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Explore LoDo app launches, shows Denver’s past and present

To help connect visitors and residents with Denver’s history as well as its current businesses and attractions the LoDo District recently introduced Explore LoDo. The new app shows off historical places in the heart of Denver and harnesses information from Historic Denver, Denver Public Library and other sources to give users updates on what’s going on in the neighborhood. 

“LoDo is a dynamic neighborhood with a unique blend of history and modernity,” said Leslie Sale, Executive Director of the LoDo District. “We have been able to protect this balance because of the work of historic preservationists and creative reuse strategies. This app will help locals and visitors discover, engage and connect with Lower Downtown Denver, as well as preserve its history and stories of yesteryear.”

The app, which was developed by Envie Media, uses beacons and geofencing to alert users to the history of more than 25 locations in LoDo when they’re nearby. The alert offers a short history of each location and includes historical pictures of the location and contemporary pictures of the location. Users can also share their pictures and stories of LoDo through the app. 

Explore LoDo also includes a directory of downtown’s businesses, including restaurants, places to go for entertainment, clothing stores and more. It also provides them with information about events taking place in LoDo.

The app is available for Apple devices and Android devices. People can check out the app at lodo.org/app.

The Denver Art Museum seeks ideas for Untitled Final Fridays in 2017

The Denver Art Museum is hosting "Meet Here: An Evening of Untitled Idea Brewing and Creative Criss-Cross" on Nov. 18, a brainstorming event for creatives and others to generate ideas for outdoor installations, residencies and the 2017 Untitled Final Fridays series of events at the museum. The events bring local artists and the community together for exhibitions and installations. The workshop is open from 6 to 8 in the evening.

"Ideas are needed for upcoming projects including outdoor installations, residencies, and 2017's Untitled Final Fridays," explains Camila Navarrette, a spokesperson for the museum. "Local craftsmen, chefs, musicians, artists and other movers and makers are invited to brainstorm the activities for the upcoming Untitled season and potential new programs for DAM."

The free event is being held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first floor of the North Building and will include food and beverages from a cash bar. The event will include mini-think tank sessions where attendees will work together to generate ideas. 

People can send RSVPs to lhegge@denverartmuseum.org.

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


Pop-up beer garden coming to Skyline Park

Beginning Aug. 19, Skyline Park will host a pop-up beer garden showcasing Colorado craft beers. Adults will be able to enjoy a beer at a 40,000-square-foot area at Skyline Park and relax in the shade under a tent or in open-air seating. The beer garden is part of the city's effort to encourage activities in Denver's public spaces like the Meet in the Street events.

"The Downtown Denver Partnership is excited to bring forward a new and unique program to encourage residents, employees and visitors to gather in Downtown Denver in one of our most vibrant parks," says John Desmond, executive vice president of downtown environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership. "The Skyline Beer Garden builds on several initiatives to bring diverse and attractive programming to Skyline Park and support long-term strategies to create a premier outdoor downtown that contributes to an economically thriving center city."

The family-friendly beer garden will feature 12 beers on tap and serve food from the Lowry Beer Garden. Oktoberfest-style tables will seat more than 350, and the operation will create 15 to 20 jobs while open through Sept. 15. 

The menu will include gourmet brats, burgers, salads, pretzels and dipping sauces. The garden also will host music on Fridays and Saturdays and the garden will include ping pong, a nine-hole miniature golf course and cornhole. 

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

goingto.do launches 2.0 integrating Uber transportation, beacon tech

So you're stuck in a city on a Tuesday night and don't know what's happening. That's where goingto.do comes in. It's an entertainment app built in Denver that connects users with local events from around the country by harnessing big data.

The free app designed for mobile devices has just launched its second version, bringing a new user interface, as well as a host of other information and features that take advantage of a smartphone's capabilities. The new features include Uber integration, iBeacon functionality, weather information, push notification capability and Canadian events.


"We are excited to announce the release of goingto.do version 2. We have worked quickly and strategically to offer our growing user base the most efficient and informative services yet," says co-founder Bryan Basset. The company launched in 2104, showing the speed of moving to the second version and its new important functionalities. "The Beacon capability will drive business and spontaneity among our users."

By taking advantage of a device's GPS capabilities the app begins to narrow interests down to a location. Adding a users' preferences further narrows that information down to their interests and location. It also offers directions on who to get to the event as well as coordinating Uber transportation.

