Ignite Steamboat Springs hits 4-year milestone

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— There were plenty of people to thank when Jay O’Hare got up on stage to open Ignite Steamboat’s Spark Talk on Thursday evening.

Ignite was having its first event at the Chief Theater, which O’Hare noted was able to work with Ignite’s budget of exactly zero dollars. Chef Nicolette Powell, of City Cafe, where the group holds its Bad Banana Breakfast meetings, had put together a pre-talk meal for attendees.

But it also was a milestone for Ignite Steamboat, a group that grew out of a collective need for like-minded entrepreneurs in this Rocky Mountain town to have a place to share and support one another.

Thursday night was the four-year anniversary of Ignite. The group now has 348 members, O’Hare said, while also lightheartedly noting that it’s three times the size of Boulder’s Ignite group on a per capita basis. And a graph O’Hare showed of Ignite Steamboat’s membership throughout time only served to reinforce how quickly it has taken hold.

“That’s what’s happening here in Steamboat,” he said to the crowd gathered in the newly renovated main theater at the Chief. “There is just this huge demand.”

The group has reached a size where it’s visible to the outside world, as well.

O’Hare said Ignite is fielding inquiries from entrepreneurs and location-neutral workers who are looking to move to Steamboat. He projected a shot of a text message from a man who had just put in notice and was moving here from San Diego.

It was only fitting that the first Spark Talk of the night was from James Altucher, author of the book "Choose Yourself."

Altucher’s premise in the book is that institutions that once were considered safe or brought safety no longer can be trusted to do so in the future and that investing in yourself is how best to generate success.

“We’ve decided to choose ourselves,” O’Hare said about the Ignite members in the room. “We’ve chosen lifestyle over this corporate certainty kind of thing.”

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

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