Steamboat entrepreneurs reach out for ideas, inspiration |

Steamboat entrepreneurs reach out for ideas, inspiration

25 spots left for Ignite Steamboat’s October meeting

— About 25 spots remain for this month's meeting of Steamboat Springs' brightest entrepreneurial minds.

The Ignite Steamboat group's October gathering starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at Steamboat Smokehouse, 912 Lincoln Ave. The event is free, but attendees are required to RSVP for the event by visiting http://www.ignite

The event will feature two Spark Talks in which attendees see the presenter via video conference, giving the group access to business leaders from across the country.

At 7 p.m. Jenn Lim will speak. She is credited with helping develop the company culture at, the popular online retail store. She is chief executive officer and "chief happiness officer" of Delivering Happiness, which helps businesses develop their own company cultures.

Jason Calacanis once ran and currently advises startup companies and helps them find investors. He will speak at 7:30 p.m.

Ignite Steamboat records its Spark Talks and makes them available on the group's website.

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"These are heavy hitters in the world of entrepreneurship and business," said Jay O'Hare, a Steamboat marketing technologist who runs branding and consulting companies.

O'Hare also is one of the founders of Ignite Steamboat, which started meeting in July 2009 with 12 people and since has held 22 events and grown to 167 members. The group meets the first Thursday of every month.

"Our reason for starting this was to bring together entrepreneurs, forward thinkers, tech junkies and people that are interested in doing business in a new way," O'Hare said. "You have one half of an idea, and someone else has the other half. And we're providing the venue to make something happen."

The events naturally draw those who choose to live in Steamboat but are part of a location-neutral business that would allow them to work virtually anywhere — as long as there is access to broadband Internet. Broadband also will be a focus during this month's meeting.

Frank Ohrtman, communications manager for the Colorado Broadband Data and Development Project, of the Governor's Office of Information Technology, will give a brief talk and answer questions starting at 8:15 p.m. He will address Routt County's broadband capacity.

Local economist Scott Ford will present new data from the Internal Revenue Service that shows the growing significance of location-neutral businesses to the local economy.

— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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