Tag: Ignite Denver 13

Ignite Denver 13 Wrap Up

You came,  you saw (some of you sparked), you drank and you had a great time, which is what we aim to do at every Ignite Denver. We were so happy to see all your bright shining faces at The Oriental last Wednesday night and we’ve already started scheming on what new, great things we’ll be able to bring you for Ignite Denver 14!

In the meantime, we’ve got some photos from the evening up on our Facebook page. If you haven’t, feel free to visit, tag and share away.


Meet Your Sponsor: Technical Integrity

Technical Integrity LogoIn the startup world, there’s one thing that almost every new company needs: nerds. I’m not talking about the nerds that hoard comic books and play Assassin’s Creed until 5 am (I’m also not dogging on comic book or video game nerds). But the kind of nerd a startup company needs is the kind that knows how to build high level systems from the ground up.

If you’ve spent any time in the tech startup world, you know that a good site and software will make the difference between success and failure and sometimes you need a little help finding the right fit for your company.

But you’re a startup! Who has the freaking time to spend hours poring over resumes and conducting interviews when you’re wearing way too many hats as it is? Well, good buddy, that’s where our friends at Technical Integrity come in handy.

This small, locally owned firm interviews both clients and candidates to make sure that your company gets the best match possible. They never put a square peg in a round hole and actively consult with both parties to determine long term goals.

I love this line from their mission statement:

“A bold, honest and forthright approach and a true belief in culture matching, deep dive technical screening and placing A-players is key to their success.”

They love playing matchmaker for tech geeks and tech startups. They are truly passionate about helping companies not only get off the ground, but also going about the process in a socially responsible manner. Another thing they love to do is build community- they engage directly by offering solutions where there is no business deal and they sponsor both small and large events that benefit us all.  They’re also pretty big on being sustainable and working with clean tech companies.

If you’re looking for a tech match made in heaven, then you should definitely drop Technical Integrity a line or at the very least, follow them on Twitter!

Meet the Ignite Denver Sponsor: Rubicon Law

RUBICON logo 220x41You see the billboards, right? Stodgy lawyers in hand tailored suits telling you that they’re the BEST at what they do. I’m sure there are tons of great law firms in Denver, with many talented attorneys in their employ. But, and maybe this is just me, doesn’t it feel like law firms all fit into one mold? One neat and tidy little box that was defined decades ago that said, “This is how law firms should look and act” and no one has bothered to really challenge that definition very much because, well, people have always made money doing it that way.

Rubicon Law is different. No really, they are! They’re a business law firm that’s working to change the way that businesses see attorneys and law firms.

No marble tiles in the atrium. No atrium. They don’t have a large administrative staff and they handle the work themselves, so they can pass the savings onto their clients.

That wasn’t a typo. You read that right; Rubicon Law actually tries to save their client’s money. Try not to have your mind explode at that concept. How exactly do they save you money?

  1. They don’t bill for phone calls. They actually want their clients to call if they have a problem or question!
  2. They attend your company’s board meetings for free. I’m not even lying here, people. They really do that.
  3. All of their offices are paperless. These guys have some serious karma points coming their way.

In addition to all of those awesome money saving practices, most of the attorneys that work for Rubicon Law have owned their own business at some point, so they aren’t just coming into this as a fancy lawyer; they know and understand the struggles you face as a business owner and focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

We’re very proud to have Rubicon Law as one of our title sponsors and we hope that if you’re in the market for a business law firm that you put them at the top of your list.

Announcing the Ignite Denver 13 Lineup

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the moment we know you’ve all be waiting for. It’s your Ignite Denver 13 presenters!

In what is a first for Ignite Denver, the entire line up for Ignite Denver 13 has been selected by community voting. Previously the community selected half of the presentations and the Ignite committee selected half of the lineup. We listened to your feedback from previous Ignite Denvers and decided to try out 100% community based voting. We’re really happy to turn over the creation of the Ignite Denver line up to all of you guys. Check out the various types of knowledge that are going to be dropped on Wednesday, February 27 and be sure to get your tickets today!

