Top Ways To Get Connected to the Tech Community in Boulder & Denver
Colorado has evolved as a tech hub in the past decade. The region is home to notable businesses like Apple, Google, and Facebook, among myriads of other diverse local startups. Whether you are kickstarting a startup or building up an established business, there are numerous resources and opportunities to connect to the tech community in Boulder and Denver.
The mile-high city is an established entrepreneurial hub with opportunities for brilliant collaboration and innovation. There are many shared spaces to hone your skills or discover a new passion. All pose as great ways to meet interesting people, grow your business network, and stay up to date with the latest developments in the industry.
We broke down the top ways for you to get connected to the tech community in Colorado into five main categories:
- Join a local meetup.
- Connect at a communal workspace.
- Participate in events.
- Hone your tech skills.
- Join a digital community.
Join a Local Meetup
Denver and Boulder have numerous groups that meet regularly to connect people across the tech world. Collaborating with other entrepreneurs is invaluable for business growth and success. Here are some of the top networking meetups from intimate to large groups:
Looking for a large networking meetup?
New Tech Colorado, the largest “community of geeks” in the state with 14,000+ members, is highly active with plenty of events and networking opportunities. So is Creative Connections, an equally large group for local creatives looking to connect with other like-minded individuals. Unite with other creatives to enjoy a relaxing and innovative space to share ideas and get together with local artists.
Looking for a smaller group?
If you prefer a more intimate group size, consider House of Genius. With chapters in both cities, they bring together a diverse mix of collaborators from the community for an evening each month filled with disruptive thinking, supportive community alliance, and creative output of innovative ideas.
Seeking a group addressing a specific niche in technology?
- Denver Founders is a vibrant network of 9,000+ members sharing entrepreneurial experiences, knowledge, and connections. From startups to established companies, all are welcome.
- Denver UX hosts events on everything user experience. With over 3,000 members strong, they host UX events monthly.
- Boulder Denver BigData offers opportunities to learn and share your experiences with NoSQL and big data technologies.
- Software development serves up countless meetups covering nearly any topic under the sun.
- Boulder Open Coffee is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to get into or expand their startup.
- CodeForBoulder is excellent for techies passionate about nonprofits and volunteering.
- Flatirons LGBTQ Tech Meetup is a community of LGBTQ folks and allies with a focus on networking.
- Analyze Boulder is an active group with monthly TED-style talks on various data-focused topics. It’s a space to live, work, and play for data enthusiasts.
Women in Tech
There are a whole host of ways for women in tech to connect with each other. Find communal support and expert knowledge from women-led meetups.
- SheSays is an incredible organization that organizes educational events and happy hours with groups in Denver and Boulder.
- Women Who Code is also in both cities and inspires and empowers women in technical fields to achieve business success.
- National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit organization that works to correct underrepresentation and increase the meaningful participation of women in computing.
- Ladies Get Coffee, Women in Tech, and Women Who Startup are fantastic groups for female entrepreneurs and innovators that aim to build community through education and events.
Connect at a Communal Workspace
Adaptive, collaborative workspaces have become popular in the last few years. Joining a coworking space can be an excellent way to meet new people and share ideas and inspiration. Denver and Boulder are home to larger coworking chains, including Industrious, WeWork, and Galvanize.
Prefer a more intimate feel? Here are a few more popular spaces Denver has to offer:
- Green Spaces and Converge Denver are spaces for the sustainable and forward-thinking entrepreneur.
- Commons on Champa, an incubator and accelerator space, offers everything from free coworking spaces to free coffee and wifi or private offices for rent.
Boulder also has some outstanding local shared spaces:
- Expansive is one of our favorite unique spaces that also includes nifty perks like local beer on tap.
- NiCHE Workspaces (Boulder-owned) has both a Pearl Street and a North Boulder location.
- CAMPWORKS is another lovely Boulder option with an outdoor workspace and proximity to beautiful nature trails.
Participate in Events
Events are a great way to connect with other entrepreneurs and gain high-value knowledge in a single session.
Boulder has bragging rights as the founding city for the “startup week” concept, and Boulder Startup Week continues to host a fantastic event year after year. Denver Startup Week began a couple of years later but is now the country’s largest (free) entrepreneurial event, bringing thousands of people together. The local chapter of TED, TEDxMileHigh, is also a great gathering to consider, with speakers sharing wisdom and innovative insights on various topics.
Given the size of Denver, it’s worth noting that it attracts a lot of great conferences for those in the tech field, from GlueCon to the Digital Summit. Consider setting up an alert on Eventbrite to get notified when something new is coming to town.
Hone Your Tech Skills
In the fast-moving world of tech, there is always more to learn. You can leverage your desire to improve your skillset to connect to others with similar interests.
- General Assembly has a vast array of classes on subjects ranging from diversity and inclusion in tech to introduction to branding, visual design, and product management.
- Galvanize, which has locations in both Boulder and Denver, offers tech bootcamps. Build your skillset with part-time or full-time courses like data science immersive or Python fundamentals.
