GLENX: Growing Our Tech Community

In July 2018, Magazine by Genevieve Joëlle VillamizarLeave a Comment

July First Friday saw doors open anew on east Main Street. GlenX shared at sneak peak of their future coworking space to open Autumn 2018. Roaring Fork Technologists (RFT) hosted GitCoin founder Kevin Owocki’s conversation on the future of open-source technology. After Q&A, guests toured the office space amid entrepreneurial buzz and beers. Much of it carried over into the bars and eateries of Main Street, where movers and shakers with GlenX, Roaring Fork Technologists, Aspen Entrepreneurs, etc., caught up, brain stormed and What If-ed.
Bonedale|Amplified aims to be the magazine we turn to in Carbondale to deepen conversations about us, our creative endeavors and the businesses we build to ensure our livelihoods. B|AM’s stories bridge the gap between wondering what makes Carbondale so great– and supporting the efforts of making and keeping Carbondale great. Information is power, and when we know the depths of things, we hopefully will come to care enough to engage and continue support of all of it. B|AM will operate out of Main Street’s future coworking space, and beyond stoked to have such a dynamic place in which to connect and grow!
The First Friday evening was a high point of the season for the GlenX and RFT communities. RFT founder Justin Lewis speaks up.

Justin Lewis, left, can’t resist goofing around, July First Friday. Community buzz was infectious. Photo, B|AM

Justin Lewis:

“For me the big message from last night was that the Roaring Fork has a (surprising) existing community, with room to grow.  In terms of technology, the Roaring Fork is– and will likely continue to be– a place where people CHOOSE to live. Because of that, we will continue to gain people that bring passion with them.
It also seems that this brings a general level of professional competency, as there are compromises to living in a small town with a high cost of living.  What Kevin is doing with GitCoin is awesome, but I want people in this valley and those that might come soon, to realize that there are people here, now, with just as much ability as [the superstars in tech] to create marketable technology and businesses. Ultimately this will hinge on at least a couple key factors:
  • Physical infrastructure that provides places to meet and create.
  • Social infrastructure that serves to bond the community and progress toward growth (this has been generally good in recent years, but has also seen turbulence, as the lack of physical infrastructure has affected consistency).
  • Programming that continues to move skills and influence forward.

For where the valley is right now, it’s my opinion that events like [July’s] First Friday event serve to show people that the above factors exist and can improve.

This is a really important message because there are so many people here who don’t know what this type of community looks like yet. Many are new to the idea of coworking– let alone startup pitch events.

Carbondale’s cowork space will include high-speed wifi/ printing/faxing etc.; dedicated desks on the third floor; first-floor open-community work spaces in a multitude of configurations to suit your work style; conference room and meeting spaces. Photo, B|AM

Enthusiasm is really high, with more people getting involved. My hope is that one day we can put events like this on more regularly with much less effort. To do that, we need an infrastructure that takes care of itself so others can grow on top of it. That’s what this new coworking space could be:

A place where locals can create commerce while also bringing in others.

In terms of professional technology development, it’s valuable to have a tie [with] other communities, large and small. I can imagine a time where people come here to work for a week to get out of Denver and recharge while connecting with other like minded people.

The future looks bright: Housing a dynamic array of businesses under one roof. The scenario of a physical presence on Main Street incubates and accelerates each small, local business into not only our community, but the region– and for some ventures, the world. Photo, B|AM

Also, the space is awesome, and having all the community groups in one room was really important (GlenX, Roaring Fork Technologists, Aspen Entrepreneurs, etc…). We all need to work together because we each have different strengths that will push the community upward. Meeting [Carbondale entrepreneur] Tyler Moebius’ team was great, and an important reminder of the importance of also having more local businesses in the mix.

Photo, Justin Lewis

MOREJustin Lewis is a software developer with TerraFrame. He started the Roaring Fork Technologists group to connect the people “building technology solutions. We are very interested in bringing together the people who are building software and/or hardware solutions for any industry vertical. You don’t have to be a hardcore developer or even a developer at all. The bottom line is you work in or are interested in solving problems with technology. Sound like something you’re interested in? Good! Join up and meet some new friends! Our email list signup. Our public website: Find us on Slack. Find us on GitHub. See and/or participate in the organizations operations.”