March 19, 2010
The University of Colorado’s second annual Entrepreneurship Week culminated March 18 with Silicon Flatirons' Annual Mile High Tech Entrepreneurship Conference, “The Role of Place: Entrepreneurial Immigration, Iteration and Innovation,” and the announcement of the CU New Venture Challenge Winners.Entrepreneurship Week highlights CU’s emerging role in developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and technologists. It additionally helps connect CU students to the area’s top entrepreneurs, VCs, and technologists. The Silicon Flatirons Center is active in providing local entrepreneurs with connections to technological, financial, and legal resources.The 2010 Entrepreneurship Conference focused on the relationship between place and innovation."Some believe that broadband and the Internet makes location less important for a start-up company,” said organizer and Clinical Professor Brad Bernthal. “Economic geographers counter with research suggesting that place is actually more important than ever. Our conference focused on exploring this tension.” The conference kicked off with a panel moderated by Colorado Law Professor Clare Huntington, which focused on the issue of immigration and entrepreneurship. This panel sparked a conference-long debate about the concept of a “start up visa” which would make it easier for international entrepreneurs to come to the United States to start a business. Other discussions highlighted the rich history of Front Range entrepreneurship around storage technology. Discussants identified lessons to be learned from the cluster of activity which produced storage-oriented success stories such as StorageTek and LeftHand Networks. In addition to the conference, the New Venture Challenge Competition highlighted innovative start-up companies associated with CU. Throughout the year, local start-up companies submit business plans. On March 12, eight semifinalists competed for a spot in the afternoon finals.First prize was awarded to Streat Chefs, a start-up company serving gourmet foods from trailers that can move around the Metro area. Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg came up with the concept to serve the growing “fast casual” food market.Second place was awarded to JobSite Visitor, which created an online platform for managing construction site photos. Colorado Law Carson Saporta ’11 was part of the JobSite Visitor team and presented the business plan on behalf of the company. Dymotions received third place for their “Glidecart,” a shopping-cart attachment that aids those with limited mobility to walk longer distances.Entrepreneurship Week is a campus-wide initiative sponsored by Colorado Law's Silicon Flatirons Center, Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, ATLAS Institute, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program, E-Ship Program, and University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office.