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Rail~Volution conference will showcase Denver's transportation advances

Rail~Volution is coming to Denver Sept. 17-20.

The conference, hosted by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and local partners, focuses on building livable communities through transit and multimodal investments. National leaders, planners and advocates will examine and discuss all that the Denver region has accomplished since it last served as the host city for the gathering 17 years ago.

During 25 mobile workshops and more than 75 sessions over four days, leaders and practitioners from the fields of government, transit, real estate, business, finance, environment and advocacy will explore pertinent transit issues, opportunities and challenges common to the Rocky Mountain West.

“Denver has an extraordinary story to tell about how transit investments and cross-sector collaboration have changed the economic trajectory of the regions,” says Dan Bartholomay, CEO of Rail~Volution. “The Denver community found the right mix of investments that lead to truly livable places — places that take care to ensure affordability and access to jobs, good homes and healthy lifestyles. The Denver region’s integrated approach is exactly what other cities and regions are hoping to learn about at Rail~Volution.”

Featured speakers include Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; Peter Rogoff, CEO of Sound Transit in Seattle; Phil Washington, CEO of L.A. Metro; Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer; Maurice Jones, president of Local Initiatives Support Corp. in New York; Christine Marquez-Hudson, president and CEO of The Denver Foundation; and John Martin, president and CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research Inc. in Richmond, Va.

Nursing moms now have privacy at all downtown sports venues

Nursing moms now have a quiet place to breastfeed or pump at all of Denver’s downtown pro sports venues as a result of UCHealth’s partnerships with the Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos. 

The new Mamava nursing suites are being installed in the main concourses at Coors Field and Sports Authority Field at Mile High. UCHealth's recent purchase and installation of the air-conditioned lactation suites makes Denver the first city in the country to offer nursing suites in all downtown professional sports venues. UCHealth also purchased and installed the lactation suite located in the concourse at Pepsi Center, home to the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets.

“UCHealth’s commitment to improving lives extends beyond the doors of our hospitals and clinics,” says Manny Rodriguez, UCHealth chief marketing and experience officer. “our investment in nursing suites with our partners at all of Denver’s downtown professional sports venues makes it easier for nursing moms attending events — from games to concerts — to live extraordinary lives doing what they love, with their loved ones.”

The sports teams collaborated with UCHealth to provide the clean comfortable spaces to nurse in private. The lactation suite is a self-contained, mobile pod with comfortable benches, a fold-down table, an electrical outlet for plugging in a breast pump and a door that can be locked for privacy. The 4-foot by 8-foot pod is intended for individual use but has plenty of room for mothers with diaper bags, babies and other children in tow.

Denver is nation's seventh-greenest city

For the fourth consecutive year, Denver has ranked among the top 10 U.S. cities for the percentage of its office space qualified as green certified, according to a recent survey by energy consultants CBRE and Maastricht University.

With a modest year-over-year improvement, 13.3 percent of Denver office buildings are certified green, representing 41.9 percent of overall office square footage, according to the annual Green Building Adoption Index. That’s compared with 11.8 percent and 40.2 percent, respectively, last year.

Chicago claimed the top spot in 2017, while San Francisco slipped to second and Atlanta, Houston and Minneapolis rounded out the top five markets.

“Green” office buildings in the United States are defined as those that hold either an EPA Energy Star label, U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification or both.

“Denver companies are savvy, and they realize that operating out of an energy-efficient space can not only save money and benefit the environment but also be a point of differentiation when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent,” says Sam DePizzol, executive vice president with CBRE Advisory & Transaction Services in Denver. “With one of the tightest labor markets in the country, we are seeing more and more Colorado companies pay attention to the role their real estate places in creating a competitive advantage.”
 

Utivity acquires Besomebody's Experience Marketplace

Denver-based Utivity, an outdoor adventure platform, acquired Besomebody's Experience Marketplace, to expand its national presence. The Besomebody marketplace allows people to book and host more than 400 types of experiences ranging from art to adventure.

