Web Series Described as Half ‘Daily Show,’
Half Grad School for Tech Geeks
MAY 16, 2012, DENVER — The startup behind “Starto,” a new web series exploring entrepreneurship and technology, will mark their one month anniversary with a Saturday night shindig at Breckenridge Brewery starting at 8 PM. And you’re invited.
- WHAT: Starto at One Month Party
- WHEN: Saturday May 19, 8 PM to whenever
- WHERE: Breckenridge Brewery, 2220 Blake St. Denver
The Starto Loft at ICOSA Media is fast becoming the talk of Denver’s startup community. The first season of the show will include appearances by tech legends such as Phil McKinney (Hewlett Packard) Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Steve Wozniak (Apple), Guy Kawasaki (Apple), and Rick Marini (BranchOut). But it’s the creative and collaborative environment that keeps people coming back to the Starto Loft.
Kerianne Leffew of Innovation Pavilion has volunteered as a crew member and hostess for Thursday night tapings. “One way to know a good TV show is when it makes fun to learn,” she said. “I feel like I’m getting a graduate degree in business, only it’s more fun and more relevant because we map the trends in real time. And the wrap party after each show is like a who’s who for the Denver/Boulder startup community.”
Co-founder Eli Regalado opens the Episode 1 with kung fu kicks and disco moves while announcing an ambitious aim: to connect academia, business, community and government — and create a virtual and actual space for startup innovation, not just for the Denver area, but for the country. With a modest travel budget and affordable web technologies like Skype, they’ve checked in with exciting innovators around the U.S., from Lori Cheek in New York City, to Christian Renault in Cedar Rapids, IA, to Carolynn Duncan in Portland, OR. They’ve also interviewed local success stories such as Tech Stars graduate Bart Lorang (Full Contact), Steve Katsaros (Nokero), and Mike Stemple (Mosoro) who was voted World’s Best Mentor in the Founders Institute.
Now ICOSA Media would like to write a Cinderella story of their own. They see unlimited opportunity in new technology and new legislation, with an unprecedented number of people taking the leap and start a new company. Founder and financier Gayle Dendinger (CAP Logistics) points to the bipartisan JOBS Act, signed by President Obama April 6, which clears the way for crowdfunding of startup companies. “This law has the potential to transform American entrepreneurship in the 21st century. I founded ICOSA Media to accelerate the process, and help make sure that Denver is right in the middle of it.”
To host the show, Regalado recruited Chris Franks whose stage/screen presence, and his passion for the subject matter carry the show. The two first met in February.
“I love starting companies, but even more than starting companies, I love talking about starting companies,” Franks said. “I love the fact that our studio audience and viewers at home are learning right along with me, and then applying what they learn to their work. That’s what we do too. Our startup is a show about startups, how cool is that?!”
In March, Regalado recruited the final piece of the puzzle: award-winning film director Eric Byler (who screened two films at the Starz Denver International Film Festival in 2006, and returned in 2010 with 9500 Liberty). Byler drove to Denver from Northern Virginia with a car full of gear and a track record for doing a lot with a little. Byler and Regalado first teamed up in 2010 to found the social media democracy movement, Coffee Party USA, which now has a network of half a million people. Byler sees Starto as an opportunity to help a friend realize his dream.
“The democratization of media is making it possible for everyday Americans to participate in our democracy like never before. Now, democratization of startup capital will allow us to play a much bigger role in identifying problems, innovating solutions, and choosing a way forward for this country,” Byler said. “My new slogan is ‘entrepreneurship is patriotic.”
The ICOSA Media team plans to offer summer courses on film production and social media, and hopes to make the jump to cable television this fall.
Regalado summed up the mood at the Starto Loft: “We’re riding an unstoppable wave of new ideas and new technology into power echelons that were way beyond our reach just a few years ago. It’s an incredible feeling. That’s why we want to share it with everyone in Denver Saturday night, and everyone in America during the coming year.”
Starto shoots live every Thursday at 6 pm at ICOSA Studio. Tapings are open to the public and followed by a networking party. However, this Thursday May 17 the studio will be dark. Catch up with Chris, Eli, Kerianne and the Starto crew on Saturday night at 8 pm at Breckenridge Brewery, or next Thursday May 24 at ICOSA Studio, 4100 Jackson St. just west of Colorado Blvd. MORE INFO.