Twin Cities Startup Week Aug 25, 2020 4:10:23 PM 13 min read

How to Make the Most of TCSW 2020

Attending events can be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business. It gets you out of your regular routine, introduces you to new thoughts and insights, helps connect you to thought leaders like yourself, and so much more. 

We’ll be kicking off TCSW 2020 with an Opening Party on September 7th from 2-9pm! Come join us at Lake Monster Brewing Co. to start off a month of innovation — socially distant, of course!

Some things to know:

  • There will be a drive through to pick up 2020 T-shirts and other swag! Please wear masks when saying hello to our volunteers and staff.
  • Attendees must make reservations for the “Socially Distant Patio Party” and can do so here.
  • Ticketed guests will receive a beer token on us. VIP guests will receive two!
  • There will be a food truck for dinner time! Stay tuned for updates on the lineup!
  • Lake Monster has expanded their patio for ample space to accommodate social distance needs for this TCSW event — which includes a large tent for shade.
  • TCSW participants will be allowed inside the brewery to order beer but all seating will be outdoors. 

More details can be found on Emamo — we can’t wait to see you there!

Want to join the party? GET YOUR 2020 TCSW TICKET NOW!  

And, to ensure the rest of TCSW is beneficial and successful, we suggest going in prepared and being intentional in your approach.

We’ve compiled some strategies below to help you take advantage of and discover opportunities at Twin Cities Startup Week 2020.

How to Prepare for Attending TCSW 2020

Planning ahead is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for attending a startup event. Take some time before the event begins to set goals, plan your agenda, and make a list of people you want to meet and sessions you want to attend while you're there. This will help you feel more prepared, go in with more confidence, and find more value in the experience. 

1. Set goals, and define how you'll meet them
Before you get to TCSW 2020, you should have a clear idea of what you hope to gain from it! Start by asking yourself why you're attending. Are you going in order to:

  • Look for a new job?
  • Find new employees?
  • Network and make new connections?
  • Learn more about the MN startup ecosystem?
  • Gain insight from industry experts?
  • Connect with investors?

Once you know your main reasons for attending, set SMART goals — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals — to define what success looks like to you and how you'll achieve it.

2. Create a schedule
Plan, plan, plan! Once you know your goals for attending the festival, you can start making a plan for what you'll do while you're there.

If your goal is to learn, review the TCSW 2020 agenda to create a schedule for the sessions you want to attend. If you're not sure if you want to attend a session, explore all of the great speakers we have scheduled to get a feel for what their talks will cover—and if you like their styles.

If your goal is people-focused (networking, prospecting, job-hunting, etc.), take time to find out who's attending the event. There are a couple of ways to do this at TCSW 2020:

  • This year’s TCSW is hosted on Hopin — a virtual conferencing platform. 

    TCSW 2020 - Food & Agriculture Track

  • With the custom Twitter hashtag (#TCSW20), use Tweetdeck (free) to follow the hashtag. People who use the hashtag are most likely attending or speaking, so you can see who else will be there!

Once you know who's attending, create a prioritized list of people you want to meet. This will help you stay focused during the event on meeting your networking goals. You can even reach out to people you're interested in meeting before TCSW to see if they're willing to schedule a time to connect during or after the event.

To make it easier to schedule meetups before the event, use scheduling apps like Calendly (free plans available).

If you're shy or uncomfortable with networking virtually, consider reaching out to BETA Operations lead, Kelly Buhl ( to see if there are opportunities to volunteer at the next event. Volunteering gives you a reason to meet and talk to people in a way that feels less forced and awkward.

3. Prepare your elevator pitch, and questions
It's important to be prepared with an elevator pitch: a quick explanation of who you are, what you do, and why the person you're talking to should be interested. Your pitch doesn't need to be complicated. Just make sure to cover the basics: name, title/role, and company if applicable. Then let the person know why you’re attending TCSW and what you hope to accomplish.

4. Follow up—quickly 
Since there’s a whole month of tracks and sessions at TCSW 2020, you’ll want to follow up with any connections you made right after you “meet” them. Include a reminder of what you discussed, and always propose some sort of action —  this could be an informational or exploratory meeting (don’t forget social distancing), or you could invite them to an upcoming event relevant to their interests. Including a call to action will help in building a relationship and turn that contact into an ally.

5. Give us your feedback
This is our first-ever virtual TCSW on Hopin, and we anticipate overcoming some bumps in the road. Help us improve your experience for next time by sharing your insights with the BETA team by emailing

6. Have fun
This is the time for our community to come together to celebrate Minnesota innovations and connect with the brilliant teams behind them! We’ve got a few “fun” sessions sprinkled throughout, like our “Pet Parade,” so we can remember to keep it light sometimes.

7. Questions
Feel free to ask them in the event chat, and a member of the TCSW team will get back to you shortly.


Get Your TCSW Tickets Now



About Twin Cities Startup Week:

TCSW is an annual festival that brings together Minnesota’s top thought leaders and innovators to solve the world’s greatest problems.

With thousands of attendees and 200+ events in past years, TCSW is a great way for participants to gain insights, network, and explore what the Minnesota startup ecosystem is up to.

This year, we’re taking a virtual-first approach, which means everything will be held virtually on Hopin. Tracks will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from September 7th-25th, with signature events sprinkled throughout the month. 

Register today.