From entrepreneurs and investors to tech gurus and local Boulderites, this year’s Boulder Startup Week (BSW) brought the community together for a week filled with discussion, learning, networking and partying. There was something for everyone, like panel discussions on the tech industry’s most current challenges, presentations celebrating the human spirit, and outdoor activities that gave us an hour or two to get out of the office and free our minds from our work duties.
Quick Left has always been an active participant in BSW. We love connecting with other businesses and entrepreneurs in town looking to learn from one another, while celebrate everything Boulder has to offer its startup community. Quick Left kicked off BSW with its 3rd annual office chair race and hosted/participated in several other events around town. Here’s a recap of the 2015 Boulder Startup Week.
3rd Annual Office Chair Race
Each team was given an office chair, which they could customize to their liking. One person on each team was required to be the jockey (sitting in the chair) at all times. The teams were given clues to a history themed scavenger hunt around Pearl Street with the final location unknown to those participating. Beer and prizes awaited the teams at the final destination, the Bohemian Biergarten. VictorOps took 1st place, with HF Designworks coming in 2nd and Quick Left in 3rd.
Every couple of months or so Quick Left hosts a hackfest where hackers, designers and really anyone else who has an idea can form a team to try and code a creative, innovative, working application in three hours or less. This time around the theme was humor. The purpose of the theme was to see if the hackers could improve lives through humor. The hackfest was made possible by partnering with the Humor Research Lab (HuRL) at the University of Colorado, the Leeds School of Business, and BSW. This was by far the best hackfest Quick Left has ever had, with teams almost piling out of the office, while creating applications that made all of us laugh beyond belief. The winners are presented below:
1st Place – Challenge Accepted
Challenge Accepted created an application where users could post challenges related to humor online. Then other users could choose to accept the challenge and create a video of themselves acting out the challenge. Once posted online, users could vote on the funniest videos.
2nd Place – Joke Booth
Joke Booth was a collaboration tool where users could go online and up-vote or down-vote jokes. Joke Booth really geared its application towards improving lives through humor because of the interactive capabilities of the app.
3rd Place – In My Pants
In My Pants created a chrome extension that took Twitter posts and rewords the posts to include the phrase “in my pants” to the tweets of whomever’s Twitter page one might be looking at, at any given time. The team chose former President, Bill Clinton’s twitter. Given the term “in my pants,” along with Clinton’s highly publicized personal scandals during the time he was in office, I’m sure you can imagine how good of a time we had messing around with this application.
Adventure is Our Middle Name!
With all the active QLers we have at Quick Left we had to partake in some outdoor activities. Rob Loud led a yoga session at the park next to the Riverside. What an amazing feeling to be doing yoga outside! Thankfully the weather held up for our short hour and we were all feeling rejuvenated after channeling out inner yogi.
In addition to yoga, we hosted a hike with angels, founders and VC’s as well as Biking with the Big Shots. 50 cyclists showed up spandex-clad and ready to roll on the iconic Old Stage climb. Even former National Champion Timmy Duggan showed up for the spin. This is what makes Boulder such a special entrepreneurial spot.
Some of us QLers attended Ignite Boulder where speakers shared stories about what they’re passionate about. They spoke about everything from the US prison system and deep sea diving, to learning how to define your identity on your own terms and how to get the attention of your local government. The cool thing about Ignite is that everyone’s slides are timed. Presenters have about 20 minutes to nail their 20 timed slides. Each speaker brilliantly engaged with the audience, delivering stories worth hearing and remembering. If you’ve never been to Ignite Boulder, I highly recommend attending the next one as they’re not unique to BSW and happen all the time!
How to Hire an Intern (or Get Hired)
Rachel and I spoke on the panel, How to Hire an Intern (or Get Hired). This panel was meant to facilitate discussion about best practices for ensuring that interning is a valuable experience for both the intern and the company. Panelists touched upon the benefits and downfalls of having a paid intern, the difference between an internship position and a temp position, and what an intern should expect when going into a startup versus a larger corporation, among other points.
After the event I was inspired to write about the advice I had for those looking to nail an awesome internship. To learn about some of the tips and tricks discussed at this panel, and beyond, check out this blog post.
Boomtown Demo Day
The marketing team attended the final event of BSW, Boomtown Demo Day. At Boomtown Demo Day 9 startups pitched their business ideas to investors and entrepreneurs at the Boulder Theatre.
Check out what each startup has to offer for yourself:
Boomtown Demo Day was a great event to the end of an awesome week. Cheers to those who volunteered, hosted and attended all of the events. BSW goes to show us all what an engaging and inspiring community we have here in Boulder, and if you’re still not convinced that Boulder is one of the best places for entrepreneurship, check out the video below.