Small Business

The Top 10 Startup Events to Watch in 2013

Brad Crescenzo, Young Entrepreneur

CES, the Webbys, Disrupt NYC, South by Southwest, Social Media Week, National Small Business Week, Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Clinton Global Initiative. . . A non-exhaustive list of this year's top 10 startup events for young treps (in order of when they occur):

1. International Consumer Electronics Show: With keynote addresses from the likes of Jeff Jordan of venture-capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz to musician-turned entrepreneur, the 2013 International CES is a must see — or attend, if you can foot the $1,300 price tag for a spot. Hosted by CEA, the event which will be attended by heavy hitters from giant tech companies like Qualcomm and Samsung, typically offers many a news peg. Plus, there will be several startup events including Startup Weekend. (Las Vegas, Jan. 8 – 11)

(Read more: At CES 2013, the Connected Home of the Future)

2. Social Media Week: This worldwide event is aimed at connecting businesses and individuals to collaborate on new ideas and information, while also discussing "the social, cultural and economic impact of social media." With social media still such an intimate part of how businesses work it's important to stay on top of the news and innovations that are directing this popular technology. Social Media Week has conferences in ten cities around the world. To find a conference near you, visit the SMW website. (New York, Washington D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria, Feb. 17 – 20)

3. South by Southwest: "A premier destination for discovery," SXSW is a popular conference/festival that showcases music, film and emerging tech together in one big melting pot. You'll see both young entrepreneurs involved in their first projects and seasoned start-up stars alike. Those who can make it (and land a hotel room to boot) will find this unique mix of art and business a refreshingly casual way to find inspiration and guidance. (Austin, Texas, March 8 -17)

4. TechCrunch Disrupt: This edgy conference brings together tech-centric entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in a weeklong startup marathon. Disrupt kicks off the week with a collaborative Hackathon. Moving on to a 'Startup Battlefield' competition, 30 companies launch their products in front of a live audience, vying for a $50,000 grand prize and the coveted Disrupt Cup. The balance of high-energy vibe and legitimate opportunity for making a splash is sure to satisfy any young entrepreneur's appetite. (New York, April 27- May 1)

5. National Small Business Week: Hosted by the Small Business Administration, this diverse conference means to highlight not only the best of the small-business community, but also pay tribute to the outstanding impact everyday entrepreneurs have on the U.S. This event provides a great introduction to services offered by the SBA, and presents a nice balance of leadership from both the private and public sector. SBA is now accepting awards nominations. (Washington D.C., Spring)

(Read more: 2013 Small-Business Trends to Watch)

CES 2013: 'Bigger is Better'

6. Webby Awards: Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, this awards ceremony bestows its badge of excellence on the Internet's best throughout a wide variety of disciplines from web design to online film. With guests like Louis C.K., Bjrk and Mayor Michael Bloomberg this eclectic group is sure to please. (New York, May)

7. Maker Faire: this two-day festival of innovation aims to celebrate all things DIY and the hobbyist in everyone. Maker Faire, which was created by Make magazine, is primarily designed to check out what's on the horizon for makers who are exploring new processes and technologies. From the sensational to just plain odd creations the event is sure to be a spectacle at the very least. (New York, Sept. 21 – 22; San Francisco, May 18 – 19; Tokyo, Dec. 1 – 2; the UK, April 27 – 28)

8. LeWeb: One of the premier tech-events in Europe, LeWeb Paris and LeWeb London have featured event speakers including Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square fame and Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google. It's pretty much awesome, so check it out. (London, June 5 – 6)

9. Clinton Global Initiative: With an impressive guest list filled with heads of state, Nobel Prize laureates, CEOs, philanthropists and members of the media, this initiative is a whole different animal. Established in 2005 by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the three-day event strives to find and implement creative solutions to the world's toughest issues by facilitating dialogue. A must for all socially-conscious entrepreneurs, the CGI offers not only the opportunity to witness and be a part of the cutting edge of progressive thinking and action, but also networking opportunities few conferences can match. (New York, Sept.)

10. Global Entrepreneurship Week: Started in 2008 by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GEW is a series of international events meant to inspire people around the world to explore their entrepreneurial potential. GEW also aims to connect innovators with mentors and investors — making it an ideal setting for young treps to establish their startups and ideas. (Activities offered in 115 countries, Nov. 18 – 24)

(Read more: 3-D Printing Sparks Innovation Among Small Companies)