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Mile High Lovin’

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Last week I was lucky enough to be able to participate in a bit of Denver Startup Week and the Create Denver Expo that were taking place in Denver, CO. I wasn’t able to be experience the full week of events, panels and speakers, but it was nice to spice things up by getting a new and different perspective from another city’s community of innovators and creatives.

It was very impressive the way in which Denver came together in various locations throughout the city to share knowledge with the public around the elements of starting up a business – and all for free! It was inspiring to see the number of people who were participating and involved. It makes the prospect of starting something up seem a little less daunting when you have a community of people around you trying to do the same thing. You recognize that a lot of the questions, doubts and struggles  are universal. 

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The organizers of Denver Startup set up a designated area or headquarters, Basecamp, where people could go to listen to speakers, work remotely and, ideally, network with others. One of the walls had an outline of Denver’s skyline with a timeline where businesses could contribute when they were created or started. I loved the visual of seeing how Denver has grown in their efforts of being a place that incubates new startups – especially within the last ten years. It is easy to see how the city has made efforts to be a place where entrepreneurs could be supported and welcomed. 

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One of the speakers that I got the chance to hear at Basecamp was Andre Durand who created Ping Identity. He spoke openly about his relationship to failure and how at one point in his entrepreneur career he had only $350 in the bank. I appreciated how someone in the IT field – a field that I feel very removed from and not necessarily connected to – was speaking to something that anyone could relate to. He encouraged everyone to change their relationship with failure so that you begin to see it as learning opportunities. Once you see failure as learning you will then begin to grow and move in your venture. I also respected hearing a successful CEO mention that in order for a company to be successful it had to have it’s priorities straight – specifically: “People first, then company.” Hooray to that! 

Stay tuned for some other highlights from the weekend, including:

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Outside Office
Thanks to the Basecamp on the 16th Street Mall

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