Triangle Entrepreneurship Week 2013 wrapped up today in the same fashion it opened on Monday – with a bang.

A closing party held in conjunction with the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge at the Marbles’ Children’s Museum in Raleigh.

For the third year running, Triangle Entrepreneurship Week brought together entrepreneurs and community support organizations in an effort to promote the region’s successes and dig into the meat and potatoes of growing a successful startup.

The week featured 11 sessions in all three Triangle cities, three networking parties, and partnerships with Innovate Raleigh, the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge and NC DataPalooza.

The four-day event was designed to “help get startups to the next level,” said Jon Leonardo, co-founder of TEW, and the sessions created a great deal of buzz with overall attendance reflecting the increasing appeal of the week.

In fact, Leonardo is so pleased with TEW’s growth that he hopes to expand the franchise to other cities.

More than 1,200 tickets were sold for sessions during TEW this year, which represents a significant increase of from last year.

“We had 350 participants, on average, in sessions each day,” said Sarah Wechsberg, TEW’s other co-founder, “which shows steady growth, and higher overall numbers compared to last year.”

“Amazing Leadership”

One of the most popular sessions was Thursday’s Women in Business Panel, which attracted more than 50 participants, according to organizers.

“Each TEW this is my favorite panel,” said J. King White, a session participant, on Twitter, “amazing thought leadership here.”

Some of the advice and insights shared by the panelists included the importance of identifying high-quality mentors and business coaches, and understanding your personality and goals for the business, said Liz Tracy, community manager at HQRaleigh, who attended the session.

The week began with an investor-pitch session that was open to the general public. Audience members had the chance to see three local early-stage companies pitch their businesses and revenue models to Craig Stone of Triangle Angel Partners and F. Scott Moody of First Talent Ventures.

Moody would make headlines later in the week when Apple announced Touch ID as a feature in its new iPhone 5S, a technology that Moody’s engineering team at AuthenTec developed prior to its acquisition by Apple in October 2012.

Two more investor sessions provided additional opportunities for entrepreneurs to understand the fundraising process. Other Triangle Entrepreneurship Week sessions included an online marketing training session, a no-nonsense conversation on hiring A-level talent, and creative ideas on building unique company culture.

“A lot of people were very interested,” said Liz Swirsky, the small/medium business sales representative for HermanMiller, who led the session on startup culture, “from everything on how to motivate your employees to developing an employee handbook.”

“Culture is different for everyone,” she added, so the participants discussed how to develop their own unique cultures that would appeal to a target group of potential employees.

Its Own Culture

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week is building its own culture, promoting their work by giving away free t-shirts and raffling off an abundance of prizes during its closing event. TEW was successful in reaching its target audience of innovators, said Wechsberg, “our brand is really growing.”

Think that it’s just about one week a year?

You’d be wrong, said Wechsberg, who suggested that there is already advance planning for quarterly Triangle Entrepreneurship Week events.

Triangle Entrepreneurship Week was September’s first large event focused on the entrepreneurial activity in the Triangle, and it’s not the last.

Next week, CED, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, runs its annual CED Tech Venture Conference, which for the first time includes a pre-conference event for angel investors in partnership with the Angel Capital Association.

Like this week, WRAL Tech Wire will be there, on the ground, reporting stories on the Triangle’s growing entrepreneurial economy.