We have lift off. Big thanks to TEDxMileHigh 2012 and all those that came together to help fuel the launch of Something Independent’s Entrepreneurs Garage. Throughout two-days of TEDxMileHigh 2012, nowhere was the spirit of the Colorado entrepreneur more evident than in The Garage. Allen Lim and the Skratch Labs team (who just recently moved Skratch out of their garage!) were hydrating the crowd with tastes of the same energy replacement drink that powered Lance Armstrong to multiple Tour de France yellow jerseys. Grace Skis, subject of a recent Time Magazine feature, had on-hand the first pair of skis that were made in founder David Liechty’s specially “remodeled” kitchen. We spied David and his neighbors in the Entrepreneurs Garage, Oskar Blues Brewery and REEB Cycles, kicking around their perspectives on Risk and Reward as well as their ideas for a Next Big Adventure with the likes of TEDxMileHigh speaker and Colorado-adventurer extraordinaire, Chris Davenport. It was just that kind of vibe over the course of the two-days at TEDxMileHigh, lots of great conversation around the business side of the Colorado lifestyle and a general sense of fulfillment that comes with pursuing one’s passion.
Chad Melis, Oskar Blues; Chris Davenport, TEDxMileHigh Speaker; Chris Sulfrain, Generic Cycles
We had a chance to harness some of these conversations in the Entrepreneurs Garage Lounge on both Friday and Saturday. Dubbed, “In the Garage with..” studio sessions, SI partnered with the sharp team at the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute to host a series of informal conversations with successful entrepreneurs like Jim Deters of Galvanize & [i4c] Campaign, Jake Brodsky of Novo Coffee, Ryan Martens of Rally Software, Leigh Jones of Jonsey’s EatBar, Jeff Aitken of Fluid Coffee and “Biker Jim” Pettinger. It was inspirational just to sit and listen to these local business founders talk to the budding entrepreneurs engaging in the TEDxMileHigh Exhibits Lounge.
Brendan Landry, RMMFI; Jim Deters, Galvanize; “Biker Jim” Pettinger; Jeff Aitken, Fluid Coffee
Perhaps the most energizing and exciting of the “In the Garage with…” sessions however, went down on Friday afternoon at TEDxMileHigh Youth. We invited our friends at the Young Americans Center for Financial Education to bring a couple of their ace-entrepreneurs into the lounge to share their experiences in starting a business. Thanks so much to 18 year-old Jade Peterson and 14 year-old, Nick Bain. You inspire us all! See their work and respective businesses at http://www.jadewarnerphotography.com/ and http://www.travire.com/ .
Can’t say enough about the Colorado companies that took the leap and joined us out of the gates – Avery County Cycles, Praxis Guitars, Grace Skis, Skratch Labs, Studio Como, Aaron Foster Designs, the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, Generic Cycles and Oskar Blue Brewery. There would be no Entrepreneurs Garage without YOU.
Avery County Cycles
A final big thanks to TEDxMileHigh for inviting Something Independent to become such an integrated partner. We were honored to be in the room with so many Colorado maverick thinkers and doers. And, to David Liechty of Grace Skis. We tapped David to conceive, design and build out the space that became the Entrepreneurs Garage @ TEDxMileHigh. It’s amazing what twelve 4’x8’ pegboard panels, 400 feet of 1/8” steel cable, three-dozen Hefty C-Clamps, 32 tennis balls and a spool of twine transforms into once filled with eight incredible Colorado entrepreneurs.
The Garage is quiet before the rush of attendees
Thanks, all. Be sure to check back with us soon at dev1.zenman.com/sites/si/si/ for information on upcoming news and programming from the Entrepreneurs Garage.