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Dawn Lepore will be a featured speaker at this year's Startup Day
Dawn Lepore will be a featured speaker at this year’s Startup Day

Do you want to get inspired by some of the region’s top entrepreneurial thinkers, innovators and doers? Of course, you do.

GeekWire Startup Day — our big startup bootcamp — is taking place on Friday, Oct. 25th at the Showbox Sodo. Yep, it is fast approaching. And this is a friendly reminder to budget-conscious startups (like us) that early-bird ticket prices will be ending this Friday, so don’t snooze. Make sure to register today before prices go up.

Now, with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, I wanted to share some additional details about what we’ve got in store for Startup Day this year. First, I am excited to announce several new speakers to the lineup, some top-notch tech leaders who’ve built big companies and learned some hard lessons in the startup trenches.

Former CEO Dawn Lepore will be delivering a talk on attracting advisors and forming boards, explaining the ins and outs of what entrepreneurs should know. We can think of no one better than Dawn to deliver this talk, given her past board roles at Wal-Mart, The New York Times and eBay. Wow! Dawn, a board member at AOL who earlier this month joined the board of RealNetworks and started advising Seattle startup SquareHub, is a passionate speaker and we’re looking forward to her insights on this important topic.

Also new to the lineup is Marc Barros, the founder of Contour. You may have already read some of Marc’s guest posts on GeekWire about entrepreneurship, some of the most candid and compelling content we’ve featured on the site on the topic. Marc will be offering advice about the hard lessons associated with founder-to-CEO transitions, and sharing lessons about what entrepreneurs can learn from failure. It’s a sobering and tough topic, and Marc is the guy to deliver the message.

Box CEO Aaron Levie at GeekWire’s 2012 Startup Day

Lepore and Barros join an all-star cast of speakers that we’ve lined up this year to inform, inspire and motivate — something that I know we sometimes can use running our own startup here at GeekWire. Other speakers include Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman who’ll be talking about how to manage yourself as a startup CEO; SquareHub founder Dave Cotter who’ll offer insights on work-life balance from a “startup dad;” and Smartsheet founder Brent Frei who’ll deliver a talk titled: “Resuscitating a Product on Life Support.” Gov. Jay Inslee will kick off the day, offering his take on the importance of startups to the state.

You can see the full speaker agenda here. I am sure you’ll walk away armed with key lessons that you can apply to your own startup — how to grow it from a seed of an idea to a full-blown business powerhouse.

Speaking of growing your companies, one new thing we’ve added this year is the Startup Demo Zone — a unique opportunity for early-stage startups to showcase their offerings to the crowd of investors, entrepreneurs and developers. Participants who purchase a Demo Zone ticket will get to tout their products throughout Startup Day in a special presentation area; meet one-on-one with a leading investor; and earn a chance to pitch live on stage that day to our fantastic panel of VCs and angels, including Ignition’s Frank Artale; Madrona’s Greg Gottesman and super angels Geoff Entress and Rudy Gadre. (Last year’s winning entrepreneur walked off stage with a personal check from a VC).

StartupDay_2013_200x225 copySlots are limited in the Demo Zone and they are filling up, so make to jump on this opportunity if you’re an entrepreneur looking for a bit of extra exposure or financing advice. This is a super value, so feel free to reach out to me directly if you have questions on the Zone. ([email protected])

We’ve got a ton of other great things in store at this year’s Startup Day, including experts like Haiku Deck CEO Adam Tratt; designer extraordinaire Kyle Kesterson; and 9Mile Labs creator Sanjay Puri in our Startup Resource Center. And then there’s the fun-filled Battle of the Geek Bands after party featuring geek rockers from companies such as Avalara, DoubleDown and ExtraHop. (Just two more slots are available, so reach out to GeekWire’s Daniel Rossi at [email protected] for entry fees and other details).

We’ll be back to tell you more in the coming days about some other things we’ve got cooking at Startup Day this year, which is shaping up to be our biggest one yet. But, for now, make sure to grab your tickets while early-bird rates are in effect. If you’re an entrepreneur; an intrapreneur or someone who just wants to get inspired in how to think more creatively about business, Startup Day is the place for you.

Get your GeekWire Startup tickets here or below. Looking forward to seeing you Oct. 25!

A big thanks to our sponsors for helping to make Startup Day possible: Wave Business SolutionsMozKnollDouble Down Interactive, the Museum of History and IndustryAvalaraWilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, BudweiserAmazon Web ServicesHughes Media Law GroupPerkins Coie9Mile Labs, and TechStars (which is holding its Demo Day and after-party the day before at the same venue). Startup Day is part of Startup Week, presented by GeekWire and taking place from Oct. 18 to Oct. 30. It features more than a dozen events. For additional sponsor opportunities, contact GeekWire Chief Business Officer Daniel Rossi at [email protected]

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