- Turing School is another computer programming school local to Denver, offering 7-month-long full-time programs.
In addition to the above resources, some coworking spaces also host events and classes for their members for an entrance fee.
Join a Digital Community
If your schedule is tight, you may prefer networking online. We’ll close with a few online resources to help you keep up with the latest trends and networks.
Are you interested in the startup community? We highly recommend joining the Colorado Startups Facebook group, a broad group of over 10,000 startup enthusiasts. It’s also worth signing up for Techstars’ Startup Digest. Sent weekly, it will keep you plugged into the entrepreneurial community through curated events and content.
The wealth of resources available to the Boulder and Denver tech communities is outstanding. We hope you venture out and try one of these value-packed events, meetups, or classes mentioned above.
Have any questions on the above material? We’d love to connect; contact us at any time.
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Generation Z is a brilliant and forward-thinking generation making a progressive transformation in the world as we know it. Following behind Millennials, they are heavily immersed in the technical landscape and are highly app savvy. They were born into a world of expansion and innovation with creations like the Apple iPhone and Facebook. Having grown up with the ability to access knowledge at the tap of their fingertips, they’re educated individuals with great entrepreneurial goals. They expect companies to anticipate their needs and will move on when they don’t deliver. They’re looking for flawless app design, fast iterations, responsible data collection, creative outlets, and more. Some Facts About Generation Z Born between 1997 and 2012, they’re in the era of self-discovery. Since their youth, Gen Z parents have been navigating the rise of technology and the online privacy issues that come with it; for Gen Z, finding their true selves is no easy task. Due to their immense media consumption, they expect instant gratification and high-speed delivery. As the “mobile generation,” 96% of Gen Zers are reported to own a cellphone—many spend 10 hours plus connected online. They frequent social platforms like Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, Twitch, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, and other platforms. Gen Zers gravitate to mobile banking apps to serve their financial needs and streamline their tasks. Consequently, email is slowly dying out among this community of users. Generation Z interacts with apps in their lives as a means of communication, to fill a need in their life, and for play and creative expression. They are true digital natives and are hyper-connected to the world around them—making them increasingly self-aware and emotionally reflective. Generation Z also reports high rates of anxiety, depression, and mental challenges—more so than in past generations. Experiencing a global pandemic has only exasperated their mental health struggles. 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Generation Z represents much larger historical forces at play, driving progressive transformation in the workplace that will redefine the entire generational experience. As a result, this generation has experienced increased globalization, technological advancements, and a fast-paced influx of information. Generation Z is changing the way we build digital experiences. Generation Z is the first generation to merge the digital and physical worlds into one experience. They view the internet as more than just a transaction and instead see it as a human experience. What that means for development is creating intuitive experiences that Gen Zers will love—innovative, straightforward, and seamless. With this information in mind, we’ve identified vital considerations to keep in mind when developing digital products for Generation Z. What Gen Z Consumers Want in An App Obsessively Tested, Flawless Design Gen Zers value efficiency and flawless design. That is why thorough testing and gaining user feedback are paramount. Be sure to ask for feedback from this generation and integrate the user input throughout your app’s development process and in updates. “If the designer doesn’t remove themself and try to see the user’s perspective, they can overly complicate the journey.” AARON LEA, ART DIRECTOR AT INSPIRINGAPPS, BOULDER CO Glitchy user interface behaviors and poor design choices are instant turnoffs for Gen Zers. Make your app seamless and flawless from the start, or you may lose your customer. Build your app with swift and straightforward interactions, and don’t reinvent the wheel for every feature within your product—draw inspiration from apps that are already working. By sticking with best practices and standard features and anticipating your users’ desires, your users will navigate more intuitively and stick around for more. Fast Iterations Gen Z consumers have grown up in a fast-paced digital world and value convenience and efficiency. They prefer mobile apps that offer quick and uninterrupted experiences, such as fast loading times, easy checkout processes, and streamlined workflows. Keep your app low on data—fast to download and delete. Control Over Their Digital Footprint Gen Zers quickly went from a private world to everything constantly being shared online. In their formative years, they grew up with little technology at their disposal. They were thrust into a world of hyper-technology and interconnectedness as time progressed. With that in mind, here are essential factors to keep at the forefront of your app development: Privacy Settings Gen Z should be able to manage their privacy settings on apps. 