Utivity offers more than 1,000 types of experiences -- everything from archery and basketball to wakeboarding and yoga, but outdoor and adventure activities are its most popular experiences. It plans to expand its outdoor base as it begins to scale up nationally.

"We started this company with one goal: empower both instructors and doers to experience every activity under the sun," says Utivity CEO Kyle Granowski. "The acquisition of Besomebody's Experience Marketplace allows us to pursue that goal with an extremely talented instructor base while expediting our growth efforts."

Utivity has helped more than 2,000 experience providers in the Denver-area earn more than $200,000 since it launched in 2015. The acquisition will more than double its user base and help accelerate its expansion, Granowski says. Through it, Utivity will gain access to Besomebody's large user and provider base across Texas, California and New England, as well as internationally.

"We couldn't be more excited to join forces with Besomebody to help people discover unique experiences, and make money doing what they love," says Granowski. "The Besomebody team has done an incredible job building a huge community of people who want to get out, and do more. We've had our eyes on them for a while, and the timing was finally right to make something happen. As Besomebody moves forward with their focus on education and employment, we're honored to be the premier platform where people come for activities and adventure."

Under the purchase, which was made for an undisclosed sum, Besomebody will retain its branding, trademarks and community assets. Besomebody will transition its hosting and booking strategies, services and data to Utivity and help it tap into Besomebody's partner network. Besomebody's founder and CEO Kash Shaikh will also join Utivity's board to assist with transition and growth plans.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Denver proposes dedicated fund for affordable housing

On July 13, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Councilwoman Robin Kniech introduced the details of the city's plan to create funding to support affordable housing.

Pending approval by Denver City Council, the funding will be generated by way of development fees and property taxes. Over the next 10 years, the new funding stream could generate $150 million, allowing for the construction of 6,000 new homes for low- to moderate-income families in the city and catalyze thousands of jobs in the process.

"There is no more important a priority in Denver right now than affordable housing," Mayor Hancock said. "In my state of the city speech yesterday, I spoke about the thousands of people who lack the simple advantages so many of us take for granted, like a place to call home. Home ownership gives families a foundation to build equity, build wealth and build a life. This is a fair, balanced and modest approach to address one of the most pressing problems facing Denver today."

The proposal from the mayor's office are expected to cost residential property owners $1 a month and commercial property owners $145 annually for every $1 million worth of commercial valuation. It also would establish a one-time development fee on new construction projects collected when a project receives its building permit. Residential construction fees for single-family homes will carry a 60 cent per square foot fee and multi-family homes will carry a $1.50 per square foot fee. Industrial projects will pay a 40 cents per square foot fee and retail, hotel and other commercial development will pay a $1.70 per square foot fee.

"By pairing a small portion of the property tax revenue that Denver voters approved almost four years ago with what would be one of the lowest one-time fees on new residential and commercial development in the nation, our broader community will be coming together with a sector of the economy generating some of the demand to create a bold solution for affordable housing in Denver," Kniech contended.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

General Assembly opening new tech training campus in RiNo

General Assembly is opening its 15th location in Denver. The institution will host a launch party on March 3 at its newest campus at Industry, located at 3001 Brighton Blvd. in RiNo.

General Assembly was founded in 2011 in New York City with a mission of empowering people to do what they love. It offers immersive programs, long-form courses, and classes and workshops. The programs focus on IT, web development and business fundamentals.

The company also offers ongoing training to develop talent internally. "With Denver and Boulder area startups flush with population and economic growth, larger companies are also investing in talent to remain competitive," a statement from General Assembly explains.

Since launching in the Big Apple, it's opened locations across the country and as far away as Australia.

To celebrate its newest location in Denver the institute is hosting an evening of drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and networking with the GA team and our amazing guests. “We'll also host an exciting panel discussion about today's fastest growing, most in-demand careers and how to break into them,” reads a statement on the company's website.

The panel will include Kelly Brough, CEO of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Brady Welsh, director of Leasing & Development of Industry and Scott Kirkpatrick, president of General Assembly. According to General Assembly the panel will discuss how today's most in-demand skills and job opportunities will affect Denver's growth.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.


