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Central Platte Valley : Innovation & Job News

24 Central Platte Valley Articles | Page: | Show All

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.

The Greenway Foundation to test MSU Denver students' trash removal machines in Cherry Creek

On April 30, five unique devices will be placed in Cherry Creek at Confluence Park as part of the Clean River Design Challenge. The devices were designed by Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) students for trash removal and will be tested as part of the Greenway Foundation's annual spring cleanup event.

Students developed and designed the devices over the past eight months. Originally 10 teams demonstrated their machines to a panel of judges from The Greenway Foundation, The Water Connection, the City and County of Denver, MSU Denver's One World One Water (OWOW) Center, the Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant and Rose Community Foundation.

Then judges selected the final devices for the Clean River Design Challenge. They're intended to raise awareness of and strive towards the development of solutions to trash pollution in the South Platte River and its tributaries. Five teams were awarded $1,000 to create a working model of their design to be tested on the Cherry Creek. Their machines will be used in conjunction with the CH2M Spring RiverSweep presented by The Nature Conservancy, MillerCoors and Noble Energy as part of Comcast Cares Day. 

Placing the machines in the creek will allow their effectiveness to be observed, according to the foundation. "This competition will both raise awareness of, and strive towards the development of solutions to this source of pollution in the South Platte River and its tributaries," officials explained in a statement.

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

Aten Design Group sponsoring free events on Drupal, information architecture

Denver's Aten Design Group knows the importance of information architecture and understanding content management systems (CMSs). As such the company is hosting one of the World Information Architecture (IA) Day meetings on Feb. 20 and sponsoring a free Drupal 8 workshop on March 11.

The first event, the World IA seminar is being held at Aten's offices at 3507 Ringsby Ct., unit #111, in Denver. The Drupal 8 event is being hosted at Galvanize LoDo at 1644 Platte St. in Denver.

It's the first time Denver's hosted a World IA event and is one of more than 50 events taking place across the world on Feb. 20. The event is focused on the practice and education of information architecture. This year's focus is 'Information Everywhere, Architects Everywhere.' During the seminar, being held between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., industry experts will discuss the shape and future of IA and how people all over the world are using it.

Following that on March 11, the company is sponsoring a free micro-conference 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Galvanize to help Drupal users learn more about the latest Drupal, Drupal 8. The widely used, highly customizable CMS system. The morning sessions will focus on major differences between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 and the afternoon sessions will practice putting some of the new tools into use..

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


Colorado Impact Fund supports Galvanize with its fifth investment

Locally focused venture capital firm Colorado Impact Fund has made its fifth investment since launching in July 2014 in Galvanize, the tech education and workspace startup that's establishing a major presence in tech scenes in Denver and elsewhere.

"This investment represents a perfect synergy of our two organizations with complementary missions coming together for the greater good," explains Jim Kelley, managing partner of the Colorado Impact Fund. "Galvanize is filling a much-needed gap between the demand and supply for technical talent, while also attracting industry partners to create a strong hiring pipeline for its graduates."

The company, which launched in 2012, has established eight campuses in some of the country's most tech-oriented cities: San Francisco, Austin, Seattle and Phoenix. The other four campuses are in Colorado -- two in Denver, one in Boulder and one in Fort Collins.

Galvanize offers immersive, 12- to 24-week courses for people interested in working in data science, engineering, development and other IT positions. The company boasts a 95 percent placement rate for its graduates.

"Preparing our workforce and students to compete in an increasingly tech-oriented economy is very much on strategy for CIF," Kelley says.

Beyond education, the company also has workspaces for startups and entrepreneurs. Such community workspaces and offices can help cross-pollinate ideas and help companies find ways to work together.

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.


Galvanize hosts Internet of Things startup weekend

Galvanize's newest location on Platte St. in Denver will host a first-of-its-kind startup weekend  focused on creating hardware and software for the Internet of Things (IoT) May 29-31.

The startup weekend will bring teams together to prototype hardware with software and internet connectivity, with a winning team getting a free, one-month membership to Galvanize's newest location at 1644 Platte St. 

