On November 3, the annual Reverb conference was held in downtown Denver. This year, the goal was to bring government officials, tech startups and venture capitalists together to discuss how to foster more innovation in Colorado. According to Government Technology Magazine, the event was hosted by the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) and Sound Ventures. Ashton Kutcher, well-known for his acting career, was a keynote speaker at the conference and is also a founder and investor of Sound Ventures.
COIN, a project piloted Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2011, is housed within the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. In past years, COIN has been dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship in the state of Colorado, but this year it used its annual conference to shift gears and put the spotlight on accelerating innovation and technology within the government sector.
The event featured a combination of keynote speakers and breakout sessions and focused on collaboration, forming partnerships and finding ways to pair up government technology leaders with startups.
According to the Denver Post, the attendees of this year’s summit were somewhat different from past conferences. This year, it was a mix of representatives from the state’s fire prevention division, department of public safety and the office of information technology combined with startup founders and venture capitalists. And as opposed to just having speakers present on stage, the conference also made time for one-on-one conversations between startups, government officials and even Kutcher himself.
Colorado’s future as a national hub for entrepreneurship and innovation continues to look brighter and brighter. Recently, according to Forbes, Denver was ranked as the No. 1 city for business and careers for the second year in a row. In order to build on that momentum, COIN will continue to connect startups with government agencies to attract more talent, entrepreneurs and capital to the state.