Inaugural Colorado Tech Tour stops in Frisco
Front Range cities may be better known as tech hubs, but individuals and small businesses in the mountains are also innovating with technology.
The Colorado Technology Association aims to highlight those businesses, trends and opportunities as it stops in Frisco on Wednesday, July 22, with its inaugural Colorado Tech Tour.
The CTA — along with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), Governor’s Office of Information Technology, Colorado Innovation Network and Go Code Colorado — also wants to learn how to support more mountain entreprenuers and start-ups.
Elevate CoSpace partnered with Women of the Summit to host the event at the coworking space in Frisco, which will feature an invite-only forum with 20 business, IT, workforce, economic development, education and civic leaders to discuss the local tech sector. Then, a public networking and presentation session will follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Representatives from the Breckenridge Tourism Office, Summit County Board of County Commissioners, Colorado Mountain College, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, Vail Leadership Institute, Faction Skis, Unity Snowboards, Sulas Industries, urHub and others will participate, said Amy Kemp, Elevate CoSpace co-founder and event organizer.
She said she sees technology as an avenue to diversify the local economy and the event as a way for mountain residents and organizations to capitalize on connections between technology and the outdoor industry.
“Our brand’s already the outdoor industry and outdoor rec in particular, and if you layer tech on top of that,” she said, “that is an incredible opportunity for Summit County.”
Copper Mountain Resort’s director of marketing Dwight Eppinger will present to the tech association about the Sherpa smartphone application launched two winters ago. The hands-free app guides skiers and riders around Copper with insider tips, history and jokes without any fumbling with gloves or freezing hands, and now, it lets people program their own guided experience for family and friends.
This coming winter, the app will suggest new terrain for skiers and riders based on mountain conditions and where and how they have previously skied. Eppinger said he is excited to share the home-grown technology and learn more about the industry through the tour stop.
James Lee, co-founder of the Breckenridge-based virtual-reality marketing company FathomVR, said he is interested in what’s happening in the Colorado business community and will participate in the event to learn more about tech-related opportunities.
With more support for coworking spaces and working remotely, people who want to move to the mountains or stay living in the mountains could do so, he said, and “that job opportunity stigma could go away.”
Kemp agreed and said she hoped the networking event would help show people they can freelance, do contract work and start companies without leaving Summit County.
“People moved here because they love the mountain lifestyle, and then they wanted to pursue their career as well,” she said. “We definitely want to show people that they can do that here.”
The tour is also making stops this week in Telluride, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. For the Frisco event, Kemp said anyone who is interested in learning more is welcome to attend.
“You don’t have to be a programmer to be in tech,” she said. “Anybody who uses technology is in tech.”
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