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Sports and Recreation : Innovation & Job News

41 Sports and Recreation Articles | Page: | Show All

Nursing moms now have privacy at all downtown sports venues

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

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

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

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

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.

Boa rebrands to focus on consumers

Denver's Boa Technology, the company behind an innovative closure mechanism originally designed to replace laces in snowboard boots, has launched a new site and logo design to focus more directly on consumers. The company had focused first and foremost as a business-to-business company but is now moving to focus on consumer marketing and education. 

The company's closure systems can replace everything from traditional shoelaces, to closure mechanisms for casts, prostheses and ski boots. It had primarily offered its products directly to manufacturers but now it's focusing on brand awareness, consumer marketing and education. As part of the effort, the company launched a new site, TheBoaSystem.com.

"With the re-brand, Boa is shifting focus to speak more directly to consumers rather than B2B, and in the last year, Boa has seen a good amount of growth in the brand and marketing teams in preparation for the change in approach and re-brand," says Casey Raymer, a spokesperson for the company. "The Boa global HQ will continue to operate out of its Denver office in the RiNo neighborhood."

The company will move into a larger space at TAXI in RiNo in late 2017 or early 2018, Raymer adds. She explains the new space will be better suited to the company's current needs and planned growth.

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

Utivity acquires Besomebody's Experience Marketplace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CDOT's $500K RoadX challenge open through February

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched the RoadX Bicycle and Pedestrian Challenge in 2016 to develop better systems to help those on foot and bicycles travel more safely. The RoadX challenge is open to proposals through Feb. 27. 

The challenge is made through a partnership with the Colorado Innovation Network's Imagine Colorado. The department said it is the nation's first statewide open innovation challenge platform to generate new ideas. In this case, the platform is taking on the issue of pedestrian and cyclist safety. 

Department officials hold that technological solutions to pedestrian and cycling safety can save lives. Studies have found that pedestrian crashes represent 10 percent of all fatalities and 7 percent serious injuries in Colorado. Bicycle crashes represent another 2 percent of all fatalities and 4 percent of all serious injuries in Colorado. 

The department will award $50,000 to the best ideas to help put them into action and the rest of the funds will support bringing concepts into reality, according to advocacy organization Bicycle Colorado. It will divide the awards into two tracks, the "Idea-thon" and the "Do-athon."

Under the first track up to five winners will each receive $10,000 for submitting a groundbreaking technological idea to improve bicycling and pedestrian safety. Under the second track, innovators can submit a unique and implementable idea that they must deploy within eight months of being selected as a finalist on March 31, 2017.

CDOT will select up to five finalists to build a proof of concept and will support each with $75,000 to help them launch the pilot. Of those, the one that implements the best program in the time period will receive $150,000 to continue it. The runner-up will receive $50,000 and the third runner-up will receive $25,000 to further develop their safety deployments. 

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

Denver-area startups win $15K in national Calvert Foundation competition

It was a Denver-area sweep for the 2016 Calvert Foundation Small Business Competition, with three local businesses winning the top three prizes in the national competition.

Outdoor adventure and clothing store Feral Mountain Company, took the top prize, $10,000. Denver's Pearl Wine Company took second, winning $3,000 and Golden-based rock and ice-climbing service Golden Mountain Guides, took third, winning $2,000.

"We are very proud of all our borrowers who participated in this competition and heartily congratulate those who won," says Ceyl Prinster, CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), which supported each of the winners. "Starting a business can be cash-intensive, so when our borrowers are able to access additional funding that can help them grow to the next level, we are all for it."

It was the first time the Calvert Foundation held the competition, which was open to small businesses that received financing from nonprofit lenders like CEF. The goals of the contest, sponsored by the Calvert Foundation, were to promote small businesses with ties to the local community, enhancing business operations and educating people on investing in the local community and businesses that create local jobs. The contest also was aimed at generating awareness of the Calvert Foundation's Community Investment Note, which supports investments in small businesses. 

"We had over 5,000 votes -- way more than we expected," says Senior Officer of Investor Relations at the Calvert Foundation Katherine St. Onge. "We are so thrilled that the participants were able to showcase the value of small businesses to so many people!"

The Maryland-based Calvert Foundation launched the Ours To Own (OTO) Denver campaign in 2014. That effort is designed to channel capital towards community development efforts in Denver.

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

Bold Betties earns place among "Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America"

Denver startup Bold Betties, which outfits women for adventure as well as coordinates trips and activities, has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the "Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America" in its Entrepreneur 360 List.

"Our annual evaluation offers a 360-degree analysis of the current private-business landscape," explains Lisa Murray, chief insights officer of Entrepreneur Media. "Top performers are determined by how well-rounded they are in these four key operative areas. Entrepreneurship is a complex endeavor -- this listing recognizes those who have mastered the challenge and are thriving this year."

