What I’ve learned about the Colorado tech community after Year 2 of CTW

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2 years ago, on June 16, I posted my first Colorado Tech Weekly. A year ago I reflected on what I learned so I figured since I’m still going and the last reflection was fun I’d do it again.

5 things I’ve learned in no particular order

  • You need style AND substance to succeed – Colorado is a tech startup hub and opportunities for growth and new businesses are everywhere. To succeed, you need style. You need marketing, PR and a supportive and fervent community of fans. However this is not enough. The successful companies are the ones that also have solid products and services. Without both, your startup will not succeed here.
  • A good idea does not guarantee success – This follows up on my first point. Last year I lamented how Twitter may not have been the best way to keep track of Colorado technology companies since I can only follow 2,001. I found a way to cull my following list to accounts that are only active and while doing that I have found plenty of Twitter accounts for tech companies that no longer exist. They were good ideas, but they just didn’t work out.
  • There’s a huge difference between writing code and making apps – Taking the college education route I’ve learned a lot about programming theory, data structures and how to write code. Making an app, whether that means a web app, mobile app or any other software, is a whole other animal. It requires more than just writing code.
  • Colorado Tech journalism is getting better – When I first started Colorado Tech Weekly I posted 5 national news stories and 5 Colorado news stories because I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find enough Colorado news stories. Now every week I sort through 70-100 articles to get it down to the 10 articles I post. It can be very overwhelming, and that is awesome.
  • Building is fun. Maintaining is harder. – Startups are fun because they’re new and exciting! It’s hard work, but you get to experiment with new ways of doing things and try new ideas. It’s when you get something set up that the maintenance starts. Whether it’s starting a company, owning a home or writing a weekly newsletter, it’s the maintenance that makes the difference.

Numbers:

  • My site receives around 1,000 visits per month. About 125 of those come from Colorado.
  • 2,435 Twitter accounts listed in my Colorado Tech list with 34 people subscribed to it. That’s almost 1,000 more on the list than last year.
  • I am subscribed to 221 Colorado tech news sources including news sites and company websites as well as blogs written by local developers and organizations.

Top 5 Colorado Tech Weekly posts in the past year:

  1. Colorado Tech Weekly #71: Aggregating the Aggregations
  2. Colorado Tech Weekly #95: GoCodeColorado and More Security News
  3. Colorado Tech Weekly #63: A meme, some money and my school
  4. Colorado Tech Weekly #99: Is Colorado the best place for women in tech?
  5. Colorado Tech Weekly #94: All About Denver, Security and Maybe Even Google Fiber?

Top 5 most mentioned companies:

  1. Zayo Group
  2. LogRhythm
  3. QuickLeft
  4. Level 3
  5. Wayin

Where do I go from here?

  • I said it last year and I’ll say it again now, I will be better at posting project updates and general blog posts. Half the reason I started my CTW posts was to drive smart people like you to my site so you can see what cool things I am up to.
  • Let’s revamp the site! As much as I enjoy back-end web development I need to know some front-end web development to show off my projects. Like I said when I tried to teach myself UX, if I want people to use the apps I make, I need to make them easy to use. So why not practice where it counts?
  • Site Maintenance: I need to kick the tires, check the oil and replace the gaskets on this site. I need to make sure my content matches who I am and that it’s easy to read.

Thanks a ton for reading! I keep trying to tell myself that I write these blog posts for my benefit and it’s just an extra bonus that other people might read them but it’s really nice to know people do read them. Let’s do this again in a year!

Colorado Tech Weekly #93: Too Many Excitements!!

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I have no doubt that grammar snobs read my headline and thought “It’s supposed to be ‘Too much excitement!'” but those grammar snobs would be wrong!

I’m excited about the Denver Post TechKnowBytes blog being rebranded to Tech+ with more and more good content. I’m excited that I won two tickets to Denver Comic Con at CTA’s C-Level @ Mile High. Speaking of C-Level, I’m really excited for the new ColoradoTech.biz directory that was unveiled at C-Level. I’m excited that a Colorado company is responsible for Sling TV which is finally starting to change the way we get TV in a big way. I’m excited to participate in my first hackathon next month at the GoCodeColorado hackathon. And I’m excited to start putting my social capital to use by looking for a developer job in May.

