Durango Tech is a loosely knit, informal group of folks who live in the Durango and Four Corners area and have an interest in tech. You don't have to be a geek - if you are an entrepreneur, investor, business owner, teacher, then you have a reason to stay current on technology. We are also passionate about drawing techies to the Durango area, and giving them options once they are here to be successful and thrive locally. Jump in!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Brad Feld on creating a sustainable entrepreneurial community

Brad says it well in this recent post. Where do you think we should start? What resources do we already have that we should leverage?

Durango Open Coffee Club

DOCC had their third get-together yesterday. The idea behind it is to allow people who are in technology, own a small business, or are entrepreneurs or investors to get together in an informal setting and get to know each other. we chat about whatever comes to mind, with a little prodding from the hosts where needed.

There are so many of us in the area, and a lot of us have no idea who else is out there. Many of us are remote workers, and depend on phone calls, email, and social networking for our contacts during the day. There are a lot of local resources that could be tapped if we only knew about them.

Yesterday's session was a great one, with a few special guests. Joe Keck, who is the Director of the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center which provides free counseling services to existing and start-up businesses. The Center also provides workshops and training programs for small businesses.  The territory served by the Center includes: Archuleta County, Dolores County, La Plata County, Montezuma County, San Juan County, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe.

We also had Gary Masner, a well known local business consultant and investor. Gary managed to squeeze this in before heading out on a month-long sail in the Caribbean.

And there was Robert Yearout with Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College, which is an organization comprised of people with substantial professional, business, or academic experiences and skills. The organization endeavors to use this reservoir of expertise in support of Fort Lewis College’s role as a multifaceted learning resource for its students and for the people of the Four Corners region.
Rounding out the group were Walker Thompson, Scot Davis of
Sage Technology, Robin Johnson from Syndicom, Nathan Disser from Southwest Adventure Guides, Richard Leavitt from Rally Software, and myself.

A lot of the conversation was around how we could increase the number of technology sector companies and jobs in our area. It requires a blend of investors, entrepreneurs and talent. We have some of this now, but need to do more. 

The first step is to start the conversation flowing amongst ourselves and see what we come up with as far as initiatives and ideas. We also need to start to identify what talent we have around the area already, and what they need to to be successful. To that end, we are rounding up local entrepreneurs with business ideas and doing a 'pitch night', probably in late November. Stay tuned on format and logistics... but hey, if you have an idea you want to pitch, let me know!

We are getting some great momentum around these coffee get-togethers.  Come on out to the next one and hang out, get to know people like you who live and work here, and join the fun!