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MOO opens office in Denver for digital printing

MOO, a digital printing services provider, has opened its third office in Denver. It's one of the companies where people can get business cards, flyers, stickers and more. The company will hire a small team to help the company serve its clients and customers in central and western U.S.

MOO is initially opening an office at the Golden Triangle Galvanize. Company officials see it as a good location in the coworking community and tech and startup scene.

"As we continued to grow in the U.S. and beyond, it was important for us to be there for our customers in the central and western U.S.," says MOO COO John Kennedy. "We already print and ship from our Rhode Island facility but, to be able to serve our growing customer base as efficiently as possible, we've taken our first steps to having a full presence further West."

MOO's other offices are in Boston and Providence, but the move is intended to focus sales teams within their respective time zones and add efficiencies to customer service.

The company could have opened in other locations, but ultimately saw Denver as the best fit. Kennedy says, "We were hugely impressed with the culture and spirit of entrepreneurialism in Denver and felt that we could find a great team to help support our growth."

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.

Denver seeks public comment on four-year workforce plans

City officials is seeking comments on its workforce development services and program plans for the next four years. The plan is a draft for the city's state and federally funded workforce development services and programs and will help guide Denver as it strives to maintain a vibrant community with plenty of job and career opportunities.

The Denver Office of Economic Development said the report is designed to implement a "one-stop model that integrates WIOA [Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act] and [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] TANF programs into a seamless service delivery system." It will help the city plan how it will prepare the workforce of today and tomorrow. That includes developing places like The Commons on Champa to help encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.

The plan will help the city and its citizenry identify career pathways and develop learning experiences that are business-driven, including transitional jobs, professional internships and on-the-job training, with a focus on developing apprenticeship programs in areas including IT and advanced manufacturing. It also will assist the city in developing a preferred training provider list that will offer clear and transparent information to prospective students about career pathways and preferred education and training programs for potential careers.

People, businesses and organizations may comment on the Denver WIOA 2016-2020 Area Plan through April 30. Public comments may be provided to Cindy Gaertner at cindy.gaertner@denvergov.org.

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

New app designed to help people deal with OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition affecting millions of people in the U.S. Sufferers have uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and behaviors. It can interfere with school, work and home life. Best friends Stephen Michael Smith and Daniel Greenfeld developed a new app called nOCD to help those with OCD.

Smith is a quarterback at Pomona University who suffers from OCD and was barely able to leave the house. Since 2014 he's worked with Greenfield and they've developed an app to help with some of the most chronic impacts of OCD. "My worst episodes never occurred when my doctor was with me, so when I needed help the most I was always on my own," Smith says.

The app is Greenfeld's first venture since graduating from Trinity University in 2014. He moved to Denver thereafter and began working on launching the app. He and Smith quickly raised $80,000 in funding to launch the app and recruited board members, including health entrepreneur Glenn Tullman, founder of AllScripts and CEO of Livingo Health.

The app launched in February 2016 and already Smith and Greenfeld are improving on it and its associated services. It offers guidance when needed and homework, allowing users to work on their compulsive behavior on their own time. It also records real-time biometric data, tracks types of episodes, offers guided cognitive behavioral exercises and keeps users accountable to staying on track with their treatment.

"We've gotten a wonderful response," Greenfeld says. He explains that the tool is designed not just for those with OCD but also for those who deliver treatment. "One of the ways we tried to create the tool is to make it useful for therapists." As such, the founders are launching a therapist portal that will allow therapists to securely access their patient information, whether they're dealing with just one or 30 or more patients with OCD.

"The future of healthcare is all about empowering consumers to take better care of themselves, and apps like nOCD are a perfect fit for enabling people when they feel an OCD episode coming on. They actually take charge and take control to better manage their own health," Tullman contends.

The app currently costs 99 cents in the Apple Store and offers two free months of use. After that users can pay $14.99 a month or $99 a year for its services. It's currently available for iOS devices, but the development team already is working on a port for Android devices.