Guerrilla Gravity wins $30K JumpStart BizPlan award

Denver-based mountain bike fabricator Guerrilla Gravity took home the top JumpStart BizPlan Award from the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED). The company won $30,000 and consulting services aimed at helping the company grow

"Denver has become a mecca for innovation, where the next generation of startups are growing and reaching new heights here each and every day," says Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. "We're proud to celebrate the best and brightest business ideas emerging out of Denver, and to shine a spotlight on the importance of our small business community."

Guerrilla Gravity, which manufactures at its retail bike shop, offers customized mountain bikes in a direct to consumer business model. The OED says that a wide variety of companies applied to the JumpStart competition, Among them were companies involved in healthcare, manufacturing, technology and consumer electronics, apparel, as well as retailers and restaurants.

Guerrilla Gravity competed with finalists Arthroventions and Übergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag for the award and additional services as part of Denver Startup Week events. Each of the three businesses presented their business plans and answered questions before a panel of business experts. The event was presented by Deloitte and U.S. Bank. In addition to the cash prize Guerrilla Gravity will receive legal counsel from Polsinelli, strategic marketing services from dovetail solutions, and entrepreneurship mentoring from TiE Rockies and Rockies Venture Club.

In addition to the JumpStart awards, OED and its partners also hosted a junior entrepreneurs. Sport Cabanas, a startup created by Chris Cordova and Janeth Mancha, won the TeenBiz Plan Award. The company offers tent rentals and setups for youth sporting events. The co-owners won a $5,000 cash prize.

"Today's event is proof positive that there is no shortage of great entrepreneurial ideas sprouting from Denver's youth," asserts OED Executive Director Paul Washington. "The future of our small business market is sure to remain strong thanks to the  healthy pipeline of ideas and innovations sparking across generations."

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.


Multiple events at Denver Startup Week drawing more than 500 attendees

If anything shows the popularity of entrepreneurship and innovation in Denver it’s Denver Startup Week, which will draw thousands of people to events Sept. 28 to Oct. 2. A full 10 of the more than 230 events are set to draw more more than 500 people -- and not just the parties!

What’s likely to be the most attended session is the Startup Job Fair being held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday Sept. 29. Nearly 800 people have registered to attend the event. The job fair will feature local startups in hiring mode seeking the best candidates. It’s a job-seeker's paradise.

The kick-off breakfast in the Seawall Ballroom on Sept. 28 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. is expected to draw more than 750 people as well, according to Brea Olson, a spokesperson for event co-coordinator Denver Downtown Partnership. The breakfast is a free (but ticketed) event and will feature Senior Vice President of Oracle Data Cloud Eric Roza as its keynote speaker. He led the transformation of Datalogix into the big data company that Oracle purchased earlier this year.

Other speakers at the breakfast will include: Galvanize Founder and CEO Jim Deters, Revolar CEO and Founder Jacqueline Ros and Artifact Uprising co-founders Jenna Walker and Katie Thurmes.

The Women Who Startup Summit, hosted by more than 1,000-strong group Women Who Startup, also is expected draw more than 750 attendees. The summit will occur Sept. 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Galvanize in the Golden Triangle. That event will include many angel investors and CEOs of women-led companies. Among them are Silvia Travesani, co-founder of Be Visible and Alicia Robb, a senior fellow with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Other events expected to draw big crowds, according to Olson. They include:

  • TechCrunch Denver Meetup + Pitch Off on Oct. 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Galvanize LoDo.
  • Bootstrapping a company from $0 to $1 Million/yr in Revenue being held Sept. 29 at the  Jake Jabs Center at CU Denver from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • SEO, PPC, and Social Media: The trifecta of digital strategy, take 2 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 at The Commons on Champa.
  • Becoming an Influencer being held at Galvanize LoDo from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 30.
  • Women Who Launch on Sept. 28 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Galvanize LoDo.
  • How to Write Killer Copy and Connect with Customers at Galvanize LoDo on Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Structuring Equity Compensation for Founders and Employees at Otten Johnson from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Those are just the top 10 events -- there are more than 220 others.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.