Participants will have a chance to work on one of 15 internet-connected prototyping boards donated by Particle (formerly Spark). The boards will allow the teams of innovators to prototype connected hardware as easily, and quickly as a web app, according to the organizers. Particle itself is moving forward out of the startup stage. "Particle got its start via a Kickstarter campaign in mid 2013," explains Steve Herschleb, one of the event organizers.


Teams participating in the weekend long event will have access to prototyping software, hardware and other tools that will allow them to create a product. The goal of the project is to prototype a product and pitch a business based on the prototype by Sunday evening.

"The Particle Core is Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity which is how the price has remained so affordable," Herschleb says. "Like other hardware prototyping devices, additional functionality . . . can be added by connecting additional hardware. Particle also has another product called the Electron that has cellular connectivity," he says, giving more insight into what's possible with the devices being used in the event.

Tickets to participate in the event that starts on May 29 at 6 p.m. are $99, and are available here. Galvanize and Up Global are offering Confluence Denver readers a 33 percent discount if they use the code: Confluence Denver.

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.

Luxury box broker SuiteHop hiring in 2015 with $1M in new funding

SuiteHop recently secured another $1 million in equity funding that will allow the Denver-based luxury suite broker to make new hires and expand marketing and operations. The company has also added more than $5 million of inventory in terms of booking luxury suites and boxes at sports and entertainment venues across the U.S.

The company now has inventory from more than 550 events, ranging from the Denver Broncos' playoff game on Jan. 11 (tickets start at $1,800) to Linkin Park and Rise Against at NYC's Barclays Center on Jan. 25 (tickets start at $225). The company works with event centers and suite owners to sell tickets in luxury suites that may not go used for whatever reason, seats that most people don't have easy access to.

"SuiteHop is changing the market for suite tickets by providing a way for companies and individuals to purchase luxury suite tickets without having to go through a broker," says SuiteHop CEO Todd Lindenbaum. "Our investors can see the value in a service that provides a benefit to lease owners, potential suite buyers, arena owners and the teams themselves. We expect in the coming months to see even more additions to our large inventory." 

The company is attracting investments from entrepreneurs as well as from the technology and service sectors. "SuiteHop has a great business model that just makes sense. It is perfect for small to mid-sized businesses that want access to suites but can't afford leasing an entire suite for a year," explains investor Jeff Kurtzman, co-founder of Better World Books and Operation Incubation.

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

gSchool offers $500 for student referrals

The need for software engineers and programmers is so great in Denver that Galvanize's gSchool is offering a $500 finding fee to those that refer a friend or colleague to its advanced, immersive Golang Microservices (Go) class that's set to start Jan. 26, 2015. The 12-week program isn't cheap -- it's $15,000 -- but gSchool claims the program boasts a post-graduation hiring rate of 99 percent.

Referring someone alone isn't enough to reap the rewards. The referrals must be accepted into the course for the referrer to receive the $500. To qualify for the program applicants must have an advanced knowledge of coding.

"Unlike other gSchool immersive courses where we teach our students how to code, the Golang Microservices course expects students to arrive already knowing how to code, allowing for a more compact 12-week course," the organization explains on its website.

The course is designed to teach developers and engineers how to write software with a microservice architecture used by companies like Google, Docker, SendGrid, Pivotal and more. gSchool explains that Go is a newer, general purpose programming language that takes advantage of multi-core computing, which is making it a coding language of choice for many companies.

The school is offering 3 Colorado classes that start in January 2015. In addition to the Golang class in Denver it's offering 24-week full stack development classes in Denver and Boulder at Galvanize locations. The school is offering one full merit-based scholarship worth up to $20,000. It will also offer several partial scholarships for minorities, veterans and women worth up to $5,000.

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

WALKscope helps Denver address walkability weaknesses

WalkDenver introduced WALKscope, a new online app that allows people -- anywhere in Denver and some surrounding areas -- to quickly identify and add to a database of pedestrian issues. Already the organization is harnessing the app's power to create reports on pedestrian issues near schools, to make them safer who students who walk, bike or skate to school.

"It's an interactive map that anybody can use to crowd-source data about the pedestrian infrastructure in their own neighborhood," explains Jill Locantore, WalkDenver's Policy and Program Director. "They just add a pin to the map, add some information: Is there a sidewalk? How wide is it? Is it in good condition?"

Users can also upload information about intersections, crosswalks whether drivers are obeying stop signs and other safety concerns.

