Fort Collins Startup Week spotlights Million Cups, business presentations, startup services

By: Steve Thursday May 22, 2014 0 comments Tags: Christine Hudson, CommunityFunded, Creative Alignments, Fort Collins, Geekcrowd, Krowdio, Million Cups, SolidFire, Startup Colorado

By Steve Porter


FORT COLLINS - Fort Collins Startup Week rolled into its second day Wednesday with a full slate of presentations, activities and networking opportunities, starting with a special Million Cups business presentation at Arts Incubator of the Rockies.

Mike Bailey and Amanda Proctor of Geekcrowd outlined their company's krowdio platform that allows developers to build individualized social networks.

Bailey said the startup is looking to raise $500,000 to launch Geekcrowd and is starting to get noticed.

"We're getting dozens of responses every week with zero marketing so far," he said.

Also presenting Wednesday at Million Cups was Fort Collins-based CommunityFunded, a crowdfunding organization that's a semifinalist in Saturday's CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge.

Seventeen companies from across the nation are competing for the grand prize of $250,000 in the inaugural business pitch competition.

Several companies that offer services to startups and established businesses also made presentations Wednesday, including Boulder-based Creative Alignments, an HR and staff recruiting firm.

Founder Peggy Shell said the company offers its services on an hourly basis and can save businesses big money in bringing the right people on board.

She cited as an example Boulder-based SolidFire,a data storage company that needed to grow rapidly.

"We hired 165 people for them in 21 months," she said. "We saved them $1.6 million (in hiring costs) over that 21 months."

Shell and partners Katie Johnstone and Chuck McCoy offered tips for growing companies to make the right hiring decisions, including how to write job descriptions that are fun and appeal to top job prospects.

"Make it fun, because nobody really likes to be interviewed," said Johnstone.

McCoy said hiring an outside consultant for HR services only when needed makes sense.

"A company like Creative Alignments can reach down deeper and reach a much wider talent pool than you can on your own," he said.

Wednesday's presentations also included a pitch by Christine Hudson, founder of Fort Collins New Tech Meetup and Startup Colorado executive board member, about Startup Colorado's Community Fund.

Hudson said the fund aims to help develop a community's innovation ecosystem.

"This is really about aiding grassroots efforts," she said. "Bring us an idea that's driving innovation in your community."

Fort Collins Startup Week continues today and Friday with a variety of events. Visit here for a complete listing.

About the Author: Steve