while phenomenal, makes it harder to pull off the event in more intimate venues.

Historically, Techstars Startup Week Tampa Bay has been hosted by venues like Tampa's Armature Works and Three Daughters Brewing in St. Pete. Pre-pandemic, before the decision to go virtual, there were plans to conduct it at a venue sizeable enough to handle the influx of participants. "We tend to call it a kind of a street conference because it's very urban," Griggs says. "Usually it's in local places around the city, not in big conference halls, although this year, the plan was to have it at the convention center, because we've outgrown the ability to find small local places to do it." 

See the complete schedule and visit the registration page to save your seat.

Read more articles by Allison Koehler.

Allison Koehler is a Cleveland-area native who now lives in Tampa by way of Detroit. She resides in Seminole Heights with her partner, Phil, and three children -- one human and two cats. When she isn't writing, she's watching pro football, listening to music, or streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime. 
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