The Entrepreneur 360 List recognized Bold Betties as a well-rounded company that it said has mastered a balance of impact, innovation, growth and leadership. Indeed, since Bold Betties launched in 2014 it has grown to a community of about 18,000 women in Colorado and California. To meet the challenges of the explosive growth it also recently launched a new California chapter in San Francisco. The company also plans to expand into Oregon, North Carolina, Minnesota in 2016 and more markets in 2017, says co-founder Arezou Zarafshan.

To deal with the expansion, the company plans on adding positions in Denver, Zarafshan explains. "Our projections show that we would be adding positions in content marketing, community management and social marketing. In terms of exact count, that is yet to be determined but we expect to be at around 10 people by 2018." 

"We are so honored to be recognized by Entrepreneur for our accomplishments," says Niki Koubourlis, CEO and founder of Bold Betties. "We put our whole hearts into our work at Bold Betties and are so proud of the work we are doing to help women get outside of their comfort zones and connect with each other and the outdoors."

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

Denver Startup Week breaks record with 12,500 attendees

The 2016 installment of Denver Startup Week again broke records, with 12,500 people registering for the more than 300 events, drawing celebrities and entrepreneurial rock stars. For the first time, the nation's largest free startup event also hosted a pitch fest, awarding a package worth $35,000.

It was another significant year of growth for the event, with nearly 2,000 more attendees and about 70 more events than 2015.

"We convene community better than anywhere in the country, and Denver Startup Week is an excellent representation of our thriving and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem," says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership and co-founder of Denver Startup Week. "Our strength in numbers grows our culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and further establishes a powerful platform in Downtown Denver to attract the most innovative companies and investors in the world."

Other than panels with celebrities like Under Armor co-founder Ryan Wood, a former Dallas Cowboys fullback and owner of Steamboat Springs' Sweetwood Cattle Co., and Silicon Valley regular Suzanne Cryer, the most anticipated event was likely the Pitch Challenge, which had awarded a package of cash and mentorship worth $35,000.

The competition was winnowed down to eight finalists who made their pitches to an audience of their peers and a panel of judges. The three finalists were Orderly Health, edn and Sidekick Holdings. The winner, Sidekick Holdings, makes a device that simulates soccer training with a partner. Orderly Health, the third runner-up, helps users get on-demand information about healthcare via text messages. The second runner-up was edn, a Techstars company that  introduced an indoor garden for herbs, vegetables and flowers.

The event also saw new funding for startup-focused nonprofits. JPMorgan Chase granted $60,000 to each of four nonprofits including the Commons on Champa, Accion, Mi Casa Resource Center and the Path to Entrepreneurship Program.

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.

Commons on Champa to host CO Active meeting on international trade opportunities

Colorado is one of the most active if not the most active states in the U.S. With its sunny skies, mountains and rivers, it's no surprise that outdoor companies are located here, but getting those goods and wares into international markets can be difficult. To help address that, the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) and CO Active are hosting a seminar about international trade opportunities in the active lifestyle industry.

The one-hour seminar will be hosted at The Commons on Champa on Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. and will feature insights from Abdul Sesay, an international business development representative with OED. At OED, Sesay led the pilot of Denver's Export Promotion Program. Through his efforts he helped Denver Beer Company begin exporting to Japan.

The seminar will help companies and entrepreneurs identify exporting opportunities. It will help them understand what types of resources for exporting their products are available. It also will discuss trade missions and trade shows.

CO Active was launched with OED funding and support. It's one of Colorado's newest business associations and was launched to focus on networking, supply-chain support and to help expand market exposure for companies manufacturing in Colorado for the outdoor industry and active lifestyles that Coloradans enjoys.

Those interested in attending should RSVP Carrie Singer at carrie.singer@denvergov.org.

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

Elevation Digital Media points Arrow the way to the future with Super Bowl spot

The Broncos aren't the only Denver team in the Super Bowl this weekend. Arrow Electronics and Elevation Digital Media are airing a national commercial during the third quarter in the Super Bowl touting the company's "Five Years Out" campaign for aerospace and defense.

The Super Bowl isn't just the most highly watched game in the U.S. -- it's also the Super Bowl for advertising the world over. After all, ads during the event are the most costly in the world. In August 2015, Fortune reported that a national 30-second spot during the event will cost as much as $5 million. But the cost of getting a company's message to consumers or other businesses during the event can be well worth it.

Arrow Electronics is a Colorado-headquartered multi-national company that specializes in distributing electronic components. It provides services and products to everything from defense and aerospace to enterprise-level computing services and electronics recycling.

The innovative ad features a features a 3D folder -- not printer -- made out of Legos that folds a piece of paper into a paper plane and launches it, like the campaign for the company.

"This is a team of five guys who work out of their small studio in the Taxi Building in RiNo -- not a multi-million-dollar ad agency -- producing a spot for a Fortune 100 company," says Edward Macsalka, a Denver-based communications manager with Comcast.

