minnestar text logo


Sign up to stay up to date.


Growing Pains: Life of a Tech Startup


This panel discussion will revolve around the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of launching a technology start-up company in the mid-west. The point of this session is enlighten and encourage those who want to participate in a start-up, while at the same time giving those who attend a candid overview of how start-up life really is.

The session will be led by the 28-year old Founder / CEO of SwapBeats, Inc. (www.SwapBeats.com), David Atkinson. Quietly flying under the radar for the past three years, David has been able to get his Minneapolis-based start-up privately funded, and has grown the Company to a team of 12 over the past 8-months. The journey hasn’t been all sunshine and smiles, and having traveled an exciting but bumpy three-year journey to arrive where the Company is now, David and SwapBeats’ CTO, Seth Viebrock, will discuss some of the lessons they have learned along the way and their current approach to the business.

The discussion topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Building a brand.
  • Finding investors.
  • Convincing others that the brand you built is a good one.
  • Attracting and retaining investors.
  • Building a dedicated team.
  • Things that can go wrong (and how to make them right).
  • Practicing patience.
  • Finding the right small business tools, from 37Signals to UserVoice.
  • Choosing a development platform, including SwapBeats’ choice to use open source software.
  • The pros and cons of working with Drupal.
  • Balancing priorities.
  • Why SwapBeats doesnt outsource (much).
  • Envisioning the future.
  • The CEO perspective: how to sanely manage the business, the people, and the technology.


Minnebar 6 (2011-05-07)


David Atkinson