Denver Startup Week 2015 open for submissions

The 2015 edition of Denver Startup Week is open for event submissions until May 31. It's the third year for the event, which takes place across Denver in offices, collaborative workspaces, breweries and other locations.

In soliciting submissions, the organizers said they're making some changes. "This year, we are doing things a little differently and making the focus on you, the individual," explain the organizers, including the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Colorado Technology Association, and a host of growing Denver startups. "How can Denver Startup Week make you a better founder, developer, product manager, marketer, salesperson, designer or maker?" 

Denver Startup Week is looking for workshops, keynotes and panel ideas that fit into one or more of six categories: founder, developer, product, growth, designer and manufacturer.

Tracks will cover traditional startup topics like developing products and going to market, as well as developing a team. They will also focus on taking young businesses to the next level through marketing and sales.

Other tracks will focus on more IT-specific needs, given the thriving nature of the IT community in Denver and Boulder. Those tracks will focus on back end architecture, APIs and more. Other events will focus on local designers and makers who are creating everything from 3D printers to craft beer to skis.

Learn more about the tracks and make submissions at www.denverstartupweek.org.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Valid Eval, Kauffman Foundation partner to find why startups are successful

Denver-based Valid Eval partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to research exactly how startups and small businesses achieve success.

The organizations announced that they will look into Valid Eval's information on more than 2,000 companies across the U.S. "The principal question is: Is it possible at scale to pinpoint where entrepreneurs are on their developmental trajectory? And to do so on an an evidentiary basis," explains Valid Eval CEO and Co-Founder Adam Rentschler. "Valid Eval will assert that is true."

By working with the Kauffman Foundation's experts the groups hope to prove that assertion is true. "The holy grail is can we tie a causal relationship between these evaluations and the entrepreneurs' success and ultimately wealth creation."

Valid Eval's clients include government agencies, accelerators, universities and incubators, according to Rentschler. This includes clients like the Arizona Commerce Authority, which offers startups a chance to compete for $250,000 in funds twice a year. In all, the authority allocates $3 million annually through the program.

As companies apply through Valid Eval's platform it collects anonymous feedback information related to their applications from the experts that evaluated the companies. "If you're Kauffman, you can look at a a data set collected using a structured framework," he says. The feedback information includes qualitative and quantitative information about applications and the strategies within them.

"Measuring what is happening within large numbers of entrepreneurial companies as they develop is notoriously difficult," explains E.J. Reedy, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "Our team will look at Valid Eval's standardization of the evaluation and development processes to better understand if such structured work is helpful to improving entrepreneurial outcomes."

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

State of Downtown Denver 2015 has plenty to praise

Last year, downtown Denver saw $1 billion in investments through completed projects. In 2015, that figure is expected to nearly double to $1.9 billion. That's just one key takeaway from the State of Downtown Denver 2015 event, hosted by the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) on March 24.

There was a host of data showing the recent successes of Denver and how the city is poised to keep growing -- for instance, residential population has grown 165 percent since 2010. "In order to ensure future success we need to understand what we did right to get us where we are today," explained DDP CEO Tami Door at the event.

"Last year, we welcomed 16 new companies in downtown. These companies, many of them having significant national and international brands, further endorse downtown Denver as a key business hubs," said Door, noting that many companies attributed their choices to Denver's premiere workforce, its mobility options for employees and the overall cool factor of the city center.

Door added that Denver is attracting significant amounts of Millennials, which is important to the city's future. "As we go forward two Baby Boomers will retire for each new employee entering the workforce," she explained. "This is not just a battle to get companies to move to our cities. this a battle to get the right type of workers here."

"We are quickly becoming recognized as a premier entrepreneurial hub," Door said. "Right now, we have 370 tech startups located in the core of downtown. These companies employ 3,000 individuals. That number is growing and is growing very fast."

Craftsy was one of those startups. Founder and CEO John Levisay explained that the company started in 2010 with four founders. "We're now over 260 employees and have 50 open jobs," he said. "It's been a great ride. When we were starting the company our primary investors told us we'd have to move the company to California, there wasn't enough talent here. We disagreed. We wanted to make this a Colorado company and we were committed to that and we still are."