"It's so that we can start building up the evidence base of pedestrian infrastructure and where do we see the real needs and start focussing attention so the city can make better more informed decisions about how it chooses to spend its limited transportation dollars," Locantore says. "We're sharing the information with the principals of the schools, Denver Public Works, CDOT and other entities that are interested in using this information to make the case for some very targeted improvements."

WalkDenver partnered with Denver's PlaceMatters to create the app, according to Locantore. "It was kind of a perfect marriage," she says. "We got a grant from the organization Mile High Connects in 2013. WalkDenver and PlaceMatters together to develop the application."

The app launched in February at the Partners for Smart Growth conference and attendees were asked to, well, walk a mile in their shoes so to speak, identifying pedestrian issues and adding them to the map.

"Since then, we've been encouraging people to use it as a tool but also we're very focused on walk audits," Locantore says. The audits are more in-depth walkability reviews of neighborhoods and areas around schools, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and those with high pedestrian accidents.

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

Ready, set, vegetable! Find your local farmers' markets online

You can always go and get your fruits, and vegetables from the grocery stores, but they come from parts unknown and suffer from a lack of diversity -- and it's expensive.

It's June, it's time to be outside. Over in Palisade, peaches are ripening, and like wildflowers, farmers' markets are once again popping up. Overall, there are nearly 30 farmers' markets in the metro region with a lucky 13 close to Denver's heart.

Finding them and figuring out where and when they open and close can be frustrating, but Derek Rojers of Extra Space Storage recently created a Google map with all that information, making it easier to see how close people at to their local farmer's markets.

"I made this map as a way to help local businesses and people, who are the main support for our business here at Extra Space Storage," he says. "It is a community effort that we are hoping will help to grow the local community, help people, and keep money in Denver."

Rojers says he scoured the Internet to learn about local farmers' markets and got some added input from people who emailed him. "People cannot add their markets to the map, but they are more than welcome to email me and I will add them," he says.

Oh, and did we mention all the free samples farmers and local food manufacturers like salsa and sauce and jam makers give out? In a word, yum.

Check the map out and find your local farmers' market below. 


Map provided by your local Extra Space Storage

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.

Cameras rolling for One Day in Denver on April 26

What do you want to say about Denver? What do you want people to know about Denver and what’s great or not so great here? That’s the focus of One Day in Denver, the local version of One Day on Earth's latest project, encouraging people to go out and film their cities and focus on the issues they think are important.

The project, which is taking place in 11 U.S. cities from New York to Los Angeles, will ultimately result in a three-part television series that will air on CPT 12 PBS locally, explains Kristin Nolan, the local producer for project. Nolan also produces the Starz Denver Film Festival and other projects in the city.

Nolan anticipates that roughly 200 films will be submitted locally. Some of them will be raw footage while others will be edited. Ultimately, they’ll become part of the larger project. "They'll be culled through and pieces to help highlight storylines will be pulled out and really speak to the overarching themes behind the event, which are: Where are we now? What do we appreciate? Why do we live in cities? What are some of the issues that we face living in cities? What are some resolutions to those issues that we’re looking at? All of those items will be highlighted in that series across the three parts."

"All of the participants, filmmakers, organizations, individuals are creating pages within our website and it's very much a social website, an interactive geotagged website where everyone can say:, 'Hey, here's who I am, here's what I do. Here's how you can engage with my work and here's what I’m bringing to the table for One Day in Denver." The site also features an interactive map with links to the other participating cities.



It's been a changing experience for Nolan. "I've sensed Denver in a way that I never have before and learned so very much about organizations and the passions and individuals," she says. "Other people can have that experience as they move through the map."

Videos must be filmed on April 26 and submitted by May 26. "If someone wants to do an edited piece I’d recommend one to four minutes," Nolan says. "Something dynamic that's digestible." Those uploading raw footage can upload more than one piece, but each is limited to 500 megabytes.

You can register to participate in the project here. Nolan is hosting an event April 17 at SPACE Gallery at 400 Santa Fe Dr. from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to discuss the project and answer questions.

