Can you think of a state that exudes a bolder entrepreneurial spirit than Colorado? We can’t. Across the Front Range this summer, innovators and entrepreneurs are actively taking calculated risks, despite the uncertainties, to help make Colorado a better place for people and businesses. This is visible in organizations like Galvanize, whose i4c Summit (taking place this Friday, July 13) celebrates entrepreneurship by seeking out three promising Colorado start-ups, investing $50,000 in each, and providing much more than cash, including entrepreneur-focused work space and targeted mentorship (Rumor has it that Galvanize will announce a nomination for TEDxMileHighWomen on Friday). The Unreasonable Institute in Boulder has been committed for some time to stepping beyond the reasonable; it will invite, mentor, and finance high-impact entrepreneurs from fourteen countries to participate as its next class of Unreasonable Fellows. And of course, TEDxMileHigh brought attendees and speakers from around the state to participate in “Ideas Worth Spreading” on June 1-2, 2012.
With all that the state has to offer in the way of celebrating innovators and thinkers, we want to take the time to thank all who attended, participated, and volunteered to help make last month’s TEDxMileHigh and TEDxYouth@MileHigh successful events. We would like to give special thanks to our sponsors and partners, whose generosity and belief in our mission made it all possible.
This year’s main event at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House showcased speakers and performers who have redefined our notions of risk and reward. They came from many different backgrounds and careers—from business to music to social entrepreneurship and art—and have found meaning and success in pushing the limits, aiming high, and understanding the value of risk tolerance.
There were 1,600 attendees present to hear thoughts, ideas, and music from twenty-two speakers and performers. They came prepared and polished, delivering talks on a range of topics that sparked an array of emotions over the course of the day. Entrepreneur, Olympian, and philanthropist Jeremy Bloom spoke on giving back to the ‘oldest generation’ and honoring them and their efforts to make our lives what they are today. Adam Lerner of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art gave presented a hilarious perspective on the importance of being ridiculous and going after what inspires you. Woody Roseland showed that attitude is far more important than circumstance. He has overcome cancer five times and inspired countless people through the process. Jessica Posner, the 25 year-old CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (based in Kenya), riveted the crowd with her passionate story of making real, immediate impact on communities. Videos of the event will be online soon, so be sure to check the website to watch your favorites again and share them with friends and family.
Before and during intermission of the main event, attendees had the opportunity to explore the Exhibits Lounge, which gave attendees an opportunity to experience hands-on workshops, live product demonstrations, idea exchanges and technology displays all in a social environment designed to facilitate connection. Our community is brimming with thinkers who are also committed to action. With this in mind, the Exhibits Lounge was created as a way to harness our collective energy and push the TEDxMileHigh community to converse, explore, and process all of the ways people are working towards a better Colorado.
On June 1, one day before the main event, the first-ever TEDxYouth@MileHigh was held. More than 700 youth attendees from schools across the state convened to experience a dozen speakers as well as the Exhibits Lounge. We want to thank all the schools who participated in this new event and look forward to working with our school partners to build upon this inaugural youth event and uncover talented youth speakers in 2013.
Again, we thank you so much for your participation in TEDxMileHigh and hope that you will continue to join us in our quest to engage, foster, and activate the Mile High community around “Ideas Worth Spreading” and worth acting upon.
What are your thoughts on the 2012 event? Who were your favorite speakers? What else is inspiring you this summer?