Category: Ignite Denver 17

Tuesday Two! Love for our Ignite Denver MCs

The Spark presenters at Ignite Denver are the reason so many people come out to the events, time after time. However, we also have talented and thoughtful MCs like Jared Ewy and Kat Atwell who start our evenings off right and keep the proceedings rolling along all night.

Come see Kat on Thursday, June 11th (that’s the day after tomorrow!! Buy tickets!) as she leads us through another fantastic Ignite Denver. Make sure to bring your appetite for good food and good music, as we’ll have Biker Jim’s Dogs serving up tasty grub before/during the show and Kotorino serving up gorgeous tunes at the afterparty!

And here’s Jared opening up Ignite Denver #17!

See you Thursday at the Oriental Theater!!

Get to Know Your Ignite Denver Speakers

One of my favorite parts about being an Ignite Denver organizer is getting to know all of the speakers. While I love Ignite Denver events, my favorite part is actually the run throughs before the event. It’s there that we get to know our speakers a little better and we form an eclectic little community, if only for a few weeks.

Everybody helps everyone out. We all give each other feedback and lean on one another for guidance. It’s a thing of beauty.

For this Ignite Denver, I wanted to give you just the littlest peep into the people that I get to meet as an organizer. You’ll see them all on stage on Friday night (if you haven’t purchased tickets yet, you really should get on that), but here, you can find out more about them, their lives, their passions and, of course, their contact information should you want to hit them up.

Aurora Arlet: The Creativity Crisis: Why we need more sandboxes and less Xboxes

As an accomplished communications professional at Edelman PR, with more than a decade of expertise developing and executing all aspects of public outreach campaigns, Aurora is on top of all the industry trends and knows exactly where her clients will be successful. Aurora is a member of Edelman’s corporate and technology team and has worked with an extensive list of technology and clean tech companies and organizations.

Paula Stephens: How A Recycling Program Lead To My Discovery Of An Unidentified Stage of Grief

Paula has her masters degree in exercise physiology and teaches part time at Metro State University. Through the loss of her oldest son in 2010 Paula realized the need to use her experience in Wellness to change the way we recovery from grief. She developed Crazy Good Grief which recognizes that we can’t simply move on from loss, but we can simply move.

Mary Kuehner: You’re not OCD, you’re just anal retentive

Mary has been a children’s librarian for almost 16 years. She plays a little ukulele, harbors a grumpy three-legged cat, and knows a lot about how to get little kids to love books and reading (it mostly involves making a fool of yourself). None of this has anything to do with what she’s going to talk about at Ignite, and yet she is still MADE OF AWESOME.

Aaron Templer: When good things happen to good people

Aaron (AT) is a self-employed marketing consultant. He hits drums, too. Some call him The Gora Dhol Wallah: The White Dhol (a drum from North India) Guy/Player. Connect with him on social media via either Twitter or Facebook.

Keith Hagen: Clarity trumps Persuasion.

Keith, of Conversion IQ, knows nothing about improving websites, and its taken 16 years of trying to realize it.  But he does gain insight into what is and isn’t working for site visitors, and then makes and tests site optimizations.  He’s worked on over 1500 sites the past couple of years.

Scott Rohrig: Humanize Yourself

Scott’s not intimidated by large crowds and includes people, relationships, social media and connecting with like-minded individuals a few of his favorite things.  He is a passionate dad and husband and lover of backpacking, skiing, soccer, scotch and fun people, but not necessarily in that order.

Nathan Hildreth: Flow ain’t just the Aunt of unwelcomed visits!

Prior to co-founding Fluo Apparel, Nathan played a significant role in the cannabis movement for four years.  Before this he was directing communications for a congressional candidate, and going back 12 years further, Nathan launched his professional career in real estate development, which led to him starting his own real estate company.  Follow the man and the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Erik Wolf: Marketing & Testicles: They Have More In Common Than You Think

Erik Wolf is the founder of, the first marketing automation suite for WordPress. He’s been a marketer, consultant, creative director and designer for more than 18 years and has written two books about small business marketing.

Khalana Gocken: Nature Is Our Weapon

Khalana grew up on a small farm along the northern Front Range. She is the founder of Ethos Landscape & Design where she leads a team that is passionate about sustainability. In her spare time she can be found in her garden teaching her kids weedy plant ID (and pulling techniques).

Jeff Macco: What if colleges were treated like a business?

Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of SeedPaths, which teaches young adults the professional and technical skills required to gain meaningful employment in the IT industry. Appointed by Governor Hickenlooper, Jeff is a member of the Colorado Workforce Development Council, which exists to create a business-focused workforce system that effectively helps to prepare Coloradans for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Natalie Plowman: The Art of Puppy-Raising

Natalie is a high school English teacher who spent her first three years of teaching in Turkey, and self-published a book with stories and photos from her first year of travels. She’s also takes and sells photos in here “spare” time. She also maintains a hiking blog for predominantly dog-friendly hikes around Colorado.

