Boise Entrepreneur Week pitch competitions ramping up

August 29, 2022

Fans of Boise Entrepreneur Week know that one of the most anticipated parts of the event is the awarding of big checks – figuratively as well as literally. And with what looks like this year’s return to an in-person event – crossing our fingers – the checks are going to be bigger than ever, with a potential total of more than $300,000.“This is the largest amount of prize money that has ever been able to be won at Boise Entrepreneur Week,” said co-chair Nick Crabbs. The event is scheduled for Jack’s Urban Meeting Place in downtown Boise from October 24 to October 28.On the other hand, the size of the checks depends on the generosity of the community, said co-chair Tiam Rastegar. “Our stated internal goal is to give away $100,000 to the first-place winners of the Pitch Competition and Trailmix,” he said. “Our ability to award those sums is tied to sponsorships,” which the organization is in the midst of raising. “We feel good about hitting the goal, but we can’t guarantee it. I’m 90% sure we can award $50,000.” And if the organization hits its sponsorship goal – hint, hint – then it can double the size of the first- and second-place payouts, he said. “We want to be on par with other pitch competitions,” he said. But there’s more to the value of the pitch competitions than just the funding, Crabbs said -- though of course funding is welcome to any startup. It’s the validation from the community.“Entrepreneurship is hard,” Crabbs said. “Oftentimes, people are risking everything to start a company. Pitch competitions like these and Boise Entrepreneur Week are a way for us to help support them on their journey. It’s really important for entrepreneurs to know there’s other organizations out there who have their back.”


Developing a healthy culture of innovation at St. Luke’s

August 23, 2022

As observers such as Clayton Christensen have noted, it’s tough for big organizations to maintain a culture of innovation. St. Luke’s Health System wants to change that. The nonprofit health organization is setting up an internal organization that is intended to help it look at problems with more of an innovation mindset. For now, the organization is being known as the Innovation Center of Excellence. “We have dreams of a cooler name,” laughed Molly Zimmer, the product manager leading the Innovation Center.


Galena Innovations developing way to prevent preterm labor

August 16, 2022

One of the biggest traumas in a person’s life is the loss of a wanted pregnancy. Ashley Crafton is working on a way to prevent that.The device she’s developing, the Hannah cervical cup, is similar to a menstrual cup, but instead of catching something that’s coming out, it’s strengthening the cervical opening by stimulating it.“Obstetrics has been a stagnant field as far as innovation since 1960s,” Crafton said. “The innovators and entrepreneurs focused elsewhere. You can 3d-print an exact replica of a 65-year-old man’s heart to build a valve just for him. It’s time for things to change.”


The IdeaRoom Where It Happens

August 9, 2022

While COVID-19 affected many industries, the effect wasn’t all bad with everyone.Particularly if you had just happened to start a business that made it easier for people stuck at home to design and order custom buildings such as sheds and carports without having to leave their houses.“COVID was a massive stimulant to our business,” said Russ Whitney, CEO and cofounder of IdeaRoom Inc., in downtown Boise. “We operate at the cross section of home improvement and e-commerce, and both got stimulated by COVID.”


Boise Entrepreneur Week Invites Entrepreneurs to Compete for More Than $300,000 in Funding

August 4, 2022

Boise Entrepreneur Week is inviting entrepreneurs to register for its annual Pitch competition, taking place in Boise from Oct. 24-28, 2022.‍


Boise Entrepreneur Week Invites Food Entrepreneurs to Compete for $60,000 in Trailmix Competition

August 3, 2022

Boise Entrepreneur Week is inviting food entrepreneurs to register for its annual Trailmix competition, taking place in Boise from Oct. 24-28, 2022.‍


You’ll Swear this video is genuine

August 2, 2022

You may remember a video by director Jordan Peele showing former President Barack Obama warning about fake videos – which turned out, itself, to be such a fake video. Known as “deepfakes,” these videos can make anyone, with just a snippet of video and audio data, say anything they want. And Peele’s video was done in 2018 – they’re a lot better now.Consequently, there’s been a great deal of effort since then in the hopes of detecting such deepfakes before they cause serious problems. But a Boise-based entrepreneur says that’s the wrong approach.“It is a perpetual game of cat-and-mouse and whack-a-mole,” said Jason Crawforth, founder and CEO of Swear Inc, and former CEO of TreeTop Technologies, one of the Boise startup community’s OGs. “Defense doesn’t win this game.”


Silverdraft rendering its new future

July 26, 2022

You may not know it, but you’ve probably seen Silverdraft’s work. The Boise-based – well, for now, but more on that later – company makes hardware and software used for virtual production, such as virtual and augmented reality (known individually as VR and AR, and collectively as XR). Silverdraft’s work has been used by Madonna on the broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards, as well as by CBS Sports, National Football League games, and March Madness.“Pretty much any of the XR broadcasts you see, whether it’s for live or broadcast, is driven by Silverdraft,” said Amy Gile, cofounder and CEO. “Facebook has put a name on it as ‘the metaverse,’ but that’s the space we’ve always been. Not just seeing photorealistic data in a virtual environment, but how do we manipulate it, make changes, adjustments, design and learn within that space.”And the company, founded more than a decade ago, has a lot of news to share.


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