Denver Startup Week has come to a close and we must say, what an impressive and thought-provoking week full of tips, tricks and networking. Unsurprisingly, Denver Startup Week is one of the largest startup events in the country, as a hotbed of entrepreneurial passion, creativity and drive.
When we attend events like this, we are usually looking through a lense of CSR, sustainability, advertising, creative and public relations. However we are always interested in the ongoing dialogue about solving challenges that our population as a whole faces. There were several sessions that addressed a variety of topics and we were thrilled to listen, learn and share!
Here are some of our top findings:
Pay Attention to Key and Underserved Demographics:
DSW kicked off with keynote speakers Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, the founders of The Skimm. We went in knowing little to nothing about them and left completely inspired by their story and advice. In 2012 these two women saw the lack of attention news and media were giving to a key demographic – millennial women. Millennial women are the largest growing audience but due to their busy lives, have had a hard time connecting with traditional news outlets. The Skimm now reaches 7 million subscribers and have launched additional resources catered to this audience. Not only were these founders extremely personable and relatable they were also extremely forthcoming in their trials and tribulations. When asked how to navigate growth, they answered simply to take the time to step back, see the bigger picture, know when to say yes and be okay saying no (a lot) in order to stay authentic to your growth mission.
Know Your Brand Story and Share It:
During the Denver Startup Week kickoff we got to hear from the Dazbog Coffee founders, who are living out their American dream, Anatoly and Leonid Yuffa. The brothers found a way to honor their Russian immigrant heritage and enjoy the present in a rich cup of coffee. The brothers said the most important advice they have is to know your brand story, and to share it with anyone who will listen.
We were lucky enough to get in to a small workshop held and run by Four Winds Interactive. The workshop revealed something we at Scream practice and preach everyday: Storytelling comes first. Whether it is on a digital platform, a mural on a wall, or a printed brochure, you must know the audience, know how and why they will interact with your campaign, and then design the campaign in an engaging way. So while there was no new magic digital design secret, there was validation in the core of effectively engaging any audience which we know to be to “empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test.”
Offer Solutions Through Tech:
During a tech-based PR Denver Startup Week session we learned about how companies can offer solutions through tech. Companies should be aware of what industries their specific tech can solve problems for. Tech should disrupt the noise and bring efficiency and growth, not only through their tech but with the data that comes from it. The challenge with tech ventures is that there are so many, companies must be sure to shine a light on a problem, then solve it in a variety of ways and industries.
Commit Your Business to Behaving Ethically While Contributing to the Economy:
This is something we strongly believe in at Scream Agency, and as a Certified B Corporation. Companies know that business for profit is no longer enough, there must be a social responsibility aspect behind every business, because consumers are demanding more out of brands. No matter what the issue may be, businesses can make a social impact through the following four steps:
- Accepting responsibility for an issue
- A shared vision throughout the brand
- A framework for action through sustainable development goals, and
- Clearly defined goals and targets
Be sure to share core values through company blogs, reports, brand messaging and videos.