Caoimhe Kenny, Deirdre Moran & Alan Mc Glinchey
IDA Ireland - West Coast
According to all parties in attendance, this year’s Denver Start-Up Week was a resounding success. Over 10,000 community members attended more than 230 events – all of which were completely free and open to registered members of the public. In fact, Denver Start-Up Week is the largest free entrepreneurial event in the US, giving up-and-coming innovators and entrepreneurs the chance to seek advice and inspiration from some of the best in the business.
Some highlights from the week included a highly informative panel session on “Becoming an Influencer” hosted by Galvanize; the Women Who Startup Summit – a platform to connect and empower women in business; and the fourth annual Startup Crawl, where participants stopped by 15 quintessential Denver startups to eat, drink, and celebrate the Denver tech scene.
Of course, the cherry on top of the start-up week cake was undoubtedly IDA Ireland’s Networking and Irish Whiskey Tasting event (even if we do say so ourselves!), which took place before the closing party on Friday evening. This VIP event was kindly sponsored by Tullamore Dew and hosted by The Commons on Champa, a cool new innovation space in the heart of Denver. Guests were given the opportunity to sample a selection of Tullamore Dew’s finest Irish whiskeys and network with their peers in a friendly, relaxed environment – providing a welcome chance to unwind after an action-packed week.
It’s clear that the success of Denver Start-Up Week has grown in tandem with Denver’s technology scene. Denver and the extended Colorado area have seen a proliferation of successful start-ups across a wide range of industries, from computer software and consumer services to healthcare and e-learning. In fact, in 2014 approximately 150 new start-ups were founded in Denver alone, while 42 Colorado based companies raised over $400 million in venture capital. The largest funding rounds were secured by companies such as Layer3 TV, Craftsy, WellTok, Ping Identity and Altitude Digital – companies who are making a name for themselves both at home and abroad.
The success of Denver’s start-up scene could be said to mirror that of another city more than 4000 miles away – Dublin! Like Denver, Dublin’s technology sector has seen tremendous growth over the past several years and is home to a growing number of indigenous start-ups including Datahug, Intercom, Havok, Storyful and Frockadvisor, to name but a few. And like Denverites, Dublin natives pride themselves on their open, friendly attitude to doing business and their innovative, entrepreneurial spirit.
An ever-expanding list of multinational companies have also set up shop in Dublin, thanks to top quality talent, a business friendly environment and an excellent track record of success. Big names like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ebay and Airbnb have all set up operations in Ireland, in addition to Colorado-based companies like Otterbox, Level 3 Communications and Webroot.
As Denver’s tech scene continues to grow and companies find themselves with a need to expand internationally, we hope to see more Colorado companies considering Ireland as their base for European operations. If you or your company have any questions about doing business in Ireland or scaling operations in Europe feel free to reach out to a member of the IDA Ireland team – we’d be delighted to help.
We’d like to thank the Denver Startup Week Team, The Commons on Champa, The Downtown Denver Partnership, Colorado Technology Association & all the lovely people we met during the week in Denver.
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