Wednesday, August 30, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Denver ~ by Suzanne Lainson

Terry Freeman, executive director of the Internet Chamber of
Commerce, decided to hold the year's biggest Internet party,
setting his sites on at least 1,000 attendees for the August 30
event. Seventeen hundred people registered, and by Terry'
estimation, most of them showed up.

It was an outdoor party, held at Westminster's Westmoor Technology
Park, where such companies as Managed Storage, CIBER, Ball
Aerospace, Solant, Exodus Communication and Requisite Technology
are located. It's also home to FastIdeas, the incubator that's been
getting so much publicity lately. Among the FastIdeas crew I
spotted were Doug Fahoury, VP of strategic development, André
Pettigrew, VP of marketing, and the godfather of the whole
operation, Pete Estler, and his wife, Lisa.

I arrived early. The wind was blowing so hard, the tents looked
like they were about to launch. But there wasn't much point sitting
in my car, so I headed to FastIdeas to take shelter indoors. I ran
into Sherry Jennings, corporate development manager with CentriMed,
which is located right next door. She gave me a five-minute tour
and said business was booming. (Befitting a health care exchange,
CentriMed was handing out healthy Jamba Juice fruit smoothies to
visitors.) I also had an invitation to tour Finali, an interactive
eCRM services company located in an adjacent building, which I
decided to save for a less hectic day.

I went back outside to the parking lot, where IBM was holding its
pre-party party. I ducked into the tent and immediately headed for
the refreshments: cocktails, wine and salmon prepared three
different ways (catered by Michael's of Denver). Like the food, the
conversation was good. Stephen Veith, marketing manager, IBM's Rocky
Mountain Business Unit, told me that IBM wants to make its
presence known among regional dotcoms. Eric Grilly, vice
president of interactive media at The Denver Post, said he was
actively looking for new projects for his company. Erin Geegan,
founder/chief creative officer, Neovation, talked about how busy she
had been since her company merged with CIBER and moved from Colorado
Springs to Westminster. Speaking of which, the town was well
represented at the party by Mayor Nancy Heil (mayor), Councilor Ed
Moss and Executive Development Manager Susan Grafton.
Last, but not least, I ran into Jon Otsuki, managing general
partner, Otsuki Group, and Dan Murray, e-mail marketing strategist,

The main ICC gathering consisted of beer, barbecue and lots and
lots of vendor tables. I stopped by to say hello to Natalie Pyle,
technical recruiter at Hall Kinion, and Kari Nelson, founder of Recess
Active Entertainment. I passed on most of the freebies, but
spotted one I really wanted. Joe Carpentierm account manager of
Salient Webbing, showed Ann Thompson, marketing director and co-
founder, The Jedi Group, and me a clear rubber ball that lit up
when he bounced it. A very cool thing to have in a parking lot at
night. Evidently iPlanet was handing them out, and I missed getting

Finally I got in line for my barbecued beef, cornbread and
potato salad. While music from a jazz band wafted over us, I sat
down at a table with several folks from Jam Books!: Co-CEOs Steven
Deiker and Sae Woo Nam and COO Ted Deiker. Their company does
web-based comic books. Not too long after that, I was heading back
to my car when I passed Terry Freeman talking to Anne Hayes, vice
president of project development for Westfield Development Company,
the company responsible for Westmoor Technology Park. They
proclaimed the event a success.

On August 26, LH3, an interactive marketing agency, held its open
house. (It's in Denver's historic Highlands area, where outdoor
retailer REI has its new flagship store.) I couldn't attend, but
Donna Crafton, VP of public relations, tells me it was a big hit,
attracting more than 100 of Denver's most fun people,
including Bill Marino, CEO of GS2.Net, Perry Evans, CEO of Webb
Interactive and MapQuest founder, Brandon Shevin, marketing director of SpireMedia, and Marissa Peede, PR director of LH3 is putting the finishing touches on its next big event, SchmoozeIt! Denver, which will be held September 28 at the Museum of Nature and Science and webcast by the presenting sponsor Yahoo.