Dayton’s largest startup conference returns to the Arcade

Previous-year speakers at Launch Dayton Startup Week. This year's event is Sept. 13-15. CONTRIBUTED

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Previous-year speakers at Launch Dayton Startup Week. This year's event is Sept. 13-15. CONTRIBUTED

Dayton’s largest conference for entrepreneurs and startup founders is returning in-person this fall. Launch Dayton Startup Week, which draws roughly 1,000 attendees annually, will “celebrate, inspire and equip the Dayton region’s startup founders & business owners” to develop their ventures.

The event is Sept. 13 to 15 in the Dayton Arcade and The Hub, and will provide up-and-coming entrepreneurs with talks on access to capital, hands-on marketing workshops, founder wellness strategies, investing in underrepresented founders, proposal-writing for artists, and more.

Organizers have also switched up the schedule to offer a wider variety of talks each day, so that business owners can find a relevant session for any day they’re able to attend.

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“The community spoke, and we listened,” said Launch Dayton Startup Week organizer Audrey Ingram. “Come out to be inspired by the stories of your fellow founders and get your business questions answered on the spot by area resource providers. Let Startup Week be a launching point for you to build a company that will impact our community.”

The conference is intended for emerging businesses in everything from food to art to cutting-edge tech. Top speakers include Chimene Mayne Ross, president and CCO of the Killer Brownie Company. The Killer Brownie brand has expanded from a local retail grocery business inside Dayton’s Dorothy Lane Market to a fully independent wholesale company, expanding in 2020 into a 27,000 square-foot baking and packaging facility, according to the company’s website.

Additionally, marketing professionals Jasmine Milum, John Hegyi, Kameron Seabrook, Christina Mendez and Danielle Phillips will offer insights on converting social media followers into customers, as digital markets like Instagram and TikTok see increased use.

Additionally, there will be a closing party this year that will celebrate local artists, new food businesses and area tech innovators. Startup Week attendees will get first access to this art-food-tech fest before Rotunda doors are opened to the general public Thursday evening, according to the announcement.

Businesses can also apply to be vendors in this year’s Startup Market, with 12 spots available each day to show off local products under $30. Founders are also encouraged to apply for the annual Startup Week Pitch Competition. Tech category winners will receive $10,000 in cash & services, and the main street winner will take home up to $5,000 in cash.

“Our communities are vibrant because entrepreneurs take risks every day and pursue visions for a better world,” said Marya Rutherford Long, vice president and community & economic development manager for Fifth Third Bank, which sponsors the event. “Startup Week offers an invaluable opportunity for those founders to connect to the right people and resources to grow their businesses and to succeed.”

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