See, it’s not that I have too much excitement for one thing, I just have too many things to be excited about!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Douglas County-based Dish’s Sling TV releases app for Xbox One, first gaming console to support live TV [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder’s Rally Software loss widens despite revenue increase [BizWest]
  • New app allows you to find Colorado businesses from your smart phone [DBJ]
  • Tamara Chuang highlights local tech companies: Heck yeah, we’re from Boulder: Sphero [Tech+]
  • Colorado’s telehealth expansion signed into law [DBJ]
  • Longmont-based DigitalGlobe layoffs could affect state job-creation tax credits [DenverPost]
  • Golden’s HomeAdvisor opening Colorado Springs office, plans to hire 100 [DenverPost]
  • New Colorado Tech directory spotlights Front Range technology industry [BizWest]
  • Boulder-based SendGrid expands to Silicon Valley, hires new software VP [DBJ]
  • CEO of former Douglas County-based business, SofTec, pleads guilty to defrauding SBA [DBJ]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know!

Does your Colorado tech company have a blog or newsletter? Am I already subscribed to it? If you answered “yes” then “no”, send me your info! I want to hear about what you’re doing!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #86: Games, Growth and Coding #LikeAGirl

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So I’ll admit I didn’t watch the Super Bowl yesterday. I went ice skating with my 11 year old daughter like we usually do on Sundays. However I couldn’t help but notice the impact of the Always #LikeAGirl commercial. My daughter definitely skates like a girl: Determined and focused. I mention coding like a girl because half of my upcoming events are from women, for women and they will help you code like a girl. I hope organizations like Girl Develop It and Women Who Code continue to grow so my daughter can take advantage of them when she’s old enough.

This weekend I got experience ClutchCon, Colorado’s first ever eSports tournament and LAN party thanks to DaVinci Coders. They asked me to volunteer at their booth promoting their new Game Development program. Here are a few things I learned from ClutchCon:

  • The game development community is small. Really small! If you can name more than 5 game development companies in Colorado with 10 or more employees I’d be shocked and amazed.
  • Games are still for kids. The stereotype of the gamer as the cynical teenage boy cursing obscenities at n00bs while guzzling caffeine is just that, a poor stereotype. I was impressed by the amount of teens I saw there with their parents. I was especially impressed with Steven Harmon, the 15 year old with his own booth to show off his games with business cards, T-shirts and parental support.
  • If you want to become a game developer, learn C# and Unity. It’s that simple.

Top Colorado Technology News

  • $758M in funding and $11B in exits: Colorado tech just had its best year ever [BuiltinColorado]
  • 16 diverse startups at Galvanize pitch cool tech [TechKnowBytes]
  • Anna Ewing appointed executive director of  Colorado Innovation Network and  chief operating officer of OEDIT [COIN]
  • Colorado tech roundup: Boulder’s Techstars gets new fund, Denver-based Dizzion raises $3.9M, and more [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based FullContact launches Unified Address Book for iOS with new $7M equity investment [InnovatioNews]
  • Galvanize’s new nonprofit foundation will give out scholarships for code schools [TechCrunch]
  • How Broomfield’s Level 3 gets the Super Bowl to your TV, tablet and smartphone [TechKnowBytes]
  • Rapidly growing Denver-based Choozle closes $4.1M funding round [ConfluenceDenver]
  • Scott McNealy to preach virtues of Colorado at showcase for VCs [Xconomy]
  • UNC receives $75K CDHE grant to help increase numbers of minority STEM students [InnovatioNews]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know!

Does your Colorado tech company have a blog or newsletter? Am I already subscribed to it? If you answered “yes” then “no”, send me your info! I want to hear about what you’re doing!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #84: Boggled by big numbers

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I hope you had a great Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday. After the reactions to events in Missouri, New York and Ohio in the past 6 months MLK’s words and ideas are as important now as they ever were.

