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Third annual Shed Summit to focus on “Water Is Your Business” takes place on June 29

As one of the nation’s major suppliers of water, Colorado’s watershed is critical to the country's infrastructure, and many are working to balance the needs of the state's residents. That’s where the third annual Shed Summit comes in.

The one day event, taking place at the Denver Botanic Gardens’ York Street location on June 29, will focus on the theme of “Water Is Your Business” and will cover a range of issues regarding the management of Colorado’s water, including the evolution of conservation and climate change under the Trump Administration, the importance of watershed health to recreation, and the role of agriculture in Colorado’s future.

This year the event is expected to bring more than 250 water utility executives, business leaders, conservation experts and others. With the 2017 theme, organizers, which include Denver Water, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Center for ReSource Conservation and more, are seeking to broaden the conversation about watershed management. “The goal is to bring local influence to global issues,” organizers say. They hope to introduce innovative ideas, and break down silos around water management.

The $50 event begins at 9 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m., followed by a happy hour at 6 p.m. Tivoli Brewery will provide beer.

"The Whiskey Film" launches crowdfunding campaign

The filmmakers behind brewing documentary Crafting A Nation are now turning their lens on craft distilling in their new project, The Whiskey Film.

The project follows the story of the craft distilling revolution that's taken hold in Colorado in the recent years. "The whiskey industry in the United States is over 200 years old and when a Congressional resolution declared bourbon whiskey as America's native spirit in 1964, it gained a legitimacy in heritage. No other country can call their spirit bourbon whiskey. Since then, state laws have loosened to allow more distilleries to open and thrive," says Thomas Kolicko, the film's director. "What we're seeing now is a lot of very creative and driven entrepreneurs build upon the tradition. The Whiskey Film features the new generation of whiskey craftsmen and women and dives deep into the agriculture ties behind the end result."

The documentary, which will feature craft distillers from across the country, has focused on three Colorado companies: Colorado Springs-based Distillery 291, Deerhammer in Buena Vista and Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa. The documentary crew is currently looking for up to nine more distillers and whiskey-related agricultural operations to capture their stories, according to Stacey Fronek, a producer with Traverse Image, the production company behind the documentary. 

"This is a story about American craft whiskey and to tell that story well, we want to include distilleries from across the country who are innovating and demonstrate a strong connection to agriculture," Fronek explains. 

While Bourbon County and Kentucky Bourbon are often considered the home of bourbon and the heart of US whiskey manufacturing, Fronek says:  "To us, Colorado is the symbolic epicenter of the movement that is defining craft whiskey." Still, she adds, "We love Bourbon County and Kentucky bourbon, and have high hopes for filming there because of the rich history and tradition."

Traverse Image launched an Indiegogo campaign to support The Whiskey Film on March 15. It hopes to raise at least $100,000 to support the production of the project as each minute of the documentary costs roughly $1,000 to complete. "As we continue to fund the campaign, new filming locations will be 'unlocked' on the Indiegogo page," Fronek says. "Until then, the site of our next shoot will remain a mystery!"

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

Grad students help design a more walkable Montbello

WalkDenver, in its latest partnership with CU Denver graduate students, is tackling walkability issues in northeast Denver’s Montbello neighborhood. 

Bordered by major streets including 56th Avenue, Peoria Street, Chambers Road and I-70 the neighborhood struggles with ensuring its pedestrians, including the children who make up about 40 percent of residents in the area, have access to safe walking routes.

WalkDenver reports that more than 90 percent of students at McGlone Academy and Maxwell Elementary -- part of its 10 school Safe Routes to School Travel Plan project -- live within a mile of their respective campuses and don’t have school buses, meaning that children in the area walk, bike or are driven to school. In making the assessments, the CU Denver students performed on-site audits, researched demographic data interviewed local residents and used the WALKscope tool.

The CU Denver students and their assistant professor, Ken Schroeppel, presented their findings to community members. They found a number of ways to help make Montbello a safer place for pedestrians. They recommended upgrading sidewalks to current wider standards throughout the neighborhood and identified a lack of safe crossings on the wide roads throughout the neighborhood. Other factors that reduce walkability in the neighborhood include poorly maintained sidewalks, high speed limits and a dearth of shade trees. The students recommended improving sidewalks, crossings and bicycle lanes close to schools, parks, recreation centers and libraries.

