Thursday, September 28, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Denver ~ by Suzanne Lainson

September 28 was the date of the tech social event of the season.
The interactive marketing and public relations agency LH3 held its
second SchmoozeIt. They rented out the Denver Museum of Nature &
Science. Seven hundred party-goers had the run of the place
(although from the looks of it, almost everyone stayed in the main
hallway to network like crazy). It was a mostly under-thirty crowd
seemingly open to either business contacts, dating possibilities,
or both. I saw several attendees decked out in full prom regalia,
although most opted for something a bit more casual. There was a
band, Bad Rufus and the Ambassadors of Soul, a light show, and a
chef who was sautÈing right in front of us. (The food was excellent
and the bar could even fulfill my request for a whiskey sour.)
Yahoo, the event's presenting sponsor, was there webcasting.
A complete list of sponsors can be found at the following URL:

As usual at these sorts of events, I spotted lots of friends. There
was the SpireMedia gang, including CEO Mike Gellman, CTO Ted Tzeng,
and marketing director Brandon Shevin (it was his birthday). There
was the GoGaGa gang, including founder Joe Pezzillo and marketing
assistant Andrea Palten. There was the BRW LeGrand gang, including
senior account executive Lisa Miller and account executive Zachary
Lewis. Lots of Tabor Interactive folks (an event sponsor) including
CEO Dave Tabor and transformational strategist Sarah Harman. More
attendees can be found at the following URL:

I ran into Andy Cervantes, information director at Tesser, who was
telling me about client FrogMagic. He introduced me to FrogMagic's
COO, David Mejias, and its marketing director, Marci Gower.
FrogMagic, started by founder Jared Polis, is an
online community retailer which allows individuals to send and
receive gifts while maintaining their online privacy and anonymity.
In fact, I never did learn the name of the person in the frog suit
hanging around the FrogMagic table.

On October 3 I attended the semi-monthly Colorado Internet Keiretsu
meeting. This month it was held at Trilogy in Boulder. We walked
through a charming restaurant/wine bar to our gathering spot in the
back: a lounge featuring a bar, a dance floor, and a stage. It was
the perfect layout and size for what appeared to me to be about 200
people. I was there not too long ago to hear Sally Taylor (daughter
of Carly Simon and James Taylor) who calls Boulder home when she's
not on the road. (She'll be playing cities on the East Coast
through the first part of November.) As I was touting Sally's music
to Mike Gellman of SpireMedia, Terri Douglas of Catapult PR joined
in on the conversation and introduced me to Alex Teitz, editor-in
chief of, who has interviewed several of the musicians
Sally jams with.

Sports was another topic that came up. Andrew Currie, co-founder
of both MessageMedia and the CIK, and I were talking to Kim
Hedberg, who will be featured in an upcoming Outside magazine
article in her role as executive director of Backcountry Skiers
Alliance Colorado. (She also does small business consulting for
Balanced Solutions.) Later I had a chance to talk to Gary Feuerman,
who had been director of programming/manager of business
development at CBS SportsLine before starting his own consulting
company, iFusion. I was giving him my sales pitch about how New
York media companies need to partner with Boulder companies (such
as SportsTrust) for an authentic sports voice.

Then as I was munching on crab cakes (an all-too-rare treat here in
landlocked Colorado) I spotted Dan Feld, who had gotten married
just two weeks earlier. A true Boulder wedding atop Flagstaff
Mountain. He said that somehow they managed to dodge both wildfires
which hit the area just days before and the snow which hit shortly
afterward. His other project, of course, is setting up SOFTBANK
Venture Capital's Colorado incubator, HOTBANK.
The presentation of the evening was from Holme Roberts & Owen,
which has just signed on as CIK's first diamond sponsor. HRO, one
of the largest law firms in Colorado and specializing in emerging
technology companies, flashed on the screen a very impressive list
of deals it had facilitated. Given that virtually everyone in the
room was running his or her own company, any talk of capital was
sure to grab their attention.