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Does DIA have the best wifi on the planet?

Denver is getting some world-wide attention for its internet capabilities. The Financial, a publication out of Tbilisi, Georgia, reports that Denver International Airport has the "fastest Wi-Fi among the world’s top airports."

The article cites a report from  "the global internet testing and analysis company, Ookla."

An exceprt:

"According to Ookla, DEN offers free Wi-Fi with an average download speed of 78.22 Mbps, topping the list of more than 50 major airports tested across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. DEN previously was listed as the fastest Wi-Fi among U.S. airports by Ookla. Updated testing conducted from March to May 2017 found that DEN’s Wi-Fi speed increased by 27 percent. Additionally, Ookla noted a 60 percent improvement in cellular download speeds at DEN."

Reasd the story here.

 

Government Technology looks at DPS Imaginarium

Government Technology magazine reported on Denver Public Schools' Imaginarium in a feature on innovation in education.

Excerpt:

At the other end of the spectrum is the imaginarium, an innovation lab launched last year by Denver Public Schools. Part of its reason for being is to counter traditional approaches to improving education, explained Peter Piccolo, director of innovation at the lab. "My colleagues are making sure the trains go down the tracks while I'm trying to build the rocketship," he said. 

There's also a big difference in the amount of money that governments are willing to spend. Gregory couldn't put a number on the cost of his program, but it probably amounts to little added expense. The cost of provisioning space on CalCloud is low. There is also the cost of the manpower of the developers. Currently, any other expenses are coming out of the state's enterprise IT fund, which already supports approved IT projects that are developed in the lab. But the program is brand new, and the state is still discussing how projects might be funded in the future, said Gregory.

The imaginarium, on the other hand, is a big investment. It has a staff of 20 and a budget this year of almost $6 million, with about $3.8 million coming from the school district and $2 million from philanthropies, according to Piccolo. 

Read the rest here.

Broncos' Okung pens op-ed pushing athletes to invest in tech

Denver Broncos offensive lineman Russell Okung wrote an op-ed for SportTechie advocating that fellow professional athletes invest in technology.

Excerpt:

For decades, athletes have used the money they earned on the field to invest in projects off it, with plans to achieve financial security for life after the game. In the past, these investments were typically in steakhouses, car dealerships, or nightclubs; businesses in which athletes thought they could use their fame to directly generate business and incur large profits. While some athletes -- take Walt Frazier and John Elway -- have been extremely successful, many have learned the hard way that these can be fickle and risky investments. Unfortunately, it has also created a stereotype that athletes are unsophisticated in business and prone to unwise investments.

Now, some people are warning that venture capital funds and tech startups are the new steakhouses; money pits luring naïve athletes. Sure, some athletes have lost large sums of money as a result of reckless investments and typically, when this happens, it generates a lot of media attention because it reinforces the aforementioned stereotype. But this narrative ignores that investment failure is not the exclusive domain of athletes. It is, by its nature, a risky endeavor and all investors have the same obligation to be diligent, to self-educate and to consult industry and investment experts.

Everyone, not just athletes, needs to do their homework before investing. And athletes are just as able as anyone to do so.

Read the rest here.

CBC contrasts Calgary and Denver

CBC Calgary took a hard look at the story behind Denver's resiliency during the recent energy bust.

Excerpt:

Denver and Calgary have a lot in common. But while Denver is rising, Calgary is struggling.

Founded within 20 years of each other, both cities were 19th century western frontiers. Places built on railways, agriculture and oil. For decades, both cities followed a similar economic path -- including the highs and lows of the energy industry.

But then, just a little more than 30 years ago, both cities faced a crisis. Calgary went one way, and is still riding the energy wave. Denver another, leading to a thriving economy. 

Calgary could stand to learn a thing or two from Denver. Something that occurred to Calgary Economic Development, which recently sent someone down on a fact-finding mission to study the successes of the Mile High City -- named for the exact mile it sits above sea level.

Read the rest here.

Fox News spotlights Rise of the Rest in Denver

The story posed a big question: "What can other cities learn from Denver about how the rest can rise?"

Excerpt:

Today, we toured Denver on a bus to see an entrepreneurial ecosystem that, actually, compared to many places, is doing pretty well. According to the Kauffman Foundation, Denver is one of the top five cities in startup activity, and Colorado ranks fourth out of 50 states. Two decades ago, that wouldn’t have been the case. As we visit cities across the country, we often hear what's not working -- we need more capital, more connectivity, better founders.