In the interest of brevity and comprehension we often abbreviate numbers when talking about large amounts of money. I wonder if seeing all the zeros associated with these large sums will change our understanding:

  • Level 3 is planning a $500,000,000 debt offering.
  • Latisys just got purchased for $675,000,000.
  • Last quarter saw $342,200,000 venture capital deals in Colorado with $134,056,000 of that money going to tech companies.

That’s a lot of zeros. I’m not sure writing out the numbers helped my comprehension at all.

Top Colorado Technology News

  • 2014 CEO of the Year finalists include CEOs from 7 Colorado tech companies [CoBizMag]
  • Broomfield-based Level 3 plans $500M debt offering [BizWest]
  • Why Boulder’s Zayo is Paying $675M for Latisys [DatacenterKnowledge]
  • Littleton-based Lockheed Martin exemplifies 2 themes in Hickenlooper’s State of the State address [DBJ]
  • Vail cell, wireless service improved [VailDaily]
  • Events-app maker Veuvent relocates from Colorado to Texas [DBJ]
  • Boulder companies dominate Colorado’s 4th-quarter VC deals [BizWest]
  • Wayin Powers Gov. Hickenlooper’s #StateOfKind Challenge [Wayin]
  • CenturyLink realigns execs, continues pokey roll out of 1 gig Internet in Denver [DenverPost]
  • Denver scores No. 6 ranking on NerdWallet list of ‘Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2015′ [InnovatioNews]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know!

Does your Colorado tech company have a blog or newsletter? Am I already subscribed to it? If you answered “yes” then “no”, send me your info! I want to hear about what you’re doing!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #80: Reviewing my predictions for 2014, 1 event and business

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Christmas is in 3 days. That thought didn’t quite hit me until I just typed it. I should start wrapping presents. At least I have them all purchased.

Since this is the 2nd to last Monday of the year, I figured i would look back at my predictions I made for 2014. I give myself a generous 50% accuracy.

  • I predicted that Revolv and Rachio would be purchased. Revolv is now part of Nest. Rachio is still Rachio. I was half right.
  • I predicted that Dish Network would not be awarded the Worst Company to Work For award. They’re not even in the “top” 10. Good job Dish! Also I was right!
  • I predicted that smartphone innovation would plateau. I was right! But I thought there would be a cool game-changing audio UI. I was wrong.
  • I predicted that responsive web design would become the norm. It’s not the norm yet, but it’s slowly getting there. I was wrong.
  • I predicted that Fire OS would become the #3 most popular tablet OS. I generously give myself half credit because Amazon botched this one. They could have made this happen, but instead they focused on building a phone that focused on convincing users to buy more from Amazon. Damn you Bezos!

I don’t anticipate much news being made this week, so I should have plenty of time and room for predictions for 2015 in next week’s post. I wonder if I can make them all Colorado tech focused.

Happy Holidays!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Boulder’s Rally Software teams with Code for America [TechKnowBytes]
  • Westminster-based Lassy Project raises $750K of $1.6M equity investment round offering [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver lands Panasonic Enterprise Solutions near airport [DenverPost]
  • Boulder won’t stand in the way of Google’s expansion [DBJ]
  • Denver-Based Altitude Digital appoints former Federated Media/Lijit Exec Manny Puentes as Chief Technology Officer [BuiltinColorado]
  • Behind the scenes in Denver with PaySimple Customer Experience [PaySimple]
  • Douglas County-based Dish is first pay-TV company to integrate Netflix [TechKnowBytes]
  • Littleton’s Lockheed Martin Space Systems lands another $16.7 million in tax incentives (Video) [DBJ]
  • Take a Quick Look at Boulder-based Quick Left in our 2014 Annual Report [BuiltinColorado]
  • Comcast doubles Internet speeds for most Colorado customers [DBJ]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know!

Does your Colorado tech company have a blog or newsletter? Am I already subscribed to it? If you answered “yes” then “no”, send me your info! I want to hear about what you’re doing!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #77: Security Space Dog Job Events

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My headline looks like a bad spam subject line, doesn’t it? Am I talking about a crazy, out of this world, canine job fair? That would be pretty cool, but no! Each word in the headline is something I’m excited about in this week’s news. IT security, high-tech dog collars, a ton of cool developer-centric events and the Orion Mission leaves Earth!