Pete WinterScheidtShitty meeting syndrome, your office has it, here is how to fix it.

Pete is an enthusiastic software engineer for ReadyTalk, an audio and web conferencing provider. He is keen on leveraging technology so you can enjoy more time outside. When not in the office you can find Pete playing lawn games or working on an Alfa Romeo.

I’m just pleased as punch with the diversity of our group and the all out smarty pants that I’ve been able to hang out with for the past few weeks. I highly suggest you find them and say hi on Friday night.

Ignite Seattle’s Five Minute Wedding Proves Ignite is So Much More Than Education

Ignite Seattle has been going strong since 2006. In fact, they just recently had their 24th Ignite Seattle on May 22nd this year and at the end of that event, something pretty amazing happened. But before I get to the what, let me give you a little back-story leading up to the special day.

Noah Iliinsky was at the very first Ignite Seattle in 2006. Then, in 2008, he decided to give his first Ignite presentation titled “Complex Diagrams: How to Make Lasagna Instead of Spaghetti.” Teresa Valdez was in that audience, but she and Noah didn’t end up meeting that evening.

Cut to 2011, when Teresa decides she wants to give a presentation at Ignite Seattle. Her talk was called, “ The Art of Subverting on Facebook,” in which she talked about how Facebook ads were making single women feel like losers for not successfully bagging a hubby and how she subverted those ads with $5 and her own Facebook ads.

Seriously, you should really go watch that presentation right now, especially the ladies, because it’s very empowering.

Well, guess what. Noah was in the audience that night and he was so impressed by her talk that he went up to tell her so after the show.

Cut to a few months later and they have their first date.

A few years later and this just happened on the Ignite Seattle stage a few short nights ago.

You see, folks, Ignite is so much more than just people getting on stage and talking about this or that. It’s a way for us all to come together as a community and rejoice in the people that bring it together.

So why don’t you come and be a part of our amazing Denver community on June 13th to celebrate June-O-Ween and Ignite Denver 17. Dress in your favorite costumes and have a ball with friends new and old.

We honest to god cannot wait to see you there.

Ignite Denver 17 Speaker Lineup is Here!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud to announce the lineup for Ignite Denver 17 and our second annual June-O-Ween Costume Party!


We’ve got everything from Xboxes to puppy raising, shitty meetings and weaponized nature; so you’re definitely going to want a ticket to this show! Plus, along with the great presentations, we’ll have a costume contest, Fat Sully’s pizza and much more!

We’re offering early bird ticket prices again for this show, so be sure to get your $5 tickets before June 6 to save a little extra cash for a drink at the bar while you’re there.

Take a look at the lineup we’ve got in store for you and check out our presenters on Twitter to stalk find out more about who they are:

  • Aurora Arlet: The Creativity Crisis: Why we need more sandboxes and less Xboxes
  • Paula Stephens: How A Recycling Program Lead To My Discovery Of An Unidentified Stage of Grief
  • Mary Kuehner: You’re not OCD, you’re just anal retentive
  • Pete Winterscheidt: Shitty meeting syndrome, your office has it, here is how to fix it.
  • Aaron Templer: When good things happen to good people: Accepting advantage and becoming allies in the fight against discrimination.
  • Keith Hagen: Clarity trumps Persuasion.
  • Scott Rohrig: Humanize Yourself
  • Nathan Hildreth: Flow ain’t just the Aunt of unwelcomed visits!
  • Erik Wolf: Marketing & Testicles: They Have More In Common Than You Think
  • Khalana Gocken: Nature Is Our Weapon
  • Jeff Macco: What if colleges were treated like a business?
  • Natalie Plowman: The Art of Puppy-Raising

June-O-Ween is extra special because we give you the opportunity to wear all those excellent costumes you’d like to wear in October, but it’s just too cold to pull it off properly. That’s why we have Halloween in the ideal month: June. Dress to impress or win! Last year’s costume contest winners were the Sexual Predator and a Bad Habit. What clever costume ideas do you have up your sleeve?

Now you know what you’ve got in store for you, what are you waiting for? Get your early bird tickets to Ignite Denver 17 today and start planning your costume for June 13th at The Oriental Theater.

June-O-Ween Voting Starts Today!

(Cue Marvin Gaye music)

Aww yeah, kiddos. It’s that time again. That time when you run your cursor over all of our sparks and press our buttons.

Ok, cut the music in your head and get your mind out of the gutter. Just for a second, then you can get back to singing “Let’s Get it On” to yourself in muffled tones while sitting in your cubicle hoping no one else can hear you.

We’ve had some fabulous people submit some fabulous topics and now we’re ready for your all important votes! It’s simple really you just click this link right here, and then rate the topics from 0-4.