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

 

All Copy Products, Inner City Heath Center offering free vision screening

On Aug. 20, All Copy Products and the Inner City Heath Center (ICHC) will offer children and adults free vision screening as part of national Children's Eye Health and Safety month. The offering is intended to help those who may have health insurance but lack coverage for vision benefits.

All Copy Products, which offers digital office equipment, print services and IT services for companies, calls it a win-win partnership. The company is doing it not just to be beneficial to the community but beneficial to itself.

"Employees -- particularly the newest generations to join the workforce -- are actively seeking employers who take community giving seriously, and win-win partnering takes us well beyond writing a check to staff engagement with programs like the upcoming vision screening," explains President Brad Knepper.

All Copy Products says it is contributing $35,000 to ICHC in 2016 and plans to grow its contributions to the center to nearly $60,000 in 2017. "Denver nonprofits need partners like All Copy Products that take this collaborative and organized approach to corporate giving," says Kraig Burleson, CEO of ICHC. "This partnership is a game-changer for our organization because it allows us to plan for and use contributions in the most strategic manner possible. . . . It's also helpful to have a pool of volunteers who's support we know we can depend on."

All Copy Products' employees will and more than 20 volunteers from the Lions Club of Denver will aid at the ICHC at 3800 York St. in Denver to support the center's first free vision screening.

At the screening ICHC will have bilingual volunteers and also offer recycled glasses to patients who need them.

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.

Denver Startup Week seeks proposals for 2016 event

Calling all entrepreneurs! The nation's largest free entrepreneurial event, Denver Startup Week, is seeking your proposals for its fifth annual event. The event, which takes over the heart of Denver's innovation and business incubation centers like The Commons on Champa and Galvanize, is being held Sept. 12-16, 2016.

Now is your chance to influence what will be discussed at this year's event by submitting a session proposal, but hurry up: Organizers are accepting submissions through June 15.

The event, which began in 2012 has quickly ballooned. Last year 10,875 people registered to attend 235 sessions, explains event coordinator Brea Olson of the Downtown Denver Partnership. "We are expecting to exceed that number this year," she adds.

"We continue to look for quality and diverse sessions across all of our tracks: Founder, Growth, Designer, Developer, Maker, and Product," Olson says. "We’re also looking for sessions that appeal to a range of industries and at various stages of business."

Denver Startup Week has received more than 200 proposals for sessions for the 2016 event. "Last year, we had more than 520 total submissions and we are looking to meet or exceed that number again this year," Olson asserts.

"We will open up voting to finalize the program in the coming weeks," Olson says, explaining the next steps. People can register to attend the free events starting in August.

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


Denver to host Solar Decathlon in 2017

Denver and the Department of Energy officials have announced that the city will host the international Solar Decathlon competition in 2017. The event will award a total of $2 million to the teams that compete in its 10 challenges to make a livable, affordable, compact solar-powered home -- essentially what each team believes will be the home of tomorrow.

Denver becomes the third U.S. city to host the biennial event, which began in Washington, D.C., and has since taken place in Irvine, California. It brings roughly 60,000 visitors on average. "As one of the top 10 metro areas for solar installations and sunny days, Denver is a great choice to host the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon,"says DOE Under Secretary Franklin Orr.

The decathlon challenges 16 teams of college students from the U.S. and around the world to design and build energy efficient, solar-powered homes that they have to transport from their location to the event location at Denver's Pena Station development. In 2017 for the first time ever, teams will receive $100,000 to defray construction and transportation costs and the teams that do the best in the gauntlet of events will receive extra awards. The team that takes first place will receive $300,000, second place gets $225,000 and third place takes $150,000.

"Denver is proud to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to bring this fun and engaging academic competition to our city," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "This opportunity not only highlights the Denver metro area's leadership in energy efficiency but allows us to spotlight our burgeoning solar energy industry."

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


RAFT focuses on unique learning experiences with Broncos, new pilot

RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching) Colorado is gaining traction. It recently partnered with the Denver Broncos to create interesting STEM challenges for children, moved to Steele St. and is piloting new programs aimed at creating maker spaces.

