We were a proud sponsor for the 2012 Something Independent Entrepreneur Awards last night and Dave also had the honor of being one of the judges for the participants.
What is SIEA? Something Independent invited business from all around Colorado to compete for a grand prize of $1,500 in a video competition. More than that, to hold an event that would show case all the business and bring them them to the public attention. In their words: “Across Colorado there exists a distinct independent spirit that is nowhere more evident than in those Colorado entrepreneurs living at the intersection of business and lifestyle. In recognition of their commitment, their accomplishments and their passion…This is not a business plan competition. This is 90 seconds to make our judges believe in you.”
23 participants from all over Colorado participated, some were entrants from last year producing new videos for 2012:
(Active Junky, Alkaline, Apex Sports Group, Astis, Bould, condorcam, Denver Beer Co, Evol, Folsom, Grace, In the Soup, MHM, Mobile Canning, Oogave, Shredly, Oz Longboards, Pakems, Peakvibe, Skea, Snug Organics, Street Swell, White Girl Salsa, Wild Goose Canning)
It was a tremendous event, we had a great turn out here at Battery 621! The top three finalists were Apex Sports Group, Condorcam (our friend here at Batter and a returning finalist), and MHM (also a returning applicant). But there could only be one winner…
Congratulations, MHM – Mile High Mountaineering on your terrific video!
Check out more pictures from the event on our facebook page. We’re excited to be a part of it next year.
We had such a great time at LeanUX Denver last week meeting a ton of great new people and catching up with old friends. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table to chat with us and find out about some of our UX/UI positions—Even if you were just swinging by to pick up some of our gourmet chocolate covered bacon.
It was a superb event! We loved the excitement and energy of everyone involved. There were fantastic companies, phenomenal workshop leaders & speakers, and plenty of talented folks interested in learning more about LeanUX. Attendees included people from all over the globe: everyone from Boston to New Zealand, and yet, it was still an intimate enough event for everyone to be able to get to know each other….
I was even lucky enough to attend two of the half-day workshops on Wednesday and can personally attest to how informative and fun they were.
We look forward to attending this event again. Great job to all the people who worked on making this event a success! We are glad we could help through sponsorship. See you all next year!
TedxMileHigh was this Saturday and I know everyone who went would agree it was an incredible experience. I feel so fortunate to have heard all of these stories from the amazing Coloradans and Colorado businesses. To those of you lucky enough to attend, I know you’re attacking this week with renewed zeal with the volume on your heart turned all the way up like I am (yes, that’s a reference to the riveting slam poetry champ finale from Ken Arkind, Bobby Lefbre, and Theo Wilson).
The theme of this year’s conference was Risk Rewards. Maybe some of you–like those of you who are always have a pair of skis, some camping gear, and climbing ropes in the athletic salad that is your Subaru’s trunk–think you know what it could have been about. But, no, it wasn’t about the thrill of climbing Long’s, it was about the leaps of faith–big or small–that we can all take everyday to change our lives, our communities, or the world. Whether its finding a new job that makes you happier or supporting women’s rights in Israel.
Some of my favorite talks were…
Natalie Baumgartner (from RoundPegg) on “fit.” Natalie is a psychologist who has made a career of studying culture fit and currently works for RoundPegg. I was surprised to find out that a staggering 49% of new hires fail and 89% of the time it’s because they were not a culture fit. Changing jobs is a dramatic change for both the employees and the companies hiring them–both are taking a risk and hoping for the best. Natalie talked about the absolute necessity of ensuring that you are happy at your work by taking to time to ensure the place you want to work reflects and encourages your natural disposition and talents. She explained that, by the time we start our first careers jobs our personalities are established so we shouldn’t try to cram ourselves into a someone else’s box in order to “get by” at work. We spend the majority of our day and lives at work, so find the place that brings out the best in you. Leaving your current job might seem like a precarious step, but “it’s a greater risk to stay where you don’t fit,” as Natalie said. She found that companies that take the time to ensure that their employees mesh with the true culture of the company were six times more profitable and that the employees were much more likely to be happy and more loyal to the company.
Ryan Martens (from Rally Software) on bring your values to your work. When someone asks you how you’re doing, you should be saying “I’m doing well and good*.” Ryan gave and persuasive talk in investing in social enterprise, harnessing the power of business in order to create social change. Using your work as an outlet for your values, which should go hand in hand. He did a fantastic job in outlining the ways in which businesses can take simple steps to applying these steps in order to ensure that you’re getting the most fulfillment out of your work. (*Does anyone else always think of this skit when someone asks them?)
