Published: July 19, 2023 By

On Thursday, July 20, Silicon Flatirons celebrates the one-year anniversary of the Startup Variety Show. Open to the public, the variety show will be held at the Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE). Registration is available online.

Presenters at the first annual Startup Variety Show

Presenters at the first annual Startup Variety Show

Presenters at the first annual Startup Variety Show

The show includes Gregg Spiridellis, co-founder of the seven-time Emmy Award-winning company StoryBots. Spiridellis’ entrepreneurial journey spans from JibJab and StoryBots to his current company, HiHo. Brad Bernthal, executive director and entrepreneurship initiative director of Silicon Flatirons, will host.

“I love the way that the Variety Show gets the spotlight onto the most innovative minds and projects in the Front Range,” said Bernthal. “It is also crucial for the emerging company scene to have this connective fabric to bring campus and community together.”

In addition to Spiridellis, the July 20 show features Patrick Walsh, CEO of IronCoreLabs, who will discuss developments in cryptography. It also showcases world-class research, presented by CU Professor Sidney DMello, a publishing powerhouse at the Institute of Cognitive Science, about using AI technologies to facilitate socio-collaborative learning experiences for students. Finally, the variety show will highlight Greenhouse Scholars, a nonprofit that works to make higher education accessible for under-resourced students. Michelle Kruk and Emily Quinlan will co-present about Greenhouse Scholars' work.

The goal of this regularly convening event series is multifaceted—it intends to highlight companies and ideas, while also facilitating in-person interactions across campus and within the emerging startup community.

“The past few years have disrupted our startup community’s rhythms of in-person interactions, limiting touchpoints for established members, as well as points of entry for newcomers,” said Nate Mariotti, managing director of Silicon Flatirons. “The Startup Variety Show series was created to address this issue head on in the spirit of the #GiveFirst philosophy, which champions selfless contributions of individuals to each other and the strength and cohesiveness of the network that develops as a result.”

Through the Startup Variety Show series, Silicon Flatirons hopes to share stimulating ideas and mobilize community resources to support teams pursuing new innovations while increasing accessibility for and encouraging newcomers.

Boulder serves as an excellent location for this kind of event. Described as a rapidly advancing Western hub, Boulder has been dubbed by Richard Florida as “America’s Most Creative City.” Silicon Flatirons’ role as a nerve center for Boulder and the entire Colorado Front Range entrepreneurship scene was featured prominently in Brad Feld’s book “Startup Communities,” which praised Silicon Flatirons for turning the university “inside out” and highlighted its role as an important feeder and convener for the Boulder startup community. With this in mind, faculty and staff at Silicon Flatirons hope to continue carrying the Startup Variety Show’s momentum into its second year.

“Growing the audience is a big internal goal for us,” Mariotti shared. “I think it's safe to say that we'll continue to bring together diverse speakers from all over the community working on unique startups/solutions, and focus on that knowledge share as well as community interactions.”  

The anniversary of the Startup Variety Show is an event you don’t want to miss. Come network with the local entrepreneurial community and help us celebrate this Thursday!