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Posted: November 01, 2009

State of the State: Technology

DEMOgala a mix of Flintstone and Jetson tech

Denver-based ReadyTalk chose last month's Fifth Annual CSIA DEMOgala to announce its newest product: the ReadyTalk Media Player, which helps businesses make better use of social media by allowing them to easily embed recorded content into websites, blogs and other platforms.

"As the social-media revolution intensifies, businesses are looking for ways to not only listen to the conversations that are going on, but to participate in those conversations," ReadyTalk co-founder Scott King told a lunchtime audience at the DEMOgala, the region's largest gathering of tech entrepreneurs and businesses that attracted 900 attendees to the Colorado Convention Center on Oct. 8.

"Now an analyst can have a conference call with industry experts and post it to their blog immediately afterward, or embed it into their next press release."

ReadyTalk, a provider of audio- and Web-conferencing services, was one of 20 companies exhibiting its technology and products at the DEMOgala. The 8-year-old company also went to extra lengths to arouse the curiosity of DEMOgala attendees passing by the company's booth, as some of its employees were dressed head-to-toe in ski outfits, and props at the booth included a chairlift seat and a beach chair with an umbrella to promote ReadyTalk's "meet anywhere" campaign.

While the DEMOgala featured large-company stalwarts like Colorado-based ViaWest, the largest data-center company in North America, it also had its share of hopeful upstarts. Among them was Don Missey's pedalectric vehicle that he hopes one day will enable a family of up to four to use pedal and battery power to make short trips to the grocery store or light-rail station.

At the DEMOgala, however, Missey's pedalectric car was still mostly conceptual - more Fred Flintstone than George Jetson - with a roof frame made of ¾-inch PVC piping and the roof itself fashioned from a piece of cloth. In his brief address to the lunch crowd, Missey held up a roll of duct tape in apparent tribute to its role in the initial prototype.

"We've been doing this out of pocket," said Missey, who has degrees in history, economics and Russian and founded Denver Technology Inc. with the aim of developing products like the pedalectric car. "This is our first show."

Rip Ripley, co-chair of the DEMOgala event, pointed out that economic downturns can spur the kind of entrepreneurial activity in evidence at the various exhibitors' booths.

"The ones that are most exciting to me are ones that started with a glint in someone's eye and have made their dreams a reality," Ripley said. "We all know recessionary periods are incubators for the next level of technology and the next types of companies."

- Steve Oliveri/Mike Taylor
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