"Just five years ago, Elevation Digital Media was focused on sports recruiting videos for high school athletes," he adds. "Over the past few years, that has evolved into corporate communication videos/commercials for the likes of Comcast, Arrow and Western Union, as well as many other national brands. . . . This is a huge achievement for any large firm, but even more special for a company that can barely call their studio a studio."

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

The Whole Works takes The Wright award for 2015

On Oct. 20, SPACE Gallery hosted the annual Wright awards from Something Independent celebrating the intersection of lifestyle and leadership. The Whole Works won the 2015 Wright and the $5,000 award that came with it.

The annual event, organized by Denver's Something Independent, focuses on identifying companies that are exhibiting leadership at the intersection of lifestyle and commerce. The Whole Works, a new clothing production facility in Rifle, won the award this year. The company works with customers, including Colorado's Voormi, to produce products as needed.

"As one of the first public benefit corporations in the state, we are focused on making a social impact by partnering with a job preparation program that teaches production sewing to women who are transitioning from federal assistance," the company said in a statement.

Thanks to its operating model, the company said it is able to promise shorter turnaround times on projects and produce smaller volumes of orders. It's a selling point as more companies are looking to re-shore manufacturing in the U.S.

This year's other finalists for The Wright were ReActive Adaptations, which makes off-road handcycles and downhill machines and The Public Works, a Denver-based design, fabrication and multimedia marketing firm.

The event had fully 125 applicants in 2015. Judges winnowed the number down to 10, then three and finally chose the winner.

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

fishpond becomes B Corp

Denver's fishpond recently became a B Corporation. The company designs fly fishing, outdoor adventure packs, vests, gear bags, luggage and other accessories. Among other innovations, the company has created Cyclepond, a fabric made from recycling commercial fishing nets.

As a B Corp, fishpond is required to meet certain social and environmental standards. This includes considering the impacts of the company's decisions on employees, suppliers, communities, consumers and the environment. While becoming a B Corp or Beneficial Corporation is a voluntary act for a for-profit company, it ensures that the company meets these standards by including the requirements in its bylaws.

"As a small fly fishing focused brand, it is very important to communicate to our employees, consumers and industry that our business is dedicated to making sustainable decisions affecting everyone involved," explains co-owner Ben Kurtz. "Joining Patagonia in the fly fishing industry as the only other manufacturer with this certification means a great deal to us and will undoubtedly mean more to our loyal consumers."

Among the factors cited in allowing fishpond to become a B Corp, the certifying organization noted Cyclepond, the company's advocacy in Washington, D.C., to protect water and sustainable fishing practices and its donations to non-profits through partnerships and product sales.

"Since fishpond's inception, we have strived to be leaders in sustainable practices and creating a workplace in which our employees can thrive," says John Le Coq, fishpond founder and lead designer. "Becoming a certified B Corp tells our industry and our consumers that they are aiding a company that deeply cares about the environment and social responsibility on a large scale."

In becoming a B Corp it joins more than 50 other companies in Colorado that have become B Corps. The certification, according to the company, will also allow it access to a like-minded community of business owners to continually drive positive progress.

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.

Smart Cookie's food trikes for dogs hit streets in Denver

Food carts are going to the dogs with Denver's Smart Cookie. The company is bringing its treats to Colorado's dogs with two trikes.

With the approach of spring, farmers' markets and all the fun events that spring brings, Smart Cookie is planning on making sure your best buddy gets the same treatment you do by being at the same events. The company's trikes will be at breweries, parks and events throughout Colorado. Smart Cookie also gives dog owners a chance to customize and order their snacks and delivered to their door.

Smart Cookie's menu of healthy, human-grade ingredients allows it to create a box of treats for every dog. Customers can select a protein, carbohydrate, and fruit and veggie combination for their dog's treats, according to Smart Cookie. "We hand-make everything ourselves," says Smart Cookie Owner Bri Bradley. "We just built a commercial kitchen." She explains that the company even uses some local ingredients in its treats like spent grains from local breweries.

The company also makes Rabbit Jerky, which the company says is a completely hypoallergenic option. It also offers Barking Blends called The Survivor, The Sports Dog and The Prima Dogna.

Smart Cookie launched in 2012, according to Bradley. "We started the cart in April 2013 as a sort of food truck for dogs." Now the company uses the trikes for community events as far south as Parker and as far north as Boulder and Steamboat Springs. You can check out where they'll be on their calendar, but Bradley says you can also find them at parks and other places throughout the spring and into the fall. "It kind of depends on the calendar. We'll also go to a park and set up shop."

In the meantime, Smart Cookie products are also available in boutique pet stores and will also be at markets in Cherry Creek, Golden, Parker, Stapleton, Greenwood Village and City Park, Bradley says.

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