Thursday, October 7, 2010
If you go
What: Meeting of Ignite Steamboat, a social networking group for entrepreneurs and technology professionals
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Steamboat Smokehouse, 912 Lincoln Ave.
Cost: Free to attend
Online: Visit www.ignitetheboat.com to learn more
Steamboat Springs Ignite Steamboat is lighting the fire again after a summer break.
Now more than a year old, the Ignite Steamboat networking group has grown to 115 members who like to share ideas about technology, entrepreneurship and more in a social setting. Jens Owen, a co-founder of the Storm Peak Innovations technology incubator and one of several founders of Ignite Steamboat, said the group has grown in scope, as well as size, since starting its monthly meetings in summer 2009.
The group meets at 6 p.m. today at Steamboat Smokehouse.
“What we’re focused on is this concept that innovation comes from good ideas, and good ideas come from the connected mind,” Owen said. “We’re hoping to help people not only connect but take (ideas or business plans) to the next level.”
That process worked for Casey Barnett, who said Ignite connections led him to create SeeMe Media, which provides online marketing and website development services. Barnett has produced social media and web content for the Ride 4 Yellow mountain bike event and Ignite Steamboat, among others.
“The people I met through Ignite Steamboat is where SeeMe Media came from,” Barnett said. “It’s a great way to meet a lot of entrepreneurs … people who work out of their home and need some social interaction, even if it is tech interaction.”
By and large, Ignite Steamboat members are unabashed about their geeky-ness.
Noreen Moore, for example, dubbed herself “Queen of the Geeks” on the Ignite Steamboat website’s RSVP list, which showed more than 40 people planning to attend tonight’s event. Moore is a former business resource director for the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative and a founder of Ignite Steamboat along with Owen, consultant Chad James and Jay O’Hare, of Altera Performance Group.
Laura Cusenbary, a financial consultant with Wells Fargo Investments and owner of Outside Edge marketing, called herself “a financial consultant by day and a tech geek by night.” She’ll give a presentation at tonight’s Ignite meeting. She prefaced her topic by saying “bear with me on how bizarre this is going to sound.”
“My presentation is a look at personal touch online and offline and what’s appropriate,” she said.
That topic likely isn’t bizarre at all to anyone who’s unwillingly had their picture posted on Facebook, sent or received work-inappropriate e-mails or been the subject of irresponsible Twitter posts.
Owen said last winter that the Ignite format has “gone global” in recent years and centers on quick presentations from members.
Presenters are allowed 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds for a total presentation time of five minutes, he said.
Cusenbary is one of at least four presenters tonight.
Barnett said Ignite meetings draw participants from a wide range of professions.
“I’ve gained some really good friendships, some really good business communications and contacts,” he said. “It’s one of those things I look forward to once a month and I kind of missed it all summer when it was gone.”
— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org