  • Spell Check Ain’t Your Friend
  • Perfume is My Kryptonite: Why My Super Power is Killing Me
  • 10 ways to encourage entrepreneurship
  • Customers:  The Best VC
  • What if Being Miserable Was the Best Thing that Ever Happened to You?
  • 5 Fails When Moving into a New Office
  • So you want to be a foreign correspondent?
  • Could you be in a common law marriage without knowing it?
  • How To Talk Your Way Into Anything
  • Bathroom Cubbies and Chopstick Training Wheels: UX of Daily Life
  • Two Things You Have to Do
  • Looking From a Different Perspective
  • How to Make Your Life Better and Piss People Off
  • Doing What Needs to be Done

Are you as excited as we are to watch all of these presentations? We certainly hope you are! Remember to bring your appetite for learning as well as food, we’re going to offer you opportunities to satiate both. With Ignite presentations starting at 7 pm and Fat Sully’s pizza truck serving up pizza before the show starts and during intermission, you’ll be sure to leave with both your brain and your belly full!


Meet the Ignite Denver Sponsors: YOU!

Five fun facts for Friday (God, I love alliteration!):

  • Ignite Denver is a nonprofit event.
  • Every penny we earn goes into putting on a great show and donating the rest to a good cause.
  • Our sponsors are amazing local companies that love Ignite just as much as we do.
  • Anyone can be a sponsor for Ignite Denver.
  • The male pig orgasm can last up to 30 minutes.

I didn’t say all the facts would be about Ignite Denver, did I?

Why am I sharing these fun facts with you? Well, mostly because I want you to know just how many levels of awesome Ignite Denver there are. Also, it’s freaky that boars take so long.  But mostly Ignite Denver stuff.

We’re looking for a few great sponsors for Ignite Denver 13 and maybe that sponsor is you or, more likely your company or the company you work for. When you sponsor Ignite, you send a message saying that you support the quest for knowledge and the never-ending journey of lifelong learning. I know that last sentence is a little flowery, but seriously, people come to Ignite Denver to learn and to be inspired by people they may know and people they may meet that very night. Plus, it’s a casual event with no chintzy table centerpieces or corny, PG roasts of a CEO. It’s real people being real about what they love.

Plus, Ignite Denver is backed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you know what that means: tax deduction!

Here’s a breakdown of sponsorship levels available for Ignite. If you’re interested in being a sponsor for Ignite, please visit our Sponsorship page and contact the dude whose email is at the bottom of the page.

Ignite Denver Sponsorship
What’s your sponsorship heat level?

Voting is Easy AND You Have Extra Time!

Dearest Ignite Lovers,

It seems that I should not be allowed to look at calendars and make public announcements about deadlines without first having some coffee and then putting on my “computer glasses.” You see, I thought deadline for spark voting was Monday the 4th, but in my morning blindness, I turned a 7 into a 4. Yeah, rookie mistake, I know.

As it turns out, you can still cast your vote for your favorite sparks until tomorrow night, February 7! I know you’re all relieved to find out that you’ve got yourself a little extra time to go read up on all the interesting spark topics we’ve had submitted for Ignite Denver 13.

Could you be in a common law marriage without even realizing it? Learn the secrets of what constitutes a common law marriage or just living with the one you love in blissful unmarriage. We’ve got a speaker who’d like to give us a look at life from a different perspective: the one he has from his wheelchair. Apparently avoiding staring at boobs is even harder when they’re right at your eye level. Poor guy. Want to learn to talk your way into anything? We bet you do. Luckily for you, there’s a spark that promises to teach you how to go about it.

These plus many other sparks are all ready and waiting for your vote. So what are you waiting for? It takes about 3-5 minutes to vote on sparks. We won’t take “no” for an answer.

Ignite Denver 13 Spark Voting is Up and Running

Ignite Denver 13 Spark Voting
Vote for your favorite sparks.