In his comments Levisay attributed much of Denver's success in launching such companies to Denver's evolution into a commuter-friendly, city with ample access to travel options, among other things. For instance, 60 percent of Craftsy's employees take public transport, bike or walk to work, he said.

"Downtown Denver has done everything right in terms of urban planning, urban infill and residential for young employees," Levisay added. "Cost of commercial real estate and access to it is very reasonable. The engineering talent here is very strong."

Levisay also credited the success to Denver's unique "collective zeitgeist" that encompasses established companies in the region talking with startups. "Ten years from now, we'll be amazed as we get some startups that evolve into escape velocity and really achieve iconic stature."

Read the annual State of Downtown Denver report here.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Utivity hosts the first Colorado Indie Business Forum at Green Spaces

On March 11, Utivity hosts the first Colorado Indie Business Forum at Denver's Green Spaces. The event is focused on helping startups grow into a successful business and will feature executive speakers from Love Grown Foods, Icelantic Skis and Utivity.

Utivity is a new startup that Founder Matthew Shifrin likens to Airbnb for professional services. "Our desktop and mobile platform are designed to provide users with the ability to search and filter on a wide array of criteria," Shifrin says.

Users will be ability to price, shop, read reviews and compare products and services via its portals. "For the business, freelancer or individual we give them a simple and intuitive tool that manages every aspect of their business, from store front, rich media, reviews, billing, credit card processing, customer interactions, legal, rewards, referrals and advertising at no upfront cost."

He says the platform connects people looking for services with those that can provide them. The site can connect individuals or professionals with all sorts of things, ranging from someone wanting private guitar lessons to individuals and small businesses providing the services they want. Shifrin formerly worked with the Jarden Corp. where, among other things, he introduced the Billy Boy condom brand to the U.S.

Shifrin will join Maddy D'Amato, CLO (chief love officer) of Love Grown Foods, and Annelise Loevlie, CEO of Icelantic Skis, to give roughly 10-min speeches. "Speakers will spend 10 minutes providing a little background on their companies, how they got started, and provide a couple of anecdotes on what worked and what didn't," he says. Attendees also will be able to ask the executives questions about their experiences in launching companies.

The event will also include beverages from Great Divide Brewing Co. and food from Amerigo. Shifrin anticipates that up to 175 people may attend the event, including several state representatives as well as members of Colorado's economic development team.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Got an idea for a business? Register for Denver Startup Week

Denver Startup Week, which begins Sept. 15 and runs through Sept. 20, celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of Denver and Colorado by bringing together the public, private and nonprofits in the region to cross-pollinate ideas and teach people about starting a business. In its third year, the event is the largest free entrepreneurial event in the country, jam-packed with sessions, presentations by successful entrepreneurs, workshops, happy hours and more.

"We believe there should be no barrier to entry if you want to learn about starting a company," says Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership and an organizing chair of the event. "That is why that core of no admission charges is at the core of this week -- everyone's invited."

Denver Startup Week launched in 2012. In 2013, it attracted more than 5,500 attendees, and 650 companies, showing the desire for such an event to connect the startup community and making it the largest such event in the nation. "Many of the segments of our community were operating in individual silos in more micro-communities. Our goal was to unite those communities and bring them all together," Door explains. To this end, the event has four tracks: business, design, tech and manufacturing.

"In Denver we have an amazing reputation for working extremely well across communities and across a wide array of stakeholders," Door adds. "We believe in the value of public-private partnerships and Denver startup week was founded on the premise that the public sector, the private sector and the nonprofit sector -- when they come together -- they're an extremely powerful platform."

There are over 125 events planned across downtown for the 2014 Denver Startup week. That's in addition to Basecamp at 1515 Arapahoe St., featuring keynote speakers and panelists. It will also include one-on-one mentoring sessions with local and national CEOs, founders, entrepreneurs and developers.