The free app also allows beacon capability for businesses. This allows local businesses to provide location-based events, deals and promotions through the app's push notifications -- things like a flash sale at a retailer or a happy hour at a watering hole. The company says it's the only one to offer such a service for businesses.

Business owners can submit ideas for events on the app's event management screen, and leave it to goingto.do to help with the promoting and managing. The app is available for Android and iOS-equipped devices, including smartphones and tablets.


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


DAM seeks input from local creatives for 2016 programming

On Nov. 20, the the Denver Art Museum (DAM) will host Meet Here: An Evening of Idea Brewing and Creative Criss-Cross." The meeting is intended to bring together creatives from various disciplines to help develop ideas for DAM's programs in 2016. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. The museum is welcoming all sorts of people in the creative community from chefs to dancers, crafters, musicians and artists.

The brainstorming session will help the museum plan out its Untitled Final Fridays, a series of events that the museum offers on the final Friday of every month except November and December. "This program offers a unique museum experience with unconventional art encounters, new insight into the DAM collections, artmaking activities and more," DAM explained in a release. "At each Untitled event, the museum highlights a specific theme with exhibition-related activities and community collaborations."

In addition to the Untitled series, attendees will also be able to give input and insight into museum residencies and outdoor installations. This year, museum officials are particularly focused on dance and it wants to have outdoor dance programs in summer 2016.

While the Nov. 20 session is designed to help the museum create relevant events tailored to its community, it already has some broad themes planned for each date. ere's a list of the date and proposed themes for each event:

  • Jan. 29: Family Matters  
  • Feb. 26: Homegrown
  • March 25: Risky Business
  • April 29: Show Down
  • May 27: Rising Sun
  • June 24: Power House
  • July 29: In-Sync
  • Aug. 26: Center Stage
  • Sep. 30: Stop Motion
  • Oct. 28: Glory Days

RSVP here.

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


Denver 8 launches new brand, shows

The municipal TV station, Denver 8, recently launched a new brand identity and advertising campaign, "It's All About Denver," aimed at meeting the changing needs of the city. The new campaign is designed to showcase the station's award-winning and new, exclusive programming.

The new campaign includes a new logo, website, outdoor billboards and television as well as newspaper ads. To launch the new campaign Mayor Michael Hancock, local musicians and Executive Chef Troy Guard are appearing in the campaign touting the slogan: "Denver 8, It's All About Denver."

"Denver 8 is leading the way in dynamic and cutting edge municipal TV programming," asserts Denver Media Services Director Julie Martinez. "We want the community to know about our Emmy Award-winning programming and the special coverage we provide for everything from new local music, to the visual arts." This year, the station's lifestyle show, Dtown, won a Heartland Emmy Award, for instance.

The campaign focuses on programming like Dtown as well as its local music shows including Denver Loft Sessions and Red Rocks Premieres, both of which premiered over the past year. It's also focussing on the station's upcoming shows, including ArtScene and a new collaboration with Mile High Sports Magazine to introduce a sports talk show.

The station is attempting to gain new viewers with the campaign and educate them about the information and shows that Denver 8 offers to residents. The station is available on Comcast and Century Link on channel 8 and in HD on channel 880.

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

Kapow opens Denver office to coordinate corporate events

Kapow Events, a corporate events marketplace, opened a Denver office to help coordinate marketing and events for Fortune 500 companies. The new office will help facilitate events with local establishments like restaurants, sport and music venues and more.

"Our platform makes the process of planning corporate events easier and more efficient so companies such as HP, Microsoft and Southwest Airlines can take their client entertainment to the next level," said Marc Halpin, CEO of Kapow Events. “We're excited to bring our platform to Denver and partner with some of the hottest restaurants and entertainment venues in the country.” 

The company says its services cost no more than booking directly with the locations. It allows companies to enter their planned budget, number of people attending and then let's them choose from a number of events and experiences. Kapow says events can range from sushi rolling to more traditional dinners to scavenger hunts, indoor skydiving or concerts.

On the other side of the platform its partners like restaurants and venues can use Kapow to schedule, manage and accept events -- even if they didn't book the events via Kapow's tools. As such the company's platform helps provide venues with additional marketing tools and can help fill unused private event space.

The company has been expanding and now has 170 employees across 17 U.S. cities and already has started hiring in Denver.

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


Garth Brooks crushes Pepsi Center sales record, thanks partly to Denver's Faction

When Garth Brooks announced his final tour, it was guaranteed that tickets would sell pretty well, and they did: His nine shows in Denver sold 140,000 tickets in under three hours. That's partly thanks to success of Faction's infrastructure-as-a-service system, which helped facilitate the online sales traffic for Altitude Tickets.