While Denver is self-aware that they can do so much more, they're on an encouraging pathway to how a community can do its best. At lunch, Steve Case talked about the "three Ps" of the Web's Third Wave. In reflecting on Denver, I saw three Ps that have made Colorado a great startup community.

Read the rest here.

Florida startup Cuttlesoft expands to Denver

Standout software developer and IT services firm Cuttlesoft picked Denver over Raleigh for its second office, reported the Tallahassee Democrat.

Excerpt:

Cuttlesoft's name is a mashup of cuttlefish, the startup's logo and inspiration as an adaptable animal, and software, the startup's bread and butter. In less than two years, Valcarcel and Morehouse have worked side by side building a tech-based company specializing in IT and software services, consulting, auditing and web applications for its growing list of clients.

. . .

Now they'e preparing to work in dual time zones as it opens a second office in lower downtown Denver. The company -- the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce's 2016 Startup of the Year -- wanted to expand to a market with a robust tech presence. The finalists? Denver and Raleigh, North Carolina.

. . .

"We wouldn’t be there or growing and expanding our business in both places if we hadn’t gotten started here," Valcarcel said. "If we had moved to Silicon Valley … I don’t think we would have had the capital to break ground."

Read the rest here.

Tech.Co outlines "10 Denver Startups You Need to Know About"

For Denver Startup Week, Tech.Co published a list of the "10 Denver Startups You Need to Know About," including Gusto, Revolar and MassRoots.

Excerpt:

With beautiful mountains, legal marijuana, and 300 days of sunshine a year, it's no wonder millions of people have begun to flock to the popular Colorado city. Whether it's new college graduates looking to settle down somewhere adventurous or seasoned entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on a new market, there is no shortage of new blood entering Denver on a regular basis. But what does that mean for the startups in this burgeoning ecosystem? It means it's exploding as fast as the population.

Luckily for you, Denver Startup Week will provide an opportunity for you to take a look at all the entrepreneurial talent present in the Mile High City. This five-day celebration (September 12-16) will showcase everyone from on-demand travel concierge services to innovative intelligence startups, Denver provides the perfect ecosystem for new customers, innovative ideas, and enticing returns.

Read the rest here.

Apto, WellTok, Tender Belly make Inc. 5000

Denver-based Apto, SurvWest, WellTok, BridgeHealth Medical, Stoneside Blinds & Shades, Digital Fusion, Tender Belly and PlanOmatic all made the Inc. 5000 2016 list of fastest-growing companies in the U.S.

Excerpt:

Apto

Provides Web-based software that helps real estate brokers manage customer relationships, properties, listings, deals, and back-office tasks.

2016 INC. 5000 RANK: #175
  • 3-Year Growth: 2,079%
  • 2015 Revenue: $2.3 M
  • Location: Denver, CO
  • Industry: Software
  • Launched: 2012
Read the rest here.

WSJ covers Galvanize's $45M raise

Denver-based Galvanize raised $45 million to expand its educational offerings, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

As more technical education moves to nontraditional programs, it has become increasingly difficult for recruiters to develop standards with which to assess and compare these nascent coding programs. Some academic researchers and trade groups are looking to create a standard database of coding boot camps and online courses.

Mr. Deters said that Galvanize does not aim to replace four-year programs but rather fill the gaps and help engineers be prepared with the skills most highly in demand in today’s workforce. He said the company is planning to collaborate with universities more in the future.

Currently, the six month web development program costs $21,000, while the data science program is $17,000. According to the College Board, the average price of in-state tuition for a public university during the 2015-2016 school year was $9,410. For private colleges, that cost was $32,405.

Read the rest here.

Fast Company details "what it's like to work at a marijuana startup" in Denver

The article delved into a typical workday and company culture at MassRoots and Flowhub.

Excerpt:

At first glance, MassRoots is just like any other technology company in America. The Denver-based social platform for marijuana enthusiasts boasts an open-concept, loft-style office filled with 33 talented programmers, developers, and sales staff.

But beneath the surface there’s something unique about working at a pot startup, and it has little to do with the fact that employees are often permitted to consume the substance on the job.

America's pot entrepreneurs are defining the working culture of the newly budding industry, a culture that exists in the nexus of social mission, financial opportunity, and typical startup life.

Read the rest here.

ChicagoInno reports on Layer3 TV launch

Denver-based startup Layer3 TV is launching its service in the Windy City, reports ChicagoInno.

Excerpt:

A well-funded cable TV startup is looking to take on traditional cable providers, and it's about to launch in Chicago to try and woo fed up Comcast customers.