"The Tackle STEM program is a partnership between the Denver Broncos and Arrow Electronics with a goal of promoting STEM learning for kids," explains RAFT Colorado Executive Director Stephanie Welsh. The partnership with the Denver Broncos and Arrow engages students with a popular team in Colorado as well as through experiential learning rather than learning via book or lecture.

"They have sponsored three activity kits for us:  the Broncos Blaster, Flick a Field Goal, and Broncos Biomechanics," Welsh says. "We launched these activities at Share Fair Nation held at University of Denver in September, where hundreds of kids had the opportunity to create and play and learn from them, and we now are stocking the kits in our resource center."

The organization also is launching a Mobile Make pilot program in the Spring. Though details on the program are being refined, Welsh says it will take RAFT's resources to students and teachers around Colorado. "The content will focus on making -- we will help libraries and schools learn how easy and inexpensive it can be to set up and run maker spaces and how to maximize the learning that happens within them, by setting up temporary maker spaces for community members to enjoy and then by providing training for teachers and librarians," she explains.

It's an expansion of RAFT Colorado's core, which makes use of donated materials to help advance education for kids. The materials can be purchased by schools or teachers for their own in-class projects. "These donations are the most helpful for us because, in addition to the higher volume, we receive large quantities of the same item, which is helpful for teachers who need enough materials for all of their students, and for us when we are assembling hundreds of money- and time-saving educational activity kits," Welsh explains.

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


Relevant ReUse turns old skis into new jewelry

Relevant ReUse is finding ways to make your old castaway skis, wood scrap and other things into handsome, interesting and functional furniture and is creating one-of-a-kind wallets out of recycled leather and bike tubes and skis into unique jewelry -- just in time for ski season. More importantly, though, the company is giving disadvantaged women a second chance.

"Relevant ReUse is a local, woman-owned, jewelry and furniture business, which supports our mission by contracting our employees to make handmade jewelry out of old, upcycled skis," explains Mile High WorkShop Director of Operations and Production Jeremy Katz.

Relevant ReUse owner and designer Heather Mullins partnered with organization to give women recovering from addiction, homelessness, or former incarceration a chance to start over crafting the jewelry and the company's other recycled goods. Mullins contracts and trains Mile High WorkShop employees to handcraft the earrings and prep them for sale and each sale helps support the job training and employment program at the Mile High WorkShop in Englewood.

Considering that ski and holiday seasons are about to get underway it's an ideal time to launch a unique line of jewelry. By design all of the jewelry is unique. "The beauty of this jewelry is that no two pieces are identical. The skis have been cut to ensure that every necklace or pair of earrings is completely unique," Mullins says.

Currently Relevant ReUse's products are available at a number of spots in Denver, including Re-For Your Home, I Heart Denver and Icelantic Skis.

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


Art Gym prints it out with new workspace

Montclair's Art Gym, a place for Denver's artists to flex their artistic muscles by working with and around fellow artists, has introduced a printmaking workspace. The workspace will allow the Art Gym's members to make prints and other pieces of artwork that use what can be very expensive -- albeit infrequently used -- tools.

Art Gym has now opened 3,000 square feet dedicated to printmaking. Members, who pay $100 a month to access the facility for a variety of art forms, can use the tools available in the print shop to silk screen, makes prints and more.

The Art Gym is holding a gallery show, Print & Process, Possibilities in Print, to celebrate its new focus area and showcase how several generations of regional artists have used printmaking tools to make pieces art. The show will include traditional prints, printed sculpture, book art and installation pieces.

The Art Gym has purchased printmaking tools, including presses, from artists including Clinton Cline, Barb Hale and the late E.C. Cunningham. Other artists exhibiting at the show include Theresa Haberkorn, Alicia Bailey, Jennifer Ghormley and Justin Maes.

The show, which opened Aug. 6, will run through Sept. 12., will feature works of art from the artists whose tools were purchased. In addition, the communal artist space will hold an artist demo on Aug. 15 with Mark Lunning and an artist discussion with Johanna Mueller.

