By Ari Chernoff

Now is the time to get excited. Why? Because the largest free entrepreneurial event in the nation is happening September 25-29, and it couldn’t be in a more exciting place. A wildly creative startup community, a burgeoning restaurant scene, and outdoor adventures of every kind right at your fingertips. It doesn’t get much better, and this year’s Denver Startup Week Mentorship Program is the icing on the cake.

We know that entrepreneurship is tough. It’s daunting to leave your safety net behind and sail into uncharted territory. We want you to know there’s an entire community ready and willing to support you as you work to bring your idea to life, and that’s where the mentorship program comes into play. It was created to connect you to successful individuals from across the spectrum to offer early-stage entrepreneurs the advice, support and encouragement they need.

The Mentorship Program, sponsored by Bold Legal and TurtleWise, will be held at The Commons on Champa, Downtown Denver’s entrepreneurship and innovative hub where resources, mentorship and support are available year-round. This year, The Commons is Denver Startup Week’s Basecamp, launched by Chase for Business. After Startup Week, the mentorship program is sticking around, but don’t let that lull you into holding off on signing up. As can be expected, the week draws some big names, so take advantage of the heavy hitters that it will bring into the program. The Commons is bringing in mentors from incredible organizations such as Ibotta, Techstars, ViaWest, SendGrid, Havenly, Revolar, Teatulia and Edible Beats. Don’t wait, it’s worth it.

Break It Down for Me

The mentorship program is made up of three parts: An online platform (run by TurtleWise), office hours, and group mentoring. The online platform is a completely new idea and it’s something to get incredibly excited about. The TurtleWise online program allows advice-seekers to reach out and ask the DSW community questions from anywhere at any time. With the online platform, you have access to our mentors and the entire community throughout the week, and can expect to receive answers and insights within 24 hours. Sign up to get and give advice!

Kevin Walker, Co-Founder & CEO of TurtleWise

TurtleWise was founded by Kevin Walker, a graduate of West Point with an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. When asked about his partnership with Denver Startup Week and The Commons on Champa, Kevin said, “It was a no-brainer for TurtleWise. We’re committed to improving human and business outcomes. Our community is uniquely able to facilitate meaningful exchanges and to provide a virtual platform to help continue the dialogue in a frictionless, real-time and fun environment!”

The second piece of the Mentorship Program is Office Hours, which will give you the face-to-face time that you’re looking for with DSW mentors. Pick one who interests you; tell them about your idea, get curious and make the connection. We’re giving you access to experts and specialists from a wide array of industries, so sign up HERE to reserve your time slot before they run out.

The third piece of the program is Group Mentorship. This allows a limited number of participants (founders only, that is) to join in for an intimate conversation with some of Denver’s most experienced and successful entrepreneurs. We’ll have a highly selective pool of great entrepreneurial mentors working with groups, and we can’t wait to introduce you to them.  Feel like taking a look? Here’s the link.

Startup Week is just around the bend. Come out and celebrate Denver’s entrepreneurial spirit with us, and get connected with some the great startups that are helping us put Denver on the map.

For more information on programs being offered at Startup Week and how to register, go to

Ari Chernoff is a recent graduate of Temple University’s Tourism and Hospitality Management program.  He was the Undergraduate Commencement Speaker at his graduation, where he was asked to discuss the importance of travel in education.  Ari traveled extensively during his undergraduate studies, prioritizing experiences such as volunteering for a summer in the foothills of the Himalaya and interning in Beijing with Dezan Shira & Associates, the largest foreign direct investment practice in Asia.