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

Turing School launches intensive front-end engineering program

Denver's Turing School of Software & Design is launching its second intensive training program in front-end engineering. The intensive month-long class is designed to prepare students for careers in website design -- from learning the basics of HTML and CSS to client-side development and web-based applications for both desktop and mobile devices.

"While we pride ourselves on opening the technology industry to a diverse array of backgrounds and talents, we evaluate all applicants for aptitude, growth mindset, engagement, agency, empathy and grit," school officials explain in a statement. "Across our programs we've evaluated over a thousand candidates, selecting fewer than 35 percent."

Modules typically include somewhere between 30 and 40 students, says spokesperson Eric Wetmore. This year's programs are scheduled to begin May 9, June 27, August 15, October 3 and November 28.

"Turing School is harder than any other development school. It promises and consistently delivers mid-level developers who know how to code, communicate about code, understand how to share responsibilities as a team, and respect different cultural backgrounds in the workplace," contends Instructor Romeeka Gayhart.

The school says that 96 percent of its graduates are full-time software developers within 4 month of graduation and that its graduates start at an average salary of $75,0000.

It's the second program offering for the nonprofit school, which is helmed by Galvanize Co-Founder Jeff Casimir. The first was its web application development program. Both programs are split into a series of modules or cohorts to allow enrollees to immerse themselves in the training. 

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

Commons on Champa will host Get Hired! job fair

The event is aimed at hiring for the startup community and is being sponsored by BWBacon and  The Commons on Champa, which is hosting it. The events will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on April 14 and will be followed by a party at Battery621.

Get Hired! is open to the public, kicking off with a coding school session for alumni and current students of Colorado's technical training schools. The coding session begins at 4 p.m. and will feature a resume workshop, a panel and question and answer session with three accomplished local hiring managers and early access to the job fair.

The event will feature resume screeners, concierge services and interactive workshops. Through March 29, The Commons on Champa also is accepting applications for companies to participate in the fair. Interested companies can apply here.

After the fair is over at 7:30 p.m., Battery621 will host a rooftop party and Lyft will provide attendees with free rides. The party will have food and drink as well as games, raffles and live music. Learn more about the event here.

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

Industrial design confab coming to Denver

Metropolitan State University of Denver is hosting the Industrial Designers Society of America's (IDSA's) West District Design Conference (WDDC) on April 1-2. This year's event, with a focus on Empathy Driven Solutions, will kick off, fittingly enough, with the Design Swarm honoring those slain in the terrorist attacks in Paris. Keynotes at the conference will include Michael Paterson, senior industrial designer with GoPro and Mike Neustedter, executive director of Paradox Sports. The conference helps designers and students learn about the latest trends in industrial design.

The Design Swarm will be kicked off by Jeff Smith, IDSA, of Autodesk, and Amber Goelst, of Wacom, who will share how to sketch a visual language and showing the importance of capturing rapid ideas on a screen. It will specifically honor U.S. industrial design student Nohemi Gonzalez who was slain in the Paris attack. "We should use this time to invest in each other; break down any barriers that impede on our ability to succeed; and be a part of something bigger then ourselves so we can give back," says WDDC Chair Jason Belaire.

The conference will focus on design, empathy and giving back. In terms of design it will focus on the need for design under pressure while connecting with people that others haven't met. Empathy will focus on using empathy as a research tool for industrial design planning. Giving back will focus on how design inspiration can come from unexpected sources.

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.

March shapes up as Denver's other big beer month

Almost half a year from the other big beer event in Denver, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), March is shaping up to be just as important for Colorado's fermentation revolution.

Colorado Craft Beer Week begins with the one-of-a-kind Collaboration Fest on March 19 and pours through March 30 at Strange Craft Beer Co. with an auction and IPA Throwdown. In fact, for the purposes of innovative brewing and moving the local industry forward, March might even be more important to craft brewing than GABF.

Collaboration Fest, being held for the second year at the Broncos' stadium at Mile High, is probably the most innovative of all the events since it invites breweries from across the world to come together and create what are mostly one-off beers with their fellow brewers. In fact, last year it was dubbed "America's most creative beer fest" by Food & Wine Magazine.

