Denver Startup Week
Denver Startup Week was a blast. The week celebrates everything entrepreneurial in Denver. There were mentoring sessions with successful entrepreneurs, loads of talks and workshops, and fun after hours events with lots of beer. Coloradans love to work hard while drinking craft beer!
I only had time to participate for two days this year, but it was worth my while. I had every intention of participating on Tuesday, but I met some interesting people and had meaningful conversations with them and missed my sessions! It was well worth it. On Thursday I was able to take the bus downtown to participate. It’s one of the ways MCG practices sustainability. And, it’s a great way to beat the Denver traffic!
The first session I attended was Untapped Treasure: Public Sector Data on using publicly accessible data for the public good. As a firm that works in the public sector, it’s interesting to see how emerging companies are using that data to make it usable for the general public. Firms like thoughtbot, which presented during the session, use publicly available data to make user friendly websites and mobile apps. BillTrack50 compiles legislative bills on the Federal and State level and gives users a platform to compare legislation and track its progress through the legislature. Local governments are also trying to find ways to make their data more user friendly for the public. Open Colorado is hosting CityCamp Colorado, an unconference focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. Hack 4 Colorado brings those outside the governmental arena together for two days to drive meaningful, technology-based solutions for state and local government. And, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office presented the Colorado Innovation Challenge which will inspire the development community to create tools using publicly available data housed in the Business Intelligence Center. Challenge participants will be eligible to receive $100,000 in financial incentives and other services, like office space and mentorships. There’s a lot of great stuff going on that bridges the tech community and the governmental community. Also, out of a panel of five, it was nice to see that four of the panelists were women!
In the afternoon, I attended Incorporating Sustainable Practices into Your Business from the Ground Up. It’s a long name for a session but it was packed with great information. Certifiably Green Denver talked about how they help businesses meet their sustainability goals through energy efficiency, water conservation, resource management, alternative transportation, and business management. Larkburger and Snooze gave wonderful examples of how they encourage sustainability in their restaurants. Larkburger talked about how they compost at every store and have used compostable cups and utensils in their stores since the beginning. Snooze talked about similar sustainable practices, but I was impressed that they seek input from their cooks, dishwashers, waiters, and busboys to learn how implementing sustainable practices impact the jobs of these folks. Snooze also provides bus pass incentives to employees as many employees use public transportation to get to and from work! Happy workers result in happy customers!
In all, the week was a blast. Check out the MCG twitter page to see some pictures and thank yous to the sponsors of this great event!