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News & Press: Colorado Technology Industry

Denver Startup Bash launches Denver Startup Week

Friday, September 7, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Catharine Lurie
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Flobots and $40K Denver Startup Bash launches Denver Startup Week
By ANDY VUONG - Posted September 7, 2012, 9:45 am MT
Thursday night marked the start of a new era for the Denver tech scene.

A who’s who of the Mile High City’s technology and startup community gathered at the Denver Startup Bash at the Tavern Downtown/Cowboy Lounge. The event officially launched Denver Startup Week, a first-of-its-kind conference for Denver slated to run from Oct. 22 to Oct. 27.

Long overlooked in national tech circles, the Denver startup community is uniting and has joined forces with nonprofit organizations, trade associations and others to help bolster the city’s profile.

"Together we rise,” said Bart Lorang, chief executive of Denver-based startup FullContact and the driving force behind the events, quoting lyrics from the Flobots hit song "Rise.”

Key players in the initiative also include the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Colorado Technology Association and tech-startup NextGreatPlace.

The Denver Startup Bash attracted nearly 1,000 attendees, most of them employees from 240 Denver-area startups. Denver’s Flobots provided an intimate performance as the city’s techies mingled, shared their stories and exchanged business cards, a preview of what’s to come during Startup Week in Downtown Denver.

The party cost $40,000 and was sponsored by the community’s technology companies, including Service Magic, ViaWest, iTriage and many others.

Denver Startup Week is expected to attract about 2,000 attendees and feature a career fair and free daily sessions covering relevant topics such as funding, marketing, and software and web development. The bottoms-up event will have five full days of events focused on four main tracks: tech, design, business and social entrepreneurship.

Budding entrepreneurs can sign up for one-on-one sessions with seasoned tech veterans such as SendGrid’s Jim Franklin and MapQuest founder Perry Evans at the Denver Startup Week website. Companies can use the site to register to host events.

Prominent Boulder venture capitalist Brad Feld will be the feature speaker for a session on the event’s opening day. Ignite Denver, TechCocktail and the Colorado Technology Association are scheduled to hold events during the week.

While Boulder garners much of the national attention placed on Colorado for its vibrant technology and startup community, Denver’s goal isn’t to replicate Boulder’s model, said Tami Door, chief executive of the Downtown Denver Partnership.

The goal is to foster the growth of the city’s entrepreneurial and technology community and help attract and retain talent they need.

Erik Mitisek, co-founder of NextGreatPlace, said Denver Startup Week is a "celebration of everything entrepreneurial.”

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