We had some great submissions this time around and now we’re opening it up to you, our wonderful attendees and Ignite fans, to give us your feedback on who you would like to see present at Ignite Denver 13.

Do you want to learn how to make your life better and simultaneously piss people off? Vote for it! Maybe you want to learn why spell check is not your bff (personally, I can’t agree with this enough). Maybe you should vote for it! We’ve got a spark submitted by a super smeller! If you want to find out what it is, then you should vote for that spark.

Am I driving home this point hard enough for you?

Look, I’ll make it really easy. To vote for your favorite sparks, click this link right here.

Now that you’ve clicked the link, you’re probably thinking, “Whoa, Kelly, this is NOT your typical spark voting page!”

Then I would say, “Wow, you’re a very astute observer” and give you a slightly patronizing pat on the back.

Yes, this time around, we’re using Survey Monkey and you get to cast your vote on ALL of the presentations. This time, there’s no limit to how many presentations you vote for with fervor. Say “hell yeah” to all of them, if you want. We love your enthusiasm!

You’ll also notice that there aren’t spark descriptions right there, but that’s ok. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget them, they’re simply on a different page where you can read all about the spark details. Just head here to check out spark details.

Now go, my fair Ignite lovers. Go and vote for the presentations you want to see the most.

I Think My Spark Topic is too Boring

Right now, I’m sure there are some of you thinking, “Yeah, I have a couple of really great ideas for sparks, but they’re all on really boring topics and I don’t think anyone would be interested in hearing me talk about [insert perceived boring hobby or interest here] for five minutes.”

That’s where you, my friend, are totally wrong and I’ll tell you why.

We’re all adults here, so I’m going to assume that you’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion in the ocean that counts.”

The same thing goes for your Ignite Denver presentation; if you take the time to make your topic relatable and engaging, just about anything can be interesting.  Plus, remember, you’re speaking to a room filled with geeks. They all bought tickets because they want to learn something new. They want to be enlightened. Bring a completely new topic to the table, but put some spice on it.

If you still don’t believe me, take a look at some of these presentations on topics that might seem a little dull, but are actually really entertaining and interesting sparks.

How to Buy a New Car

This presentation actually has me stoked to go out and buy a car. I’m not kidding. I’ll be watching it again when the time is right for me to set foot in a dealership.

Synchronicity: The Science of Good Luck

The nerd in me just rejoices all over the place for this presentation. The guy breaks down quantum mechanics using Simspon’s references!

Cup Noodle: Innovation, Inspiration and Manga

Fantastic startup lessons as told through the invention of Cup o’ Noodle soup.

You guys, these are just three examples of Ignites being held around the world every month! The topics being covered are mind boggling. Chances are someone has even talked about your idea in some other city and everyone loved it. So no more, “My topic is boring” excuses, because we don’t believe that they exist.

Now get out there and submit a spark to Ignite Denver 13 and rock our worlds with your giant topical knowledge.

I Have a Great Idea for a Spark! But Public Speaking is Scary

I’m going to tell you all a little secret.

When I was in high school, I was one of the shyest people in my class. I was quiet and timid and rarely spoke out. I sat in class, terrified that the teacher would call on me and I would have to say something in front of 20 other people. The only way that I could say anything in front of more than five strangers was to sing it. Go choir geeks!

I’m sure at this point, you’re wondering where I’m going with this besides the fact that I’m a staunch supporter of the arts in public schools (oh, wouldn’t that be an interesting spark!). My point is that if I can get up in front of a bunch of strangers and tell them why bitches don’t actually love candles, then you can present on just about anything your beautiful heart fancies.

Public speaking making you a little verklempt? Relax, you've GOT this!
Public speaking making you a little verklempt? Relax, you’ve GOT this!

Do you still throw up in your mouth a little bit thinking about speaking in front of strangers? Well, here are a couple tips that can help calm your nerves and, bonus, NONE of them involves picturing the audience in their underwear.

