Denver Startup Week takes off with a Southwest Airlines cocktail napkin contest

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The second annual Denver Startup Week starts today, and this very high-tech event -- filled with free, smarty-pants lectures and presentations -- has one very low-tech bonus. Southwest Airlines is offering Denver Startup Week participants a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the company's Dallas HQ to spend a day learning from key executives. To enter, outline a simple innovative business concept on a cocktail napkin -- which is where Southwest's business model was originally sketched out.

Submissions will be accepted until 4 p.m. Thursday, September 19; the winner will be announced on September 20 at basecamp, the Startup Week hangout that's been set up at 120116th Street, on the mall at Larimer Street.

That's the site of Leadership Spotlights, which will be held from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow through Friday, with speakers expounding on different themes each day. On Tuesday, the subject is Faces of Entrepreneurship; Wednesday, Emerging Stars; Thursday, Healthy Entrepreneurial Eco-Systems; and Friday, Leaders of the Startup Scene.

Denver Startup Week 2013 -- sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnership, Colorado Technology Association and Chase -- is a week filled free events, all of which aim to accomplish three goals:

1) To enhance the sense of community amongst Denver entrepreneurs, with specific focus on downtown Denver

2) To highlight Denver as an entrepreneurial center on the local, regional and national stage

3) To provide education, inspiration and networking events for the Denver entrepreneurial community

Events are free, but filling up fast. There's still room at tonight's Nerd Night: DSW Opening Night After Party at Beauty Bar from 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. and KorovoTown: Nightcap Lounge at Flipp Films, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. For a complete listing of events throughout the week; go to the Denver Startup Week schedule.

But in the meantime, pass that cocktail napkin.

More from the Calhoun Wake-Up Call archive: "Nine new states that could secede from the state."

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