5 Ways to Maximize your NewCo Festival Experience

This post was also published on the NewCo Detroit blog.

atomic-object-detroitOn September 18th, Atomic Object will be a host company for the 2014 NewCo Festival. We will be showcasing our cool Detroit location, providing an overview of what makes Atomic unique, showing off some of the products we’ve developed, and serving coffee, tea, and bagels to help get your day started.

Were excited about having visitors in our space. We also participated in this festival in 2013 and enjoyed being a part of it so much were doing it again this year. Our goal this year is to help our visitors better understand the role Atomic Object plays in turning an idea into a product.

NewCo 101

The NewCo Festival (last year called OpenCo Festival) is being held in Detroit for only the second time. We’re in good company — the festival will also be held in Amsterdam, Boulder, London, Los Angles, New York, San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley. The unique thing about NewCo is that attendees visit companies. You get to actually walk in and learn more about them in their own environment, not in a stuffy hotel conference room.

The festival begins on Thursday evening with the opening ceremonies, which are open to all VIP ticket holders. There will be some great talks, great food and drink, and an opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers in Detroit.

The body of the festival will be on Thursday the 18th, with about 50 different companies opening their doors to participants. There are 5 open house hours throughout the day, so you have to pick which 5 companies you’re interested in visiting. That’s hard to do, since so many that seem interesting.

At the end, there is a great party with more great networking opportunities, great food and drink, and some closing talks.

Getting the Most out of NewCo

Last year I was running around Detroit visiting as many host companies as I could. This year, I work for Atomic Object and will be delivering the presentation to our guests. What a difference a year makes.

Participating in NewCo last year was a great experience for me. I enjoyed meeting people and learning about all the great work being done by various companies in Detroit. Living and working in Detroit for the past 21 years, it was amazing to see all that was going on right in my city.

I encourage you to attend (and rather selfishly to visit us at Atomic Object). Here are a few tips on how to get the maximum value from your NewCo experience.

  1. Attend all 5 sessions. – There are over 50 companies participating in NewCo this year. With only 5 sessions, that means you will not be able to see all of them. But you will be able to see up to 5 interesting companies and learn more about what they are doing right in their own space! Why shortchange yourself and attend only one or two? This is an opportunity that does not present itself often, so take total advantage of it.
  2. Get a VIP ticket. – The VIP ticket is a great value. It gets you the ability to setup your schedule before everyone else. Some companies have a maximum number of guests they can accommodate (for example, we can only invite 50 people into our space at a time), so getting a VIP ticket ensures you get into all the companies you want to get into see. It also gets you into the opening VIP event. It’s a networking event and a great way to meet some of the movers and shakers in Detroit. They had great food and drinks to boot!
  3. Ask questions/talk to the hosts. – Every time you visit a company, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the presenters, or even talk to them afterwards. I talked to some people at each stop and found out some interesting information that was not in the presentation. I even found out about a few mutual friends.
  4. Don’t be shy. – A year later I still interact with some people I met last year. I think I made some new great friends by being willing to step up and talk to my fellow participants. Today, Atomic does business with a person I met during last year’s festival.
  5. Have fun. – I had a great time at last year’s festival and plan on doing so again. I thought it was a good opportunity to learn what companies are doing in Detroit in a fun, engaging way. And like I said, with good food and drinks to boot!

I hope you are planning on attending the NewCo Festival this September in Detroit. If you do, stop by the Atomic Object open house and say hi. I encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity to meet new people and learn what some innovative Detroit companies are doing. You might be surprised!