Denver-based Faction says the service was successful enough that now Altitude parent company Kroenke Sports & Entertainment will expand their use of the cloud-based services provided by Faction as well as ePlexity. The latter migrated Pepsi Center's ticket sales to Faction's platform. Previously Altitude tickets had purchased and managed their own equipment in a third-party data center. However the system required more capital expenditures to deal with usage spikes and new hardware.


"Faction and ePlexity have helped us to create a hosting environment which better meets our needs in terms of both performance and cost efficiencies," says Rick Schoenhals, VP of Information Technology at Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. "We've also gained the flexibility to respond to business challenges more quickly with effective solutions that can directly target our business needs."

The Faction and ePlexity services allow the Pepsi Center to raise or lower their usage of the services without changing the amount they spent on the services. Faction says it was able to reduce costs while increasing revenue for the venue compared to its previous ticketing system.

"With the broad customization available on Faction's Cloud we were able to provide Altitude Tickets greater control, functionality and on-demand capacity," says Luke Norris, Faction founder and CEO.

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


John Denver celebrated in new Rockmount collection

Denver's favorite adopted son, John Denver (a.k.a. Henry John Deutschendorf), was known for first his music and second (or maybe third) for his colorful Western shirts. The late musician's estate recently asked Denver's Rockmount Ranch Wear to bring some of those shirts back to the retail racks.

"There's a good chance he wore our shirts, and if he didn't, he should have," asserts Rockmount President Steve Weil. "We know he wore a lot of Western shirts."

The LoDo-based cowboy shirt maker also is giving John Denver and Rockmount fans a chance to vote on which of the shirts to produce. "We have one in production and decided to float the other designs to see what the response was," Weil says. People can vote on the designs at SurveyMonkey.

It's not the first time Rockmount has done a line of celebrity shirts, Weil says. "Rockmount has been a mainstay among the rock and roll crowd for a long time." The company has created or reproduced shirts worn by numerous legendary music-makers. "Over the years we've had two really strong responses Eric Clapton and Robert Plant," Weil says. "This one's a third. Considering the army of artists we're been involved with, it's remarkable."

Weil says reps from John Denver's estate "came to us with the idea. We like when other creative people come to us with a collaborative design," he says. "There's a certain amount of historical significance to doing this collection. We take great pains to do these reproductions with care. We're being truthful to the originals he wore."

Weil's favorite John Denver song? "It's got to be 'Rocky Mountain High.'"

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.

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.

Andrew Hudson's Career Bootcamps help job seekers and career changers

Looking for a job in Denver? Looking to change careers or returning to the workforce after a hiatus? Check out one of Andrew Hudson’s upcoming Career Bootcamps. Hudson, who runs the eponymous site, Andrew Hudson's Jobs List, and the career bootcamps, is holding four three-hour sessions throughout March, starting on March 18. Hudson is no stranger to the bootcamps or the career list. He's been running a jobs website in Denver (originally www.prjobslist.com) since 2005. Today the jobs list sends a newsletter and updated list of positions -- over 1,000 professional positions in Colorado a month -- to subscribers every Monday.

While Hudson isn’t a corporate headhunter or jobs placement agent, he's dedicated a lot of time to helping others find jobs, including holding between 40 and 50 career bootcamps annually. "I've done this for a seven years. I've had about 600 or 700 go through the bootcamps," he says.

The career bootcamps, which cost $175, are often attended by mid-or senior level professionals, according to Hudson. "They come for a variety of reasons, they may hate their boss, or are looking to reinvent themselves." He adds that some may be returning to the workforce after an absence as a stay-at-home parent or because of the recession.

"The common thread, no matter why people are looking for a job…is they haven’t had to do it for a while and the rules have changed dramatically," he contends. He attributes at least part of that the uprise of online job search giants like Monster.com.

Hudson limits the bootcamps to 10 people. "The reason I do it the small-group dynamic is easier to manage and more people are willing to engage more," he explains.

Attendees might be surprised to find that the sessions aren’t just resume building sessions. "To me it’s more about having a really good conversation with yourself about what you value in a job," Hudson says. "The strategy of successful job seekers is…they research what it is they want to do and know how their backgrounds talents and skills are aligned with what they want to do." As such the resume building part of the sessions are last.