Layer3 TV, a Denver startup with $100 million in funding, is launching in Chicago in the coming weeks, according to Variety. It's 4K compatible set-top box gives customers over 150 channels, the ability to record eight shows at once, and space to store 2,000 shows and movies. And it's algorithm learns your TV watching behavior over time to recommend the best things to watch and where you can find them.

Layer3 TV features a sleek design that let's you seamlessly toggle between cable TV, Netflix and Hulu, YouTube, and your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Rather than taking on Netflix, Layer3 TV has its sights set on cable providers like Comcast, which despite the increasing number of cord cutters, still have strongholds in markets across the U.S.

Read the rest here.

Inc. covers Denver startup Notion

Inc. profiled Notion, the Denver-based startup that could save insurance companies billions with its home sensors.

Excerpt:

Compared to detecting a break-in, sensing a water leak may not sound like a terribly exciting feature, but Notion includes that capability for a very good reason: Water losses are responsible for $8 billion in paid insurance claims each year, according to risk assessment firm ISO. And even though most insurance policies do cover these accidents, no one wants to endure the weeks or months it takes to dry, gut, and repair a damaged home--not to mention the premium increase that's sure to follow.

Notion's devices are designed to help homeowners realize these leaks are happening before the damage becomes severe. Placing a sensor near some of the most likely sources of water escapes -- dishwashers, toilets, tubs, sinks, and water heaters, as well as in flood-prone basements or ground levels -- could help make sure a potentially massive spill stays limited to a mop-up.

Read the rest here.

The New Yorker sees Denver atop "The Tech Boom's Second Cities"

A story in The New Yorker  described Denver as one of "The Tech Boom's Second Cities."

Excerpt:

It now appears that Denver is having a moment of its own. As in Austin and Seattle, a high concentration of good universities in Denver and nearby cities, like Boulder and Fort Collins, has contributed to the region's well-educated workforce. The cost of living in Denver is also relatively low, as are real-estate prices. Though the city isn't the headquarters for any big tech companies -- like Dell in the Austin area or Microsoft and Amazon in Seattle -- several of them, including I.B.M. and Oracle, have offices here.

The presence of those offices, and of the universities, has also helped create a vibrant startup scene: people get educated here or come here for jobs, and then they graduate or leave those jobs and become entrepreneurs. In other cases, established businesspeople are coming to Denver to start companies. Scott McNealy, a founder of Sun Microsystems, chose Denver as the headquarters for a data-analysis startup called Wayin. Explaining to the Denver Post why he left California, he said, "The prices of everything have skyrocketed. The regulations. The pension deficit. The traffic. It's just not a fun place to go start."
 
At this point, none of the Denver startups are well known, but investors seem to find them promising. Last year, the research firm CB Insights released a report that ranked Colorado sixth among states that had received the most venture capital, after California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Washington. In 2015, Denver startups attracted more than eight hundred million dollars in venture-capital funding, led by technology, energy, food, and marijuana companies. At least some of the investments appear to be paying off: in 2014, Oracle paid more than a billion dollars to acquire Datalogix, a Denver-based data-collection firm.

Read the rest here.

Denver ranks no. 1 on Homes.com New Tech City Index

Denver ranked no. 1 on the Homes.com New Tech City Index, which gauges the best cities for tech professionals.

Excerpt:

1. Denver, CO

The mile-high city has a reputation as a haven for parks and animals, with the city even owning its own buffalo herd. However, it also tops our rankings as the best place to live if you’re a tech professional.

Data from the US census last year also revealed that the state of Colorado is the second most educated in the country with 90% residents attaining a high school diploma and 38% earning at least a bachelor’s degree in higher education. This highly educated workforce has created a great environment for the tech industry to thrive. Tanner McGraw, CEO of Apto agrees: "We were once headquartered in Houston but we opened a Denver office in mid-2014 and found the tech talent to be nothing less than top-notch. Denver has since become the company’s focus for growth in both technology development and sales."

Read the rest here

Seattle Times reports on QuoteWizard's expansion to LoDo

The Seattle Times reported on insurance tech company QuoteWizard opening its second U.S. office in Denver.

Excerpt:

A Seattle tech company that has largely flown under the radar during its 10 years in existence has added 30 employees in Seattle so far this year and recently opened its second U.S. office, it said Monday.

QuoteWizard, an online insurance-comparison market, employs more than 180 people in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. The family-run business announced Monday it has opened its second office in Denver, a city that co-founder and CEO Scott Peyree said was chosen because of its growing tech scene.

QuoteWizard is entirely self-funded by its four founders: Peyree, his brother, his father and a longtime family friend. The company is profitable and is on track to record $100 million in revenue during 2016, Peyree said.

Read the rest here.
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