It's an important event for the industry because it encourages brewers from all over the world to exchange notes and practices -- and of course plenty of beer. "We can guarantee one thing: the beers of Collaboration Fest are sure to be some of the most unique, delicious and limited offerings you've ever tasted," say festival organizers, which include the Colorado Brewers Guild, Visit Denver and Two Parts. "Per festival guidelines, one brewery must based in Colorado and a member of the Colorado Brewers Guild, while the collaborating partners could be located next door, across the state, across the country or even overseas."  

This year the fest will boast more than 85 projects from 149 brewers. While most participating breweries are in the U.S., the fest also is bringing international attention with five international breweries participating this year.

Beyond that Denver will serve as a hub for Craft Beer Week, with events happening throughout the state. While many are at breweries, others have unique locations -- like the Mighty Beer Run in Platt Park on March 26.

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

ADvocate, a community for ad tech professionals, launches in Denver

Denver's Epiphany Ai has partnered with Innovation Pavilion and The Trade Desk to launch ADvocate, a new collaborative community focused on advertising technology and entrepreneurs. The new venture is aimed at cementing Colorado at the forefront of ad tech and addressing industry challenges today and tomorrow.

To help kick off the new venture Epiphany Ai is hosting a party at its headquarters in Denver on March 16. "We call out to other ad tech companies to join us on our quest of making Colorado the best ad tech [state] in the world," says Epiphany Ai CEO Joe Salvador. "We have the talent and the tech at our fingertips -- now it's time to work together to make it happen."

"We started ADvocate with Innovation Pavilion not only to focus on the current success and growth of the ad tech industry, but to help Colorado secure a position as an international leader in ad tech," Brian Allen, Epiphany Ai's chief technology officer asserts. "It's imperative that we educate the younger generation about this industry and what is required to be a successful ad tech professional. We believe the knowledge required for this emerging industry can only be passed on through an apprentice relationship -- learning alongside the industry professionals."

Already ADvocate is spawning new programs. ADprentice is aimed at helping to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs in the ad tech space and is focused on students. In addition, The Trade Desk is launching the ADventure accelerator in collaboration with ADvocate. Touted as the first ad tech accelerator in the country, ADventure will help advance second-stage ad tech companies around the world.

"We are thrilled with the opportunity to share our experiences with Colorado ad tech community," said Mike Davis, VP of Innovation at The Trade Desk. Davis is a founding board member of ADvocate. "Collaboration and innovation are two major keys to The Trade Desk's success, and it's a privilege to be able to pay that forward to the next generation of ad tech leaders."

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

SkillStore launches skills training app with free forever access for early users

Denver's SkillStore has launched its mobile app, which uses social-learning and interactive learning to help people learn and practice new skills. The app and site are focused on leadership, communications, and management skills, aimed at reducing the use of ineffective corporate training. To celebrate its launch SkillStore is offering popular free-forever modules for those who register for the service by March 31.

The company has worked with Western Union, SAP and Comcast of the past nine months to build its services and has now deployed it in more than 40 countries. "What separates SkillStore is that, unlike other online learning solutions that focus on providing content, SkillStore enables live video practice with peer feedback,” says Joshua Craver, vice president of Talent Management at Western Union. "People don't just watch videos and take quizzes -- they practice with each other through the app. Apart from being a more effective way to build critical skills, this helps Western Union managers in countries around the world feel more connected with each other -- as they learn together.”

Skillstore's learning methods are aimed at reducing wasted spending on corporate training for soft and leadership skills. The company refers to studies showing that roughly 80 percent of such training is currently wasted.

"Today's training methods -- both in-person and online -- have severe shortcomings," asserts Srikant Vasan, SkillStore cofounder and CEO. "SkillStore offers a better way -- built on solid learning science principles to enable active learning -- with live video practice and peer feedback."

The company's services are designed to be easy to use and to access. The app is accessible over the internet and on mobile devices.

