Wednesday October 1, 2014 0 comments
FORT COLLINS - Fueled by the symbiotic relationship between innovation and inspiration, SpokesBUZZ and the City of Fort Collins will host InnovationSwap, a pilot program geared toward catalyzing creative ideas and fostering successful startups.
InnovationSwap takes entrepreneurs from four U.S. cities and "swaps" them, providing startups with an opportunity to present their ideas and pitch their products to new markets and potential partners.
The Fort Collins InnovationSwap will be held Oct. 3 at the Powerhouse Energy Campus, 430 N. College Ave., from 5-7 p.m.
An InnovationSwap will also be held at Galvanize in Denver on Oct. 2.
The event is modeled after BandSwap, a program in its third year that pairs local bands from Fort Collins, Denver and the Front Range with musicians from partnering cities, including Chico, CA., Lafayette, LA, Madison, WI., Portland, OR, Nashville, TN, Charleston, SC and Athens, GA.
BandSwap was founded by SpokesBUZZ, a Fort Collins-based, non-profit music incubator whose mission is to amplify the Northern Colorado music scene through the professionalization of local artists.
Dani Grant, founder and executive director of SpokesBUZZ, said the program matches music and innovation.
"Cities with strong entrepreneurial ecosystems often have vibrant music scenes, since creatives and innovators alike are naturally drawn to communities with a high quality of life and rich cultural amenities," Grant said. "Innovation is something that's really important to all of these BandSwap cities, and kind of organically became something we wanted to highlight."
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a national nonprofit that focuses on entrepreneurship, released a study in 2013 of the top 10 cities for tech startup density and the Fort Collins-Loveland metro area was No. 2 on the list.
Sam Houghteling, City of Fort Collins spokesman and organizer of the event, said the program is "about creating new opportunities for the participating startup businesses that might not normally have, while also creating strategic regional partnerships for communities with similar cultural strengths and entrepreneurial spirit."
In this inaugural year, InnovationSwap has selected startups from Denver, Fort Collins, Nashville and Charleston. Much like their musical counterparts, the startups will introduce themselves to potential supporters in their partner cities, network with influential and experienced industry representatives, and have a chance to create new connections within the business community.
Each participating city will host an innovation-themed event that will include presentations by these emerging tech innovators along with performances from BandSwap musicians.
Assisting with the Fort Collins InnovationSwap are the City of Fort Collins Economic Health Office, Rocky Mountain Innosphere and SpokesBUZZ Fort Collins.
For more details, visit SpokesBUZZ.org or call Dani Grant at 303-884-3738.