Hudson is holding the bootcamps at Fluid Coffee Bar's Fluid Meeting Spaces March 18, 20, 22 and 26. He plans on hosting additional bootcamps in the summer.

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

Soundtrack Loops growing, releasing new loop libraries

Matthew Yost and Jason Donnelly co-founded Soundtrack Loops in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2006.

"Soundtrack Loops is a royalty-free loop company," says the Five Points-based Yost. "People can create music on the go and sell that music."

Loops range from synthetic drum beats to guitar riffs to bass licks. "You can blend those all together into a song," says Yost.

Loop Library Packs span hip-hop, house, and rock, include 100 or more loops and cost $6 to $80. Yost encourages local producers to reach out to learn about selling their content through Soundtrack Loops.

The company has grown "exponentially" since its first year and continually releases new loops. Currently, there are nearly 150 packs in the Soundtrack Loops catalog.

Following up a Hard House Anthems pack, an '80s New Wave library is slated for release later this week. "It'll be a fun pack," says Yost. "It's very New Wave."

Yost also has a web-development firm, Design Montra. His work is split evenly between the two companies.

"I just did not want to work for certain companies anymore and do certain kinds of work anymore," he says of his entrepreneurial endeavors.

Yost relocated to Chicago before moving to Denver in 2011. Donnelly is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Eric Peterson with tips and leads for future stories at eric@confluence-denver.com.

Music Hack Day coming up on July 20-21

Timed to coincide with the Underground Music Showcase (UMS), Music Hack Day Denver is slated to take place at Galvanize on July 20-21. 
 
"I wanted to see if there was a way to bring the music community and the tech community in the Denver-Boulder area for one galvanizing event," says Antony Bruno, one of the event's organizers. "It was not a hard sell."
 
Companies including Beatport, Spotify, SoundCloud, Bitcount and The Echo Nest are sponsoring the event.
 
Participants will use APIs from these and other music-tech companies to hack together musical apps and widgets of every sonic description. 
 
It will run from 9 a.m. on Sat. July 20 to midday Sun. July 21. "After lunch, the hacking begins and in 24 hours it's time for demos," says Bruno, who says he's expecting as many as 150 attendees. Participants get tickets to the UMS on Friday night with Mudhoney headlining.
 
Also held in Barcelona, Philadelphia, Paris, San Francisco, Vienna, Cannes and Stockholm in 2013, Music Hack Days serve several purposes.
 
"Beatport is interested in knowing who's around," says Bruno. "These Hack Days are a way for sponsors to promote their technologies."
 
It's also a good recruitment tool for sponsors. "Beatport hired a guy after a Hack Day in San Francisco," says Bruno.
 
Formerly the digital technology editor for Billboard, Bruno has done contract content projects for companies such as Beatport and Topspin since leaving Billboard in 2011.  He's lived in Denver since 2006.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Eric Peterson with tips and leads for future stories at eric@confluence-denver.com.


Interactive agency Legwork Studio moving to Golden Triangle

After four years in the Baker neighborhood, Legwork Studio is moving to a new office near 9th Avenue and Broadway in the Golden Triangle.
 
After meeting at Denver music label Suburban Home Records, Partners Joey Bullock, Sean Klassen and Aaron Ray went into the graphic-design business with Legwork in 2007.
 
"We wanted to do our own thing," says Bullock. The company bootstrapped its way from a basement to an Baker office in 2009, and additional Partners Matt FaJohn, Matt Wiggins and Andy McIntosh joined the company is 2010. That's when Legwork morphed from design studio to interactive agency.
 
"Our strongest suits are interactive and motion graphics," says Bullock. Early design work for Forest City Stapleton gave the firm credibility, leading to more work.
 
Projects include work on websites for animated feature ParaNorman and underwear-beachwear line Diesel Intimate, as well as video content for the New York Times and a custom YouTube channel for Chrysler's "Halftime in America" campaign in 2012. 
 
Legwork's local work is limited, says FaJohn. "We don't really have local clients. The majority of our work is from New York, Los Angeles and Portland. We make it a point to go these cities and get face time with people."
 
The 13-employee company is in the process of adding a new employee and has a plant to grow "deliberately," says FaJohn. "We'll probably top out at 20 or 25 people in the next few years."
 
FaJohn says the company is also likes to help local startups, helping with explainer videos for BrightNest and other growth-stage companies in Denver. "We're big champions of the community even though we don't have local clients."

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Eric Peterson with tips and leads for future stories at eric@confluence-denver.com.
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