Know your stuff. Nothing is more engaging than when someone knows what they’re talking about when they get on stage. Wait a minute. You’re presenting on something you’re passionate about, so you already know your stuff! Plus, you’ll become even more familiar with it while you prepare your deck. You’ll be a master by the time you step out on stage. You’ve got this!

Practice in front of friends. It’s important to run through your presentation alone to fine tune it, but practicing in front of friends will help you get used to having an audience. Hold up! There’s a run through a week before Ignite, so you’ll be able to practice this in a respectful, small environment and get feedback to help make your presentation even better. This speaking in public thing will be a piece of cake.

Don’t memorize your presentation. There’s a difference between remembering and memorizing your presentation. When you know what you want to say, but not the EXACT words, you can go with the flow and look more natural. Trust me, the audience can tell.

Acknowledge your jitters. I learned a while ago that ignoring the feelings you’re having will only make them worse. It’s OK to be nervous before you speak. Some people who make a living presenting still get nervous before they get on stage. Use that nervous energy to propel you out onto the stage and give the kickass presentation I know you can give.

The audience is rooting for you. No one comes to Ignite Denver because they want to criticize every presentation. They come to be enlightened by the speakers (pssst, that’s YOU!) and to learn something new. They’re rooting for you and you’re going to get a lot of cheers and clapping and hear “good job!” after you present.

Getting up in front of a lot of people seems pretty daunting and, yeah, it takes guts to do it. But I firmly believe that anyone can get up and entertain and inspire a room full of people when they’re passionate about what their spark.

So what are you waiting for? Submit a spark today! The deadline is January 25th, so don’t miss the deadline!

Making Sparks Fly: What Inspires You?

Unless you’re the most boring person in the world, there’s something out there that floats your boat. Hell, maybe it’s boats. Maybe I’m being presumptuous and you hate boats. I’m sorry I brought up boats. My point is we all have something that hits us right in the feelers and fills our lives with purpose.

Ignite Denver Sparks
I can’t stop thinking about boats now.

Chances are that at least once a week, someone gets you started on that one thing that gets you really worked up. Maybe it’s over lunch at work or maybe it’s after a few drinks at the bar. But once you get going, you don’t stop.

What if you had a chance to share your passion with a lot of other people? Would you take it? Would you get up on stage and tell people why they should feel as strongly as you do?

If you said “yes” then you should probably be filling out the spark submission section on the Ignite page. No. Seriously, go there. Now!

For those of you still on the fence, here are five more reasons you should submit an idea for a spark:

  1. It’s a different kind of challenge. If you’ve never tried to organize your thoughts into slide form, it’s an interesting and new experience. You’re forced to think of way to best explain your thoughts in bite size pieces. Do you think the makers of Reese’s peanut butter cups got their peanut butter to chocolate ratio correct when they first made Reese’s minis? Hell, no! That took work and so will your Ignite presentation.
  2. Meet people as passionate as you. One of the best parts of Ignite is meeting the other presenters. Each of them has a topic that’s very different than yours, but they all feel equally passionate about their topic. Having that much excitement in one room is a pretty rad feeling. You should try it sometime. LIKE NOW.
  3. Get a rush from something other than jumping out of a plane or shooting heroin. I’m not saying you know how awesome heroin is or anything and I certainly don’t ever want to experience the rush of tossing myself out of a plane (Kipp is that cray, I’m certainly not), there is a rush you experience from getting out in front of 200 people and talking to them for 5 minutes without passing out or soiling yourself.
  4. Have total strangers laugh at your jokes. If you ever want to get drunk with power, have an entire theater laugh at your jokes. That’s all I have to say about that.
  5. Free drinks. Yes, you’re going to get a drink ticket. Yes, frequently your friends will buy you a drink before or after (preferably after because doing an Ignite presentation while you’re three sheets is remarkably difficult) your presentation. And if you kill it on stage, sometimes strangers will buy you a drink. It’s awesome.

So there. Look at how many awesome reasons you have to present at Ignite Denver. I think you should do it. You would be really amazing.

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