Thursday, June 14, 2001

The Cyber Scene in Denver ~ by Suzanne Lainson

On June 14 I attended the Colorado Internet Keiretsu ( meeting, this time held on a patio at the Westminster Westin. The main attraction was go-kart racing provided by The Inside Lane ( Nearly everyone signed up to try it.

Among the 100-200 people in attendance, there were a number of familiar faces: Scott Price of CustomerCentrix (, Ty Bohannon of eBusiness Strategies (, Alan Kaplan of clickPlay (, Julie Jacobs of PHD Management Group (, Mark Weakley of Holme Roberts & Owens (, and David Hieb of Namewise. Dan Lubar of dataDistributions told me that he is putting together a book for McGraw-Hill's "Demystified" series on wireless text messaging.

Mike Gellman of SpireMedia ( was there. His company has been generating some news lately. First, a site they designed for an electronic music duo known as "I am the World Trade Center" ( has been selected as a Flash Film Festival finalist at Flashforward2001  ( They are in the experimental Flash category and would welcome votes at Then the Denver Post noted that last week's Hot as Hell party got a little rowdy toward the end. You know you've hit the local big leagues when local business reporters take the time to mention your party carousing.

I also collected cards from some people who were new to me: Patrick Crowe of Kamper Crowe Development/Design, Rick Brotherton of Brotherton Strategic Branding & Design (, and Paul Dal Pozzo of Aquabox Design (

I spent most of the evening talking to Yvonne Lynott of PR and marketing company Lynott & Associates and Robert Hensley, who runs the Internet marketing consulting firm Infront Webworks ( in Colorado Springs. Since collectively we had ties to a number of different Colorado towns (e.g., Trinidad, Silver Cliff, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Boulder), we swapped Colorado stories and compared notes on what we knew about each community.

On Friday June 15 I attended a conference on "Mexico's Revolution under President Fox," presented by LATGO (Latin America Trade and Technology Group) ( and Greenberg Traurig ( LATGO, under the leadership of President/CEO Fernando Barrutia Franco and COO Benjamin Gochman, has been bringing top Mexican business leaders to Colorado to strengthen ties between the two areas. I sat in on several sessions and this is what I picked up:

Mexico ranks just behind Japan and Canada in terms of receiving exports from Colorado companies.

Yeidckol Polevnsky Gurwitz, National Vice Chairman of CANACINTRA (Mexico's National Association of Manufacturers) noted that Mexico has been a closed society. The country's high interest rates discourage R&D investments and therefore Mexican companies are looking for outside sources of funding.

Some tips from Benjamin Aguilera, a lawyer with Greenberg Traurig in Phoenix: Attention and sensitivity must be paid to cultural differences. While you can conduct business in English, Spanish is important for developing rapport, conducting negotiations, and doing legal documentation. You should pay attention to Mexican laws, take them seriously, and get advice from people who know about them. You need a visa to do business in Mexico. Trained manpower for whatever you need is available in Mexico.

James Brancheau, with consulting firm Gartner Solista (, anticipates that mobile and wireless will be big in developing areas which lack traditional telecom infrastructure. As part of his presentation, he displayed an elaborate convergence chart.

Lunch was being held in two locations, downstairs, and also at the University Club. I wasn't sure which one I was supposed to attend, so I was advised to keep things simple and stay put. This gave me the chance to sit with Suzy Thevenet of Holme Roberts & Owen, who, I found out, not only handles legal matters for emerging business, but is fluent in Spanish. Also at the table was Rosalia Cruz from Internet Commerce & Communications ( who was telling us that her company is setting up web resources and directories for Latinos in various communities around the U.S. Later in the day I talked to Elsa Saavedra of Saavedra Consulting, who facilitates communication between American and Latin American businesses, and Olga Maria Martinez, whose company, American Industries (, helps Americans set up factories and offices in Mexico. I also met Jim Bye, a partner in HRO's Denver office.

Then there was a cocktail reception hour and I headed home.