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


PaintCare launches statewide paint recycling program

Too many people have leftover paint after repainting their home or apartment. This stuff usually sits around until it can't be used anymore or ends up in the dump -- which is not good since paints can leach toxic materials into the ground. But last year Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation into law requiring paint recycling. Now, through the free paint recycling program, PaintCare, Coloradans are able to recycle the paint hiding behind the stairs, in the basement or in the garage -- for free!

PaintCare was set up by paint manufacturers as a way to mitigate paint waste. The organization says that more than half of the materials handled by household hazardous waste facilities is paint.


There are already nearly 50 paint drop-off locations in the Denver area, and the organization already has more than 100 locations throughout Colorado. Many of these are at hardware and paint stores

"We are thrilled to see the excitement and energy from Colorado retailers to become paint drop-off sites," says Paul Fresina, PaintCare's director of communications. "Before the program was implemented, many people didn't have any easy way to get rid of their unwanted paint, but now Coloradans have the option to simply drop off paint at a PaintCare retail partner near them for recycling."

The legislation signed by Hickenlooper doesn't require a fee for recycling. However, Coloradans are already paying to recycle paint when they purchase it. That's because the legislation imposed a small fee on the purchase of paint. For instance, a five-gallon bucket of paint carries a $1.60 fee to handle recycling.

Once the paint is collected PaintCare processes it into a number of things. Some is remixed into recycled-content paint, used as fuel or made into other products or. In some case, when paint is unrecyclable, PaintCare dries it out and disposes of it. Visit www.paintcare.org to learn more.

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


Funnybone Toys marches forward with two new games for 2015

Building on the success of its current line of games and interactive toys, Funnybone Toys is getting ready to introduce toy new games for 2015, Juxtabo and Spectracube. The new toys will start hitting stores in February following Toy Fair New York.

Both games are are intended for people as young as 6 and offer challenges for people much older. With Juxtabo, the board is actually made out of the puzzle pieces, two-sided discs with different colors on each side. "Juxtabo is for people who like chess, checkers and other games," Funnybone Toys founder Julien Sharp. "You get these pieces and build the board out of them."

Players must match the color and pattern presented on cards and the player who collects the most cards wins. As board grows it can resemble a mountain range or other 3D structures.

Spectracube has 30 dice-like cubes, half with primary colors, the other half with secondary colors. "There are six games in one," Sharp says. However, users, particularly children, are encouraged to use the cubes to create their own games with the cubes, she adds.

The company is building on its previous success. Its other games, Funnybones, Disruptus, Arrazzles and others have all won multiple awards. Most of the company's games are intended for a family audience, but not Disruptus. "That particular game is really for the corporate world," Sharp says. "The others are more for family fun, getting kids to think." She's spoken at numerous business conferences about using Disruptus in the corporate world.

The next step for Funnybone Toys is more submissions. "Our games consistently win," Sharp says. "I'll be submitting them to MENSA. We might have a nice chance there and with Dr. Toy."

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

Denver to hold IT jobs fair Oct. 30

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is holding "Denver's Tech Talent: Meeting Tomorrow's Needs," a free industry forum and job fair, on Thurs. Oct. 30 to help match talent with talent seekers. OED is holding the event at the ICOSA Media offices at 4100 Jackson St. Registration and networking begin at 8 a.m.

More than 20 IT companies will be at the job fair looking for new potential hires, says Derek Woodbury, OED spokesperson. Employers participating in the job fair will include NIMBL, RTL Networks, iTriage, NexusTek, Time Warner Cable, Live Consulting, Skybridge Infotech and Raymond James Financial.

"Denver's IT workforce of more than 17,000 is expected to expand to nearly 20,000 within the next two years, and even the most conservative estimates place average earnings per job at $114,000," said OED Workforce Development Director Denise Bryant. "Along with healthcare and advanced manufacturing, technology is a critical industry of focus for us. Our goal is to identify the rapidly evolving skills that jobseekers need, improve our workforce training to match marketplace demands, and continue to attract the top talent to Denver."

The morning will kick off at 9 a.m. with a panel discussion about what IT companies are looking for in potential hires. "We'll have three Gazelles on an awesome panel to start out in the morning," Woodbury says. The Gazelles are companies the OED has identified during Denver Startup Week as some of the fastest-growing startups in Denver. The panel will include executives from NIMBL and RTL Networks.

