Thaddeus Swanek Thaddeus Swanek
Senior Writer and Editor, Strategic Communications, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


October 04, 2019


Running a small business isn’t easy. You need no-nonsense tools to start, run and grow your business. That’s why we’re gathering some of the biggest names in small business for the CO— Summit this fall in Washington, D.C.

For the last three years, we’ve visited cities across the country to listen to small businesses at every stage of growth, and we'll bring those ideas and inspirations to the stage to share with you live.

On October 16 and 17 the CO— Summit, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with MetLife, welcomes growth-focused business owners from across the country for a two-day program on the best ways to make your small business flourish.

There is something for everyone at the #COSummit.

Here are the top reasons to attend:

Co Summit Keynote speakers

1. Learn from the best

Our 2019 speakers come from diverse backgrounds and industries. Our mainstage presentations will feature exciting keynotes from Daymond John of ABC's Shark Tank and many others.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Daymond John, star of ABC's Shark Tank; founder and chief executive officer of FUBU; chief executive officer of Shark Branding
  • Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake
  • Nick Friedman and Omar Soliman, co-founders of College Hunks Hauling Junk
  • Morgan DeBaun, founder of Blavity, Inc.
  • Speakers from companies such as Google, MetLife, and JPMorgan Chase

The Small Business All Stars from our nationwide CO— events will also make an appearance to share their insights, struggles and successes. Confirmed participants include:

  • Shannon Bahrke Happe, two-time Olympic medalist; founder and chief inspirational Olympian, Team Empower Hour
  • Marcus Davis, president and chief executive officer, The Breakfast Klub, Inc.
  • Richard Ward, co-founder and chief executive officer, Merchology
  • Sara Irvani, chief executive officer, Okabashi Shoes

Click here for a full list of speakers.

2. Expand your network

Perhaps the best thing about the CO— Summit is the chance to network with other entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs and small business executives. Launch Pad Workshops, Growth Studio Breakout sessions, coffee breaks, and the Beltway Bites and Brews reception are all occasions to talk, swap stories and exchange business cards.

The Summit is simply a no-miss event for small business leaders who want to build their national network, find mentors and learn what their colleagues are up to.

3. Go back to school

As part of the Summit, you can join the Launch Pad Workshops and get tips and tools that’ll grow your business.

In these workshops, you can learn from experts in their fields on how to:

  • Find and lease the perfect office space
  • Use your phone to create masterful social media images
  • Build an inclusive company culture
  • Use data to drive growth.

4. Enjoy a taste of DC and grab a local brew

Over the past decade, D.C. has become a rising star on America’s culinary map. And the local brewery scene is not far behind. This year, the Beltway Bites and Brews reception brings together local D.C. eateries, wineries and breweries to give guests a taste of the hottest restaurants in Washington’s local scene.

While you enjoy the food and drink, you can network with other small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Dream Big 2018 award winner

5. Dream big, win big

Every year, the Dream Big Awards program honors the achievements of small businesses and highlights their contributions to America’s economic growth.

Our 2019 Dream Big Awards will recognize the best of the best in American small business. This year, we are proud to recognize 19 finalists and their excellence in business. The live Dream Big Awards ceremony will be held on October 16 starting at 5:30 p.m. and will include a cocktail reception and banquet dinner. The awards ceremony will feature keynote speakers Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne of Georgetown Cupcake.

The CO— Summit is your chance to learn how to start, run and grow your business.

Don’t miss out! There is still time. Register today!

About the authors

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus Swanek

Thaddeus is a senior writer and editor with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's strategic communications team.

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