Upcoming Project X-ITE Events and Programs

Project X-ITE offers interdisciplinary events and programs for our University of Denver students, alumni, and community members. Check out our upcoming discussions, forums, and summits. Click on the event to learn more and register.

Featured Past Events

Past Events Include

The Colorado Solutions Summit

Date: October 18, 2018

Project X-ITE partnered with the German Marshall Fund’s Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative to bring social entrepreneurs from Europe to the United States to expand their horizons, receive mentorship, and enter the US market. The entrepreneurs met with innovators throughout the Colorado ecosystem, including community members, DU faculty, and students.

The Social

Start date: October 9, 2018 - End date: October 10, 2018

Brought to you by Project X-ITE, The Barton Institute and the Graduate School of Social Work, The Social convened thought leaders, practitioners, and students of social impact for immersive ideation, learning, and action in social innovation and entrepreneurship. The summit focused on equity in innovation for community health and wellness.

Startup Weekend Denver at DU with Techstars

Start date: May 18, 2018 - End date: May 20, 2018

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Smart Campus Open Innovation Summit

Start date: May 10, 2018 - End date: May 11, 2018

A collaboration of DU students, faculty, and staff alongside representatives from public and private entities worked together to navigate emerging opportunities that are now available with increased technological capabilities, with the goal of building a plan to make DU a Smart Campus. Read the Recap Here!

Go Code Colorado

Start date: April 13, 2018 - End date: April 15, 2018

Go Code Colorado 2018, an annual competition hosted by the Secretary of State that challenges multidisciplinary teams to turn public data into useful business insights and tools.

StudioX with Jillian Wohlfarth, Director of Content for SendGrid

Date: April 11, 2018

Student-focused dialogue with local start-up founders who shared their successes and failures in an intimate setting of 20 students.


Start date: April 3, 2018 - End date: May 15, 2018

A workshop series that fosters an entrepreneurial spirit and provides concrete tools. Spring 2018 topics included Entrepreneurial Mindset, Design Thinking, Business Planning, Legal, Marketing, and Funding.

StudioX with Wade Rosen, CEO of Wishlist

Date: March 12, 2018

Student-focused dialogue with local start-up founders who shared their successes and failures in an intimate setting of 20 students.

X-ITE Forum presented by John Ritter – Startup Speed Dating

Date: March 6, 2018

Like speed-dating but instead of smiling through awkward mini-dates, attendees got to talk shop with developers and ideators.

StudioX with Matt Shifrin, COO at Breckenridge Brewery and President & Co-founder of Utivity

Date: January 24, 2018

Student-focused dialogue with local start-up founders who shared their successes and failures in an intimate setting of 20 students.


StudioX with Lizelle van Vuuren, Women Who Startup and Effectively

Date: November 15, 2017

Student-focused dialogue with local start-up founders who shared their successes and failures in an intimate setting of 20 students.

Project X-ITE Forum Presented by John Ritter: Diversity & Inclusion

Date: November 7, 2017

We hear about diversity and inclusion all the time, but what does it really mean to consider these when launching a new company? We heard from experts who’ve been in the trenches and who’ve put these factors front and center as they build and scale startups and train the next generation of leaders. 

Speakers included: Lee Mayer (Founder & CEO, Havenly), Pattie Money (Chief People Officer, SendGrid), Ryan Ross (President & CEO Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado), and Gigi Sukin – Moderator (Digital Editor, ColoradoBiz Magazine). 

Colorado Solutions Summit

Date: October 26, 2017

Hosted in partnership with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Project X-ITE at the University of Denver launched the Summit to support Colorado companies by bringing together unique teams of thinkers, doers, and problem-solvers to work together in curated mentoring teams. Modeled after the UN Solutions Summit and Flight-to-Denver, the Colorado Solutions Summit leveraged Colorado’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to support the next generation of game-changers. 

Speakers included: Megan Smith (CEO of shift7), Rachel Carlson (Guild Education), Nicole Glaros (Techstars), JB Holston (University of Denver), Margaret Hunt (Office of Economic Development & Int’l Trade), Trisha Litz (Regis University), Erik Mitisek (State of Colorado), Susan Myers (UN Foundation), Tony Pipa (Brookings Institution), Paul Polak (iDE), Nina Sharma (Project X-ITE), and David Smith (Unreasonable Group).

The Social

Start date: October 23, 2017 - End date: October 25, 2017

The Social was a collaborative week of events, bringing together social innovators and entrepreneurs, from across Denver, CO, front range innovative ecosystem, to engage and to learn alongside with students, faculty staff, administrators, and the DU community. 

Speakers included: Gregg Kvistad (Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor, Office of the Provost), Amanda McBride (Dean, Graduate School of Social Work, DU), and Jason Green (Co-Founder, SVP & General Counsel, SkillSmart).

StudioX with Luis Benitez, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Date: October 19, 2017

Student-focused dialogue with local start-up founders who shared their successes and failures in an intimate setting of 20 students.

Speaker included: Luis Benitez (Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation).

StudioX with Jennifer Bacon, Flapjacked

Date: September 20, 2017

Student-focused dialogue with local start-up founders who shared their successes and failures in an intimate setting of 20 students.

Speaker included: Jennifer Bacon (Flapjacked).

Denver Startup Week Founder’s Toast

Date: September 20, 2017

Click on the link for more information: https://www.denverstartupweek.org/

United Nations Solutions Summit

Date: September 19, 2017

Project X-ITE managing director, Nina Sharma, and Dean JB Holston of Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science presented on the success of Flight-to-Denver and DU’s focus on the Sustainable Development Goals.  

The gathering serves as a catalyst to convene resources and talent around solution-makers. Solutions Summit 2017 included in-person accelerator sessions and social media interaction with several acceleration partners helping to scale the work of the solution-makers. 

Biennial of the Americas

Date: September 15, 2017

Site visit for Biennial of the Americas attendees to explore innovation on campus.

Speakers included: Pardee Center at Korbel, Innovation Floor at ECS, Faculty from Korbel, ECS, GSSW, AHSS and DCB.

Denver Startup Week Pitch Competition 2018

Date: August 8, 2017

The second annual Denver Startup Week Pitch Challenge highlighted and harnessed our city’s entrepreneurial energy. The year’s challenge took the typical pitch competition and spins it on its head, inviting the 15,000 attendees at DSW to cast their votes to determine the final six contenders. 

With a prize packaged valued at $100,000 in cash, services, and product, this pitch competition showcased the best ideas and the brightest startups from Denver’s innovation community!

US Patent & Trade Office

Date: July 21, 2017

Hosted National Summer Teacher’s institute for 50 K-12 STEM & IP teachers on campus in July 2017.

StudioX with Josh Dorkin from Bigger Pockets

Date: May 22, 2017

Josh Dorkin came in for an interview about his experience in entrepreneurship. Student questions drove the discussion.

Speaker included: Josh Dorkin from Bigger Pockets.

Brunch with Imran Khan

Date: May 21, 2017

An intimate gathering of 25 faculty, administrators, students, and entrepreneurs in conversation with Imran Khan ’00, Chief Strategy Officer at Snapchat.

Speakers included: Imran Khan, Snapchat.


Date: May 20, 2017

Four student-led ventures pitched their companies to a room of 30 alumni to get friendly feedback and expand their networks.

Speakers included: Student-led ventures.

EyeBot Service Project

Date: May 20, 2017

Alumni assisted students in a mapping project to make DU the first blind and sight-impaired friendly campus.

Speaker included: Nicole McNew (eyeBot).

Xplore Startup Crawl

Date: May 19, 2017

More than 80 alumni registered to visit five high-growth startups on a downtown Denver walking-tour led by Project X-ITE students.

Speakers included: Leslie Oliver (Comcast), Brian Corbett (Inspirato), Chris Wagner (Sendgrid), Monica Lang (Zayo).


Date: May 8, 2017

Student-focused dialogue with local start-up founders who shared their successes and failures in an intimate setting of 20 students.

Speaker included: Mike Biselli from Catalyst HTI.

Homelessness Hackathon

Date: May 5, 2017

The 7-hour program was attended by approximately 40 graduate and undergraduate students and was a mix of design thinking and ideation sessions, lectures, a panel of community