Job-seekers can register for the free event here. Industry employers interested in participating in the job fair should contact richard.marr@denvergov.org.

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

Denver Startup Week, an aspen grove of entrepreneurialism

Like an aspen grove, Denver Startup Week (Sept. 15-20) is the largest event of its kind, and like an aspen grove in fall, it's pure gold for entrepreneurs in the region. Also like an aspen grove, it's taken root and growing quickly.

The free event to help spur innovation and growth in startups launched in 2012. In 2013, it launched Basecamp, the metaphorical root cluster of the event, and the event grew to a total of 125 events across Denver. In 2014, Basecamp is back (it's at Ashford University's Denver Online Center at 1515 Arapahoe St.) and the conference includes more than 175 separate events at venues across Denver from the Seawall Ballroom to Gensler's offices to Breckenridge Brewing Company.

Denver Startup Week is a massive event and, unlike a traditional conference, it's not hosted at any one particular place. It's all over the place, in fact more than 60 locations across Denver are hosting events ranging from law offices to taco shops, reflecting the nature of Denver's entrepreneurial spirit. Expect a full day of events, too. During the week events start as early as 7:30 a.m. and some go on until 2 am (like the karaoke event at Beauty Bar). Once you register for the event, you can start choosing your schedule so you can keep track of when and where you need to be.

Currently the schedule lists at least one event each of the following places (not including the spaces mentioned above): Modworks, Infinite Monthly Theorem, Sendgrid, Mapquest, ReadyTalk, PaySimple, CU Denver's Jake Jabs Center, Galvanize, Industry, BPR Denver, Forest Room 5, Crooked Stave at The Source, Denver Union Station, MCA Denver, Connect People + Space, CSU - Denver, Epic Brewing Co., Novo Coffee, TAXI - Drive 2, Black Shirt Brewing Co., Code, Grace Skis, Talklaunch, Sendgrid, SpireMedia, Vonmod + Von Design & The Maker Lab, Luca, Code, Elevated Third, Converge, The Alliance Center, Beauty Bar, Signpost, Officescapes, iTriage, Ping Identity, Wahoo's Fish Taco, Faegre Baker Daniels, Cirro, Rally Software - LoDo, DADA Art Bar, Knotty Tie Co., Ellie Caukins Loft, McNichols Building, EffectiveUI, Elements, DU Margery Reed Hall, David Graham & Stubbs LLP, Rocky Mountain Patent, StackExchange, Wynkoop Brewing, Photobucket, Convercent, Turing School, Geotech Environmental Equipment, Inc., HOSTING, Denver Community CU, City Hall Amphitheater, Fairfield & Woods, PC, Cowboy Lounge and locations to be announced.

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

Find local breweries and more with CraftedHere

Want to find the nearest or newest brewery or marijuana dispensary in Colorado? Check out Denver-based Craft Boom's recently launched app, CraftedHere.

The app is available on Apple and Android devices and the information also is available via craftedhere.us.

Craft Boom CEO Chase Doelling explains that the company launched the app about a month ago and are now starting to bring attention to it after a softer launch.

"What we're hoping to capitalize on now is cannabis tourism," Doelling says. "As people come in they're mainly focussed on trying cannabis because its legal. But there are all these breweries here and all this here and you can capture all the side markets. People might not know what's around the corner from them outside of just landing in downtown and wandering close to the center of the city."

Currently the app and site cover five categories of Colorado-friendly crafts: breweries, cannabis shops, coffee shops, distilleries and wineries. Doelling says the information is populated from state records and actual experiences. Information for each brewery includes information about their awards at the Great American Beer Festival. However, instead of customer reviews, the app uses badges to rate the sites.

Also, the map-based app can show users what's nearby. "So if you're in a brewery it will tell you what's the nearest coffee shop, the closest park and going down the list," Doelling says. In the future, the Craft Boom team could cover restaurants and other points of crafty interest, he adds.

At this point, the information is only available for Colorado and users can manually submit information about new breweries through email, but can't add them to the app or site. As the user base grows, Doelling hopes to expand it to more markets to the western U.S.

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