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

Auckland Outdoors sets out to become the Airbnb of camping gear

Want to go camping for a weekend but don't have the gear or don't know where to go? Check out the recently launched Auckland Outdoors. The company offers competitively priced rentals ($8 a day for backpack, sleeping bag and tent) but it’s also designed as a peer-to-peer rental site, kind of like the Airbnb or Couchsurfing version of the outdoors. It's likely the first company to offer such services for camping.

So if you're traveling to Denver -- or live in Denver -- you can check out what’s available to rent, not just from Auckland Outdoors, but also from others who have registered to offer their gear, be it a camp stove, disc golf set, snowshoes or gaiters from the company's site Outdoors.io. Already about 150 people -- mainly from Denver but also San Francisco and other cities -- have signed up to either offer their gear or to rent gear from the company and others on the site, says Founder Rob Auston.

"Ultimately our mission is to make it easier for people to have outdoor experiences," Auston explains. "Who we’re really targeting is kind of that person that moved out here for the lifestyle…and they quickly find out that if I go spend $2,000 on a road bike I'm now limited to the other opportunities I can do because I can't afford to buy the gear."

He adds, "Sometimes not just about the cost, it's about the space. Living downtown in a 500-square-foot space. I just don’t have the space for all my gear."

The core of the site is now focused around the gear. But Auston observes that there are other important components to the outdoor experience. "There’s the community piece: 'Who can I do this with?' And the discovery piece, you know: 'Where can I go camping?' But right now our focus is just on the foundational piece, let's get that right and let's try and unlock all this gear that sits idle in people's closets most of the year,” he says. "We're starting to build some features around community and discovery aspects."

Auckland Outdoors, named after Auston’s experience in New Zealand, also has a bunch of the basic gear available for rental. "Eddie Bauer gave us $10,000 in camping gear. So we've got tents, sleeping bags, backpacks all ready for people to rent," he says. At this point all of that gear is still virgin -- after all, camping season in Colorado doesn't really get underway until May.

Whether you're a renter or a gear junky who wants to rent out gear when you’re not using it, you can register at the site for free. If you've got gear to rent, Auston says the process is pretty easy. "You can take a picture of whatever the gear is and put in the price you want and add a description," he explains. The gear owner can accept or reject requests and can set up a meeting place. Transactions are handled through Auckland Outdoors, which takes a 15 percent transaction fee.

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

Zengo, Richard Sandoval Restaurants find a home in Denver

"From working with the restaurants in Denver, a lot of folks that I work with have related to me that they think the culinary scene has really grown up a lot and is growing exponentially compared to 10 or 15 years ago," says Noah Loudenback, Operations Director for Richard Sandoval Restaurants. "So I think it’s a market where there is a lot of interest -- not just in cuisines but also in jobs in the food industry."

Colorado is the eponymous Richard Sandoval's largest market, and Denver became the restaurateur's international headquarters in 2013. He now has a total of seven restaurants throughout the state, including Zengo in the Central Platte Valley.

According to Loudenback, Denver was Sandoval’s first market outside of New York. "Denver really grasped the Richard Sandoval concepts very well," he contends. "The first location of Zengo was in Denver." Today the company also has Zengo restaurants in Washington, D.C., New York and Santa Monica.

In Denver, he adds, "Zengo’s 10-year anniversary is coming up this week, March 5, which is going to be cooking." The restaurant is co-located with a new tequila bar, La Biblioteca.

Denver also is home to another Sandoval restaurant, Tamayo, which has been around for nine years, and the company also has La Sandia in North Stapleton and four other restaurants throughout Colorado in resort towns.

The concentration of eateries in Colorado is just one reason why the restaurateur chose to relocate his headquarters west from New York last year. "The proximity in terms of being a central location to the rest of the country was attractive when we chose to move to Denver," Loudenback says. Today the company employs 15 people at its offices in RiNo and many more at the seven restaurants in Colorado.

The restaurants continue to innovate as well. Though Zengo has four locations for instance, no two menus are the same.

"Most of the creative culinary side is going to be at the restaurants," Loudenback says. "We like to have a least a few dishes that are unique to each location. We don't like it to be entirely cookie-cutter...especially when we have these concepts where we have a full-time executive chef on site. We've always felt like it’s a big part of our strength to having somebody of that level of ability to have a little more creativity."

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com. 
24 Central Platte Valley Articles | Page: | Show All
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