Adam Lerners from MCA and Mixed Tastes (formally The Lab). Adam gave an entertaining talk on his journey to work for the MCA and to create the internationally recognized Mixed Tastes lectures series. Like others, he talked about the shift from wanting working towards the desire to impress others with a lifetime worth of intellectual accolades, to doing things for himself that matched his own interests— and how the latter brought him much more joy. Dropping the routine of semi-pretentious art talks of abstract ideas and obscure artists, Adam accepted a lecture series request from Belmar (a new suburban district being developed in Lakewood, Colorado) and decided to have a creative discussion on two completely unrelated topics. Like “Andy Warhol & Artificial Lighting” or “Bananas Foster & Emily Dickinson.” The program slowly generated more and more popularity while the Adam and his team felt like it was just fun. For example they started a series called “MISHUGAS!” that were recorded interviews of Adam’s Aunt Mirim and gags like offering gigantic sacks of rubble “free to new members!” Eventually the Mixed Tastes was being discussed nationally in the New York Times and had a joint project featured at the Pompidou Center in Paris. It goes to show, the reward can become so much more than the risk.
Of course there were too many good talks to describe in depth here, and I can’t do them justice anyway….Woody Roseland‘s fluidly motivational reflection on surviving cancer five times. Very moving philanthropic stories from Jeremy Bloom, Jessica Posner, and Laura Merage. An incredible violin performance from Kayvon Coffey and a musical performance from Gregory Alan Isakov, to name a few more.
Towards the end the atmosphere was so electrifying and momentum was building up so much so that we couldn’t help but give robust applause and rise from our chairs after each new speaker, the event capping off with the heart-stopping joint-performance from the three poetry slammers I mentioned at the top of this post.
I encourage you all to watch the videos of the lecturers that should be posted in the coming weeks. But in the mean time, just remember that the little positive changes in your life can compound to make big differences:
Dave and I were lucky enough to attend Something Independent’s Economics of the Soul business forum this morning and hear the stories of four successful entrepreneurs in various industries. The panel was moderated by our friend Annelise Loevlie from Icelandic.
Stefan Ytterborn, Founder/CEO of POC Sports
Chuck Morris, President/CEO of AEGLive
Steve Jones, Co-Founder/Executive Producer of Teton Gravity Research
Jen Brill, Co-Founder/Owner of Silverton Mountain
They recounted their successes, motivations, and experiences finding a niche in the industries of their dreams. Here are some of our favorite points from the discussions:
01. Surround yourself with a good team of people as passionate about what they do as you are. Having a team you can depend on (and have fun with) is great for sharing in your successes and supporting you when times are difficult.
02. Be flexible.
03. If you’re not innovative and wiling to try new things you either shouldn’t be in your business or you will get forced out of it. Your goal isn’t to give people what they want, but to surprise them, to create an experience for them.
04. When you are doing what you love, that love with manifest itself in your work, service, or products because you won’t be able to work any other way.
05. What connects entrepreneurs is that they are romantic: they fall in love with what they do….(and also all that they have their fair share of sleepless nights and overworking).
“If you can be passionate about cement, you can be passionate about anything.” – Annelise (from her mother).
Thanks so much to everyone for coming to our little get-together on Friday and making the event a huge success and so much fun!
To see more of our pictures, make sure you friend us on our Facebook page!
On Tuesday night Something Independent, another awesome company in Battery621, held their first annual Snowsport Entrepreneur Award ceremony. Dave and I were luckily enough to have the night off and attend the event. Not only did the program run flawlessly under the skilled direction of Something Independent, but learning about all the participating companies was inspiring.
In Something Independent’s own words:
With this award, Something Independent looks to recognize those adventurous risk-takers who are putting it all on the line in pursuit of a dream. These individuals, their businesses and the teams behind them, bring our Colorado story to life. We are honored to present this first time award to a Colorado company poised to become a leader in our nation’s new entrepreneurial economy.
Governor John Hickenlooper started off the evening with a speech in the down-to-Earth but energizing way he has. He spoke about the importance of entrepreneurs in Colorado, not only for the economy, but for the innovation and inspiration their ideas bring to the business community as a whole. Entrepreneurs are in the business of imagination.
Shannon Foley, Executive Director of the Love Hope Strength Foundation, was the MC for the evening and she did a truly wonderful job directing the evening.
The businesses that entered the competition was Condorcam, (based here in the Battery 621!), Nightmare Development, Flylow Gear, Mile High Mountaineering, Meier Skis, Astis Mittens, Splitboarder.com, Deco Mounts, Folsom Custom Skis, Grace Skis, Loki, Level 1 Productions, The Snow Ball, Sun Dog Athletics, Mountain Media, Rawh Expressions, Supple Collection, Prism Designs, Voormi, Jeff Nass Photography, Sick Stickz, RTP, Athlete Forge, Colorado Power Forecast, and Activegearreview.com. It was hard not to root for all of them. They were all so passionate about their work and what their companies can bring to their customers and Colorado. We were buzzing about it in the office the next day. Keep on keeping on, guys!
The award winner was Flylow Gear and in addition to having some great recognition last night, they also received $1,500 dollars to spend any way they choose.