By Dave Fidlin
A year ago, Bankers Hill resident Colette Mauzeralle spoke at San Diego Startup Week, the annual event that puts a spotlight on the city’s startup culture and its continued emergence.
The conference features speakers helping attendees turn their ideas into a reality as well as helping small businesses grow through developing a business plan, finding investors and hiring the right people. This is also accomplished through events during the week including pitch competitions, a career incubator, mentorship opportunities and even a startup crawl.
Mauzeralle, founder of Contour PR, said the experience has stuck with her in the 12 months since and is looking forward to continuing the enriching experience she was part of last year.
“The vibe at San Diego Startup Week is wholly inclusive and supportive,” Mauzeralle said, pointing out one of the reasons she appreciates the networking opportunity. “The business world can be competitive, yet at Startup Week, there is a feeling of camaraderie that pervades the event.”
San Diego Startup Week — or, as it sometimes is known, SDSW — is an offshoot of Startup San Diego, the nonprofit organization that provides resources throughout the year to the city’s entrepreneurial community. Last year’s event drew over 3,000 people and more are expected this year.
This year’s SDSW, under the theme, “We Are San Diego,” kicks off Tuesday, May 28, and runs through Sunday, June 2.
Daniel Goldstein, co-founder of the startup Trust & Will, has been attending SDSW in recent years. Goldstein, who also lives in Uptown, said he has benefited from the program and looks forward to what’s ahead this year.
“It is designed to grow our whole ecosystem, and I’ve seen so many people benefit from the teaching, mentoring, networking and overall attitude,” Goldstein said of SDSW.
San Diego is home to more than 400 startups and as San Diego continues to show it has the chops to embrace the startup culture that long has epitomized Silicon Valley, Goldstein said platforms such as SDSW help raise awareness of the growing trend.
“SDSW helps our city embrace entrepreneurship and give people stepping stones for next steps in their own journey,” he said. “I am honored to have been part of it the past few years, and I hope to contribute and learn in the coming years.”
This year’s program, in its seventh year, will be held at multiple venues across the region, including the San Diego Convention Center, MAKE creative office space in Carlsbad and Border X Brewing in Barrio Logan.
Across the border, a portion of the program also is slated to take place in Tijuana with sessions focused on networking and binational partnerships.
Mia Mian, a former North Park resident, serves as co-director of SDSW and holds the distinction of being its first female leader. As she looks to this year’s program, Mian said “quality and inclusion” are among the takeaways she hopes participants gather as they attend this year’s program.
“We hope that this is an accessible and enriching experience for all of our attendees, from space to content to the connections they make and get to foster through the year,” Mian said.
In a statement provided to Uptown News, Jarrod Russell, executive director of SDSW, said this year’s program serves as recognition of its growth since the first offering was rolled out to the startup community in 2012.
“It truly is remarkable what the San Diego community has achieved through this grassroots effort,” Russell said.
In the statement, Russell also said the program’s “incredible volunteers, sponsors and community partners … make (SDSW) possible.”
Final details are being polished as the countdown to May 28 draws closer, but Russell and other organizers plan on showcasing more than 150 events across the 6-day event, with experts offering insight in a disparate number of topics. Among them: the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, sales and marketing, biotech, venture and capital.
All told, Russell said thousands of entrepreneurs, developers, designs, investors, strategic advisors, community leaders and talent are expected to take part in this year’s SDSW.
For full details on this year’s SDSW, visit www.sandiegostartupweek.com
— Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.