Between the ESA landing on a freaking comet, the fact that I’m in the middle of reading “The Martian” and Orion having so many Colorado ties I am on a super space kick and I’m loving it! I may have to get up early Thursday to watch the Orion launch just to geek out even more. I included a link to the NASA channel in the Events section. You’re welcome. 🙂

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Colorado retains No. 4 position on Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index [InnovatioNews]
  • Broomfield’s Webroot achieves significant business growth in first fiscal quarter [YahooFinance]
  • NASA’s Orion spacecraft (built by Littleton’s Lockheed Martin) will launch Dec. 4 (On a Denver-based ULA rocket) into deep space (then communicate and record data using Broomfield’s Ball Aerospace technology) [DenverPost]
  • Microsoft CSO and Boulder-based Ecrypt CEO share inaugural Security Industry Award [Ecrypt]
  • Englewood’s Civergy acquired by New York firm, changes name [DBJ]
  • Behind the scenes of Kickstarting Wuf a smart dog collar from Boulder [DenverPost]
  • Tim Shanahan hired as Greenwood Village-based InteliSecure sales VP [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver e-commerce startup Active Junky preps for holidays, big 2015 [Xconomy]
  • Two Denver Internet radio sites, MadGenius and Digitally Imported, join T-Mobile’s unlimited music service [TechKnowBytes]
  • Software-services firm Xpanxion opens Fort Collins office [BizWest]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #72: Almost all the things happened in Boulder

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In Colorado Tech Weekly 41, I joked about renaming this series Denver Tech Weekly. This week it could be called Boulder Tech Weekly! I’m really curious how Nest’s purchase of Revolv will play out. I finally post about Ello. I’m not sure about it, but I’m not sure why. And Longmont has a municipal broadband service? That’s cool!

Also MAKE SURE YOU GO VOTE!

Top Colorado Technology News

  • FCC clears Broomfield-based Level 3’s purchase of TW Telecom [DBJ]
  • Built In Colorado gives you 9 tips for getting hired at a Colorado tech company straight from recruiters [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based Galvanize announces GalvanizeU: Accedited Master’s of Data Science [Galvanize]
  • Boulder’s Rogue Wave releases Klocwork 10.1, the newest version of its static analysis tool for developers [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder-based Zayo adding 93 route-miles in Boulder area to its 800-mile Front Range fiber network [InnovatioNews]
  • City of Longmont unveils “NextLight”, a municipal internet service [BizWest]
  • Boulder-based Ello raises $5.5 million, vows to remain ad-free by becoming Public Charter [TechKnowBytes]
  • Google’s Nest adds Boulder home automation hub maker, Revolv to its technology team [DBJ]
  • Boulder-based cloud security firm Managed Methods raises $1.5 million [BizWest]
  • Boulder’s FreeWave Technologies launches WaveContact family of wireless I/O solutions for M2M [InnovatioNews]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #71: Aggregating the Aggregations

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Ever say or think a word so many times it starts to lose its meaning? I just did that to myself with my headline. “Aggregating” is now just a jumble of too many “g” sounds in my head.

I like when actual reporters bunch together stories under a headline. It means I don’t have to be as picky when I pick my 10 headlines. This way I can have these 10 headlines about 25 Colorado companies.

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Boulder-based maker of Ubooly, the smart toy that tells stories, is bought by Cartwheel Kids [BuiltinColorado]
  • Boulder’s Ecrypt Technologies appoints Urvashi Mehra as new VP of Global Healthcare Solutions [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder-based Quick Left Recognized for the Second Year in a Row by Inc 500 [CTA]
  • Broomfield-based Level 3 secures $2B loan for TW Telecom acquisition [BizWest]
  • Tech this week: Denver-based Ping and Sprint, Boulder-based Zayo IPO and a new Apple iPad? [TechKnowBytes]
  • Roundup: Partners for Ping Identity, Westminster’s Datalogix; Denver-based Craftsy’s Milestone [Xconomy]
  • Tech Tuesday: Colorado’s hottest high-tech companies include Louisville’s Envysion, Denver’s Lassy Project and Boulder’s LogRhythm [9news]
  • INterview with John Oechsle, president and CEO of Denver-based Swiftpage [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver’s Welltok Raises $25M More, Takes Aim at $2.7T Healthcare Industry [Xconomy]
  • Boulder Techstars Demo Day concludes with new Foundry investment [BuiltinColorado]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #62: Warm and fuzzies and a non-tech event

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I LOVE seeing when Colorado companies do business with each other. Seeing that Galvanize is using Zayo Group to improve their networks really does give me the warm and fuzzies.

