Local Tech 2.0: Mapquest, Off the Quad, the Founder Institute, and Startup Weekend Denver

April 2011

Count Arianna Huffington among the believers that MapQuest can overcome competition from Google Maps. Both Denver-based Mapquest and the Huffington Post Media Group are under AOL's widening umbrella, and the new-media matriarch was in town yesterday to celebrate the mapping company's 15th birthday (Denver Business Journal). Also part of the occasion: the unveiling of shiny new downtown digs, intended to revitalize Mapquest as a "born-again startup" with plans to launch microsites and a nationwide traffic service. Off the Quad feted a rebirth yesterday as well, with the dispatch of its Trendsttr algorithm (Westword). The Boulder-based company intends to woo college students with its invite-only service that gauges one's viral (read: popularity) potential on Facebook.

Mike Stemple also likes to keep tabs on the online habits of the "younger generation" as a means of generating business ideas. Stemple is the man behind the Founder Institute, a "mentorship program for budding tech entrepreneurs" in Denver (Denver Post). In the shadow of Boulder's digital dominion, Mile High techies continue to carve a niche with events like Startup Weekend Denver, which is holding its second event June 3 to 5.