The legs of voters are seen behind blue curtains in voting booths in a polling station during the first round of the 2012 French presidential election in Vaulx-en-Velin

“But, Kelly, I don’t want to judge just on the title of the spark alone! That’s unfair.”

Relax, brohirim. If you scroll below the fold, you’ll see all the full descriptions of each spark. It’s just that easy.

Voting is open all week so spread the word!

If you’re interested in learning how to create a great presentation for Ignite Denver, swing by Shift Workspaces next Monday, May 19th at 6 pm for a full on run down of what to expect.

I also like to think that there are some valuable life lessons in there for the folks that have to present for their jobs as well. Sure, you may not be able to swear as much and the slides will likely advance much more slowly, but there are some good organizational techniques to be learned as well.

Now, lets get it on, Denver.

Ignite Denver 17: Submit a Spark

You'll absolutely nail your Ignite Denver presentation with you attend our workshops!
You’ll absolutely nail your Ignite Denver presentation when you attend our workshops!

Ignite Denver 16 in February was the first Ignite event I ever attended and when I left the Oriental Theater that night, I thought to myself, “I should speak at an upcoming event.”

If you’ve been inspired by a past speaker, the Ignite Denver organization or you just think it’s about time the city heard your perspective on a specific topic, then it’s time for you to consider submitting a spark.

Mark Twain once said, “There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” In a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, 74% of people suffer from Glossophobia, more than the percentage of individuals who fear death.

Just think about the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people. Did your knees lock? Did you immediately sweat through your shirt in an embarrassing manner? Well you’re not alone. If you decide to submit a spark to speak at Ignite Denver, we recommend that you attend our magnificent workshops (don’t worry, they are really helpful and super awesome). All workshops are at Shift Workspaces and start at 6pm:

  • Monday, May 5  – Presenting at Ignite
  • Monday, May 19 – Creating a Good Ignite Presentation

Also, before you submit your spark, there a few requirements you should consider.

  1. It’s a no-brainer but obviously you must be available the evening of Ignite Denver 17, Friday, June 13. (We’re sorry but we have to mention this little tidbit. Thanks for bearing with us.)
  2. Attendance at the two run-throughs prior to June 13th is required. These run-throughs are scheduled for Tuesday, May 27 and Monday June 2 at our home-away-from-home Shift Workspaces.
  3. Ignite Denver is not an opportunity to sell your product or services. If you want to creatively inform or inspire Ignite attendees, then you’re just the person we need.
  4. If you spoke at Ignite Denver 16, we appreciate your enthusiasm but we’re going to ask you to participate as an attendee rather than a presenter so that everyone gets a chance to share their stories.

Sparks aren’t due until Friday, May 9 so if you’re still on the fence about submitting, attend our May 5th workshop at Shift Workspaces to connect with Ignite Denver volunteers and learn more about being presenter. Of course you can reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter with any questions, comments or concerns.

Second Annual June-O-Ween at Ignite Denver 17

Last year at Ignite Denver 14’s June-O-Ween extravaganza, you wonderful people brought your A game. Of course there were incredible presentations from Erika NapoletanoKevin White and many of Denver’s finest minds (as you all have come to expect from Ignite Denver events). What really made the night a one-of-a-kind soiree though was all the attendees dressed to the nines in their Halloween finest. (If you haven’t seen all of the wonderful Chipper Booth pictures from that night, be sure to check them out!)

Ignite Denver 14 presenters in their June-O-Ween costumes
Ignite Denver 14 presenters in their June-O-Ween costumes

So we just couldn’t resist bringing a night filled with ghouls and goblins back to the summer season with June-O-Ween at Ignite Denver 17 on Friday, June 13 at the Oriental Theater. It will be a Friday the Thirteenth to remember as we combine some of Denver’s most innovative thinkers with alcohol and everyone’s scary, skanky, and just plain bonkers costume creations.

Thinking about presenting at Ignite Denver 17? WONDERFUL! Be sure to attend our workshop series to learn everything you wanted to know about Ignite Denver (and probably a couple of TMIs along with it). All workshops are at Shift Workspaces and start at 6pm:

  • April 21 – Creating a Compelling Pitch/Spark
  • May 5  – Presenting at Ignite
  • May 19 – Creating a Good Ignite Presentation
  • May 27 – First Run Through (required)
  • June 2 – Second Run Through (required)

Please don’t hesitate to contact us through Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions about upcoming workshops or topics for a presentation.

Strap on those thinking caps now and start brainstorming your spark and/or costume for Ignite Denver 17! Don’t forget to check back in with us for more announcements about June-O-Ween speakers, sponsors and other exciting surprises.

Ignite Denver 14
Bad Habit (Erika Napoletano) & Sexual Predator (Amy Little) at last year’s June-O-Ween
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