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Here are some ways to incorporate ML and AI in your app to improve its performance: Personalized Recommendations: ML algorithms can provide customized recommendations to Gen Z users based on their interests, behaviors, and preferences. Chatbots & Virtual Assistants: With natural language processing (NLP) techniques, it’s now possible to create bots that can interact with Gen Z users in a way that feels just like talking to a real person. Bots can help users with tasks such as scheduling, finding information, or making purchases on their mobile devices. Image & Video Recognition: Computer vision techniques can be used to recognize images and videos, which can be helpful in apps such as social media platforms, gaming, or e-commerce. Predictive Modeling: Predictive modeling techniques can be used to forecast future behaviors and trends. For instance, a news app can predict which articles will be most popular among Gen Z users. Predictive modeling ensures your app stays ahead of the curve. Voice Recognition: Voice recognition techniques can be used to develop voice-enabled apps and devices that can be controlled with voice commands. This technology can be helpful in apps such as virtual assistants, smart home devices, or hands-free gaming. ML and AI can help app developers create more engaging, personalized, and interactive apps for Gen Z users. By leveraging these technologies, app developers can improve the user experience and stay ahead of the competition. Creative Tools More than half of Gen Zers believe they are more creative than previous generations. Most of them engage in creative activities in their free time. Gen Z is a highly creative generation that values individuality and self-expression. Therefore, niche tools enabling creativity are essential for creating apps that resonate with them. Concluding Thoughts on Developing Apps for Gen Z Gen Zers have a unique vantage point when it comes to app development. They’ve experienced the best of both worlds—an era of privacy merged with hyper-connectedness. They are vicarious app consumers, making them ideal customers for app developers. Brands that take the time to understand their Gen Z users’ behaviors, motivations, preferences, and expectations will experience significant growth. Considering the above considerations, one can ensure that their app hits the mark with this brilliant and forward-thinking generation. Gen Z wants more than just an app. They crave a unique experience that fulfills their daily needs and brings joy. The app should leave them feeling special and enhance their well-being. At InspiringApps, we stay on the pulse and ahead of the curve to bring you the most forward-thinking and trending app development insights. If you have any questions or thoughts on the above material—we’d be delighted to connect!
21 days ago
Boulder, CO—In the latest article from Built In Colorado, InspiringApps’ Creative Director, Aaron Lea, shares his advice on creating simplified user journeys within digital products. How To Simplify User Journeys When do you know it’s time to simplify your product’s user journey? When we design digital apps, we’re always looking for ways to simplify the user journey. Limiting the number of interactions users have to make is a best practice for most apps. The more users have to drill down into extra screens, the more likely they are to leave. I like to think of it this way: design the app like you’re in the Target parking lot and about to go inside the store to buy Tide Pods. As a user, I want to be in and out as quickly as possible. A quick exchange that’s easy for me to use means I’m more prone to open the app the next time I’m in that Target parking lot. It’s often the case that apps are downloaded, opened once, and then deleted. These apps are too cluttered, and people won’t reuse them. On the other hand, when users know it doesn’t take too long to accomplish a task—no guided tours they’re more likely to use the app. A simple experience is a successful experience. Unless we’re creating something like TikTok, we aren’t designing the app to keep users in it. We’re here to help users achieve something or access a specific feature. The fewer interactions it takes to accomplish that, the better the journey. What process do you use to identify opportunities for simplification? App design is an art that involves trusting your instincts. I like to think of this process as similar to editing a script. Editors are great at identifying what’s essential and getting rid of clutter. But their real goal is staying true to what makes the script great—and amplifying that by revealing only what needs to be there. For example, an app may have a component that mirrors the functionality of Slack or Youtube. These are established popular apps. And even the best digital products aren’t going to lure people away from them. Any project, whether it’s designing an app or a home improvement project, can be subject to scope creep. Is that feature really needed? Was it added at the last minute? We all get distracted in the creative journey, and the risk is that we keep getting further away from—or even lose sight of—the reason we started, the problem we wanted to solve. We need to stay true to what inspired us in the beginning to create the app. ART DIRECTOR, AARON LEA | INSPIRINGAPPS, BOULDER CO What are some common traps designers can fall into that result in an overly complicated user journey? One trap is elevating ego over empathy. If the designer doesn’t remove themself and try to see the user’s perspective, they can overly complicate the journey. Designers must constantly evolve, challenge themselves, and put themselves in others’ shoes. ART DIRECTOR, AARON LEA | INSPIRINGAPPS, BOULDER CO Another trap could be the designer finding a new design tool or method they want to use and deciding to use it in a particular product. Novelty is not a substitute for suitability. A good rule of thumb is, don’t force it if it doesn’t deserve to be there. Sometimes, designers get set in their ways. Just because it worked last time doesn’t mean it will work this time too. Or conversely, designers may reinvent the wheel. If the design worked the first time, there’s no need to rethink it. Time management is critical. With mobile apps, people remember the launch, the middle, and the endpoint. A trap could be spending too much time on incidental interstitial areas. Don’t focus all your time there. Take that time and instead pick the three most vital sections—the app’s beginning, the middle, and its exit—and make those experiences ones that keep users coming back. Meet InspiringApps’ Creative Director Aaron Lea We believe that Inspired Employees Make InspiringApps and that our diverse backgrounds, skills, hobbies, and perspectives are what make us a stronger team. Aaron Lea finds his inspiration steeped in pop culture, a tradition of art in his family, and a creative digital design process that enables him to put novel creations back into the world and inspire others as a result.
1 month ago