Entrepreneurs can register for the free event by clicking here.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Ticket Cricket offers an alternative to parking tickets

It seems Denver thrives on issuing parking tickets and infractions, after all when you’ve forgotten to pay off previous parking tickets -- after all, it’s not called the Oklahoma City Boot or the Big Apple Boot, it's the Denver Boot. But at least one local startup, Ticket Cricket, is trying to change that with a new app and perhaps a nicer way to avoid getting a ticket.

"What’s the purpose of the parking ticket?” asks Ticket Cricket Co-Founder and CEO Taylor Linnell. “If you get a ticket on your windshield two things happen: One, you have no idea you have a ticket, obviously you would have tried to pay your meter; or two, you got a ticket and now you’ve got no incentive to move your car. If the whole goal of parking tickets is to increase parking turnover, then actually issuing a parking ticket does the reverse of that."

“We want to give coverage to people when life gets away from them or the need goes a little longer than you thought, life’s just so busy and chaotic," Linnell adds. “It helps everyone involved. Why not find them a solution focussed on cooperation?" That’s where the Ticket Cricket app is trying to make headway in Denver and other cities.

The premise behind the app is the ability to extend the time a user can stay in a spot after the meter expires without receiving a ticket -- but still paying a fine -- for the time they need to get back to their vehicle and move it. For instance, a user could get 5 more minutes for $5 or 10 minutes for $10 -- still less than a $25 ticket but enough to make them want to move their vehicle before getting a full-fledged ticket. Linnell originally set up some ideal times and target prices but says the system needs to be flexible to allow different cities to implement it at the rates they deem appropriate.

The app works by communicating with parking patrollers and chirpers (users). When a user parks their vehicle they can log in, geotagging their vehicle. When a parking patroller nears a car owned by a chirper close to or after the time the chirper's time at the spot is up, the patroller is alerted and can push a request to the chirper to extend that time for a fee. The chirper can choose to pay to extend their time at the spot for a short time or get the ticket.

Taylor says he has an upcoming meeting with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock about the app and is in talks with other cities about implementing the Ticket Cricket system, but so far it hasn't been deployed. That said, the ad-supported app is already available for download at the iOS store.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Signpost finds a new home in Denver

New York City-based Signpost has officially opened its new office in the historic Pacific Express Stables building on the corner of Blake and 24th streets at an event attended by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. The company, which offers a marketing software solution aimed at smaller businesses, is making Denver its second home.

"We started Signpost years ago with the vision of helping local businesses succeed in an increasingly complex world," explains CEO Stuart Wall. "Over the past few years, we've talked to over 10,000 small business owners to understand the challenge that they have and how we can help them succeed and we built software today that helps them automate their presence across every social directory that matters, collect information on those customers and then engage those customers in a very simple way."

When Signpost expanded to Denver last year, it was in a cramped office on 16th Street. But things have quickly changed. "It’s been a great expansion for us in Denver. We raised a $10 million funding round in November of last year," Wall says. "That allowed us to expand even more in the city."

The 8,500-square-foot facility gives Signpost’s roughly 30 local employees some space to stretch their legs -- for now. Wall says the company plans to hire at least 75 more people in Denver this year alone. He anticipates that most of the Denver hiring will be in sales, marketing and customer experience. The growth is partly due to Denver's central location, which allows greater time-zone flexibility when connecting with clients across the U.S. He says he could also see hiring some front- or back-end developers at the office.

Hancock sees Signpost’s move as evidence that Denver’s emphasis on attracting small companies and tech companies is working. “Something phenomenal is happening in the city,” he says. “Last year we saw 1,000 new companies get started in Denver. Denver is the second best city in the nation to start a company, particularly a tech startup."

Walls explains some of the city’s attractions for company like his: “We came because we think it’s a great city, with a very talented pool of people that we could add to our team. It has a growing tech ecosystem…and a quality of life that New York certainly can’t come close to matching.” He also speaks to the ability to retain talent in Denver.

Hancock says Denver's developed a capital matrix to help discuss Denver's small business story and how it is working to support more small businesses. "These are the things driving this economy today," he says. "The whole goal is about strengthening Denver's bench so that small business really drive our economy."

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.
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