SkillStore enables active, experiential learning through interactive video-based practice with peers to build leadership, communications, and management skills that is both effective and scalable. Users in over 40 countries access SkillStore from their laptops, smartphones, or tablets for a variety of soft skills training.

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

At 40, Colorado Enterprise Fund shows no signs of slowing down

The Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this March and will commemorate the milestone with events throughout the year. The nonprofit organization, dedicated to supporting small businesses and startups, loaned more than $7.1 million to small businesses in 2015 alone.

"This organization brought much-needed economic development initially to Denver, and then to the rest of Colorado. It was an opportunity to help Colorado communities find and develop their economic strength," says CEO Ceyl Prinster. "Small business is big business in Colorado, and Colorado Enterprise Fund has been part of making small business growth possible."

The organization isn't stagnating. Already in 2016, it was selected as a finalist in Colorado Impact Days, Prinster will serve as a panelist at the Denver Business Journal's Small Business Awards conference and luncheon in April and it will be recognized at ColoradoBiz Magazine's Top 100 Women-Owned Companies Reception in June.

The organization offers loans of up to $500,000 to entrepreneurs and small companies that can't access other financing. "We lend more than just money," Prinster says. "We provide our borrowers with one-on-one business training and coaching to help them succeed. And when our borrowers succeed, our local communities grow and thrive."

To showcase what it's been up to, CEF launched its "40 Success Stories in 40 Weeks," a social media campaign, which will run through October. The campaign will post stories to Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media outlets about companies that it's helped out in the past.

In October, CEF will host a 40th Anniversary Gala to celebrate its legacy, which includes providing 1,800 loans totaling over $49 million for to support small business growth and startups. It's also been recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Community/Rural Lender of the year in 2015, among other awards.

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

Go Code Colorado Challenge 2016 launches

The third annual Go Code Colorado events kicked off last week. The challenge tasks entrepreneurs, businesses and developers to use public data to solve business problems. Three finalists will be selected in May and each will receive $25,000.

The statewide event is housed in Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams' office, and billed as the first and only statewide effort of its kind. "Go Code Colorado continues to successfully bring together a community around data, technology and entrepreneurship," Williams says. "We want to make government data accessible to all Colorado citizens, and Go Code Colorado is the vehicle to move that vision forward."

This year the challenge is to "create an app and business concept that helps businesses build a competitive strategy." In previous years, the actual challenge wasn't announced until the challenge weekend.

They also changed the rules of the challenge this year to allow the participating teams to start working on their apps right after the initial kickoff. The organizers also announced that people interested in participating but without a team can check out CollabFinder to share information about their expertise and how they want to contribute. Over the next two months, Go Code Colorado will hold five events, four across the state and another in Denver before the final competition in May.

"When Colorado residents look back at what Go Code Colorado did for open data, it will carry the reputation as being  one of the most important government initiatives to the advancement of innovation through open data," says Erik Mitisek, CEO of the Colorado Technology Association.

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

So Let's Roll app launches to help you find the local haps

It can be hard to know what's going on in a busy city like Denver that's where the new So Let's Roll app comes in. It's a Denver and Boulder-focused event aggregator app for iPads and iPhones that focuses on local and community-centric events.

The app shows unique events like an in-home culinary demo, an impromptu music performance, or a pop-up woodworking class, but the company says it won't cover arena-sized events or pro sporting events. Event hosts can publish their events on the app and through its site for free and people looking for something to do and check out local events on the go. They can create an account or log in through Facebook.

The app, developed by Paul Tamburello is more curated than most, keeping the quirky and distinctive in mind. "Our hope is that we can build an active community around the new and spontaneous," explains Tamburello. "So Let's Roll will collect the best happenings in the city so users can access those one-of-a-kind experiences."

"A city is so much more than just large corporate sponsored events, it's all the fine grain happenings that create a rich city culture. Denver is a great 'sports town' but we're so much more," Tamburello says. "Our goal is to amplify the diverse culture of our city through real-time access to the plethora of amazing happenings that create the heart of any city."

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.

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