My non-tech event also gives me the warm and fuzzies. This Saturday is the third annual Jessica Redfield Ghawi giveSPORTS Equipment Drive at Pepsi Center. It’s listed under events in bold so you see it. It has absolutely nothing to do with tech, but it’s important to me so it gets included.

Jessica was killed in the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. She was an aspiring hockey journalist and a pretty awesome person. I did not know Jessica personally, but the people I know who knew Jessica are pretty awesome people, therefore she was an awesome person. How awesome? Before her death, she had a dream to help the families of the 2012 Colorado wildfires by providing hockey equipment. In the spirit of this request, the collection drive expanded to include equipment from all sports for those in need throughout the metro area served by A Precious Child, a local non-profit organization.

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Wheat Ridge-based aWhere gets $2.45 million to calculate the rains in Africa [BuiltinColorado]
  • ReturnPath, Remy Corp. and SolidFire outline 10 trends impacting tech hiring this year in Colorado [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based event app maker Zerista closes $2M to snatch up unclaimed market share [BuiltinColorado]
  • Hot or not? Denver’s eBags “Obsession” feature asks shoppers to rate handbags [TechKnowBytes]
  • uGurus Interview with Boulder-based QuickLeft’s Co-Founder Sam Breed: The Journey from Developer to CTO [QuickLeft]
  • Boulder-based Zayo Group’s multi-Gigabit fiber network to enhance Galvanize’s campus-wide digital ecosystem [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver’s Convercent announces record growth in Q2 [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Aspenware looks to drive next phase of growth with new CEO [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver’s Photobucket gets $3.2 million for international product launches [BuiltinColorado]
  • Denver-based Swiftpage selling CRM software line, narrowing focus [DBJ]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com

Colorado Tech Weekly #61: Success is a fickle beast

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What is more important: Feeling like you’ve succeeded or feeling like you are working towards success? I’m too humble when I succeed, but knowing I am doing worthwhile things with my time makes me happy so I like working towards success better.

I wonder about this as a look through my headlines every week. I’m sure that getting funding feels like a great success because it means you are doing something worthwhile enough for someone to give you a few million dollars to keep going. Is getting purchased or acquired a success? I guess that depends on where you are in your company. If you’re a lower-level employee I would guess it’s a mixture of excitement, uncertainty, dread and pride. If you’ve experienced this, I’d love to hear from you.

Top Colorado Technology News

  • Another win for local ad tech: Denver’s Altitude Digital gets $7 million to reach a headcount of 100 [BuiltinColorado]
  • CTA’s APEX Awards nomination deadline is Aug. 15 [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver-based Ibotta receives $20M Series B funding, will expand brands and retail partnerships [InnovatioNews]
  • Boulder’s Rapt Media closes on $3.1M funding round, launches Eloqua marketing system [InnovatioNews]
  • Carlin Sack says this is the year for Colorado’s enterprise cloud companies, thanks to local talent and local capital [BuiltinColorado]
  • Colorado Springs-based RCSPros to sell Electronic Health Records company [InnovatioNews]
  • Denver’s IQNavigator sells part of business, shrinks payroll [DBJ]
  • Denver mobile app shop Double Encore acquired by subsidiary of London’s WPP [TechKnowBytes]
  • CenturyLink makes Denver a ‘Gig city’ with ultra-fast Internet offering [DBJ]
  • STEM teacher initiative between Mines, UNC funded by $300K NSF grant [InnovatioNews]

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news stories or sources about tech in Colorado, please let me know! Also if you attend any of the events listed, I would love to hear from you!

You can subscribe to all my posts by email.
Feel free to ‘like’ Colorado Tech Weekly on Facebook!
Visit directly at ColoradoTechWeekly.com