My impressions of Denver during Denver Startup Week

Following years living in the hustle and bustle New York and the Bay Area, I’ve been ready for a different pace for a while. I randomly stumbled upon DSW’s Ambassador program and decided to apply as a way to plug into a new community and meet some new people. And, my experience was that and so much more. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Ambassador program. 

Here’s what I’m taking away from my incredible experience at Denver Startup Week:

  • There’s no shortage of passion for the city and its potential. I was so impressed by how many people are not only actively engaged in their careers but in the broader Denver community. This was evidenced by the number of people volunteering (with joyful, smiling faces) just happy to be a part of this community-based event.

  • DSW is inclusive. This event is for people of all backgrounds and interests -- you do not need to work at a startup or have an MBA to both contribute and glean value from the experience. I was also impressed with the intentional diversity, equity, and inclusion focus of both the Ambassador program and the larger programming as part of DSW. And, for those of you in the people & culture work, they launched a whole track about people this year! People are a priority!

  • And, Denver cares about conscious growth. I participated in multiple discussions where Denverites were seeking to understand how to consciously grow in a way that honors residents and existing businesses. In many conversations, I observed people acknowledging the present and potential future challenges of growth, and seeking to understand a way to move forward that honors the people and history of the city.

  • The people are genuinely kind, curious, and community-oriented. In almost every conversation I had, the person I was talking with asked: “how can I help you?” One of my personal values is community and connection, so this absolutely made my heart sing. 

  • Denver is a place to have a thriving life. Health, wellness, and balance are a priority in Denver, and this is not lip service. They really mean it. People work hard, but their lives are not only about work. They are about being in nature, enjoy time with their families and friends, and investing in their community. There’s something really beautiful about the lifestyle in Denver and it’s unlike any other place I’ve visited.

  • And it’s a place to have a thriving career!  Don’t mistake thriving life with a lackluster career. Denver’s economy is thriving and the opportunities are endless. This is a great place to start or grow a career. This rang true during host company visits to Ibotta, Evolve Vacation Rental, Pie Insurance, and Guild Education.

I can’t recommend this experience enough. Apply to be a #DSWAmbassador today -- you won’t regret it!