Thursday, December 07, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Denver ~ by Suzanne Lainson

On December 7 I went to Denver's Adam's Mark Hotel to check out an
m-commerce presentation by IT consulting firm CIBER. I generally
don't attend business presentations (I'd rather scan brochures or a
website than shoot an afternoon getting the same info). But when I
saw that this was Rick Bolin's deal, I decided to go. I met Rick in
1999 when he was deputy director for the Governor's Office of
Technology and I came in wanting to talk about promoting the area
as a high tech center. At that time and since I have been impressed
with his energy and enthusiasm. In April 2000 he went to work at
CIBER as director of business development. In August he became its
wireless national practice leader and has been touring the country
making presentations to high level executives. In his overview of
m-commerce, he made a number of points, including these: We've been
using wireless for a long time (e.g., garage door openers, TV
remote controls). ..... Many of the ideas being tossed around for
wireless applications are B2C, but ROI is likely to be greatest
with B2B and B2E (business to employee). ..... Wireless is
currently much more complicated than the Internet because while the
Internet is based on one protocol to one type of device, there are
37 different wireless protocols being directed to an ever expanding
number of devices (250+).

On December 13, TiE-Rockies had its Christmas party at the St.
Francis Center across the parkway from the Denver Center for the
Performing Arts. This was open mike night and everyone in
attendance had to stand up, say who they were and what they did,
and then tell either a secret about themselves or share their most
embarrassing moment. I won't reveal who confessed what, but many of
the stories fell into one of the following categories: skiing,
camping, traveling, and food/restaurants (one of which involved
Rocky Mountain oysters, and if you don't know what those are, I'm
not going to tell you). The lesson to be learned: many of us feel
like fools when we try something new. We also found out that
Srikant Srinivasan, founder/former CEO of, just returned
from a three-month trip to Africa, that Aloke Guha, president/CEO
of Datavail Systems, has been a professional opera singer, that Vic
Ahmed, president/CEO of Vroom Technologies, is, deep down inside, a
nice guy, and that Sapna Shah, former strategic planning and
business development director for Ann Taylor Stores, can recommend
a great hairdresser in New York.

On December 14, FrogMagic had a holiday party for merchants,
vendors, and friends at Denver's Heavenly Daze Brewery. (The drink
special for the night was Lilly Pad Lush.) Jared Polis, FrogMagic
founder/president was there. (He's best known for having started He's also been in the news for winning a seat on
the Colorado State Board of Education. It was a very close race and
Colorado had its own recount over that one.) Also there were COO
David Mejias, director of business development Chris Lear, and
marketing director Marci Gower. FrogMagic is a site which enables
online users to send out gifts even if all they know are
recipients' email addresses or chat names. Fifty lucky attendees
got their chance to try out the system when they won FrogMagic gift
certificates. Free frogs (stuffed, not live) were also given away.

On December 15, I attended the open house for the Holme Roberts and
Owen Boulder office. Truly a wonderful location, right on the Pearl
Street Mall, the heart of downtown Boulder. Lots of local color:
restaurants, shops, street performers, happy strolling Boulderites.
The food was excellent (served in a very intimate setting in the
law library). And I liked the fact that among the beverage
offerings were a white zinfandel and a wine punch (good for light
drinkers like myself). I had a chance to talk to attorney Mark
Wheatley, whom I have met at Colorado Internet Keiretsu events (HRO
is a CIK sponsor). And I chatted with Wayne Citrin, director of
software engineering at Latis, and Richard Bass of Colorado Service
Providers. But most of my time was spent talking about women in
business with Susan Thevenet, an attorney with HRO, Deborah
Arhelger, former CEO of Lumio Technologies, Patty Rivera,
founder/CEO of Kiditcard, and Catharine Merigold, general partner
of Vista Ventures. Everyone talked about having paid their dues,
and what was available for us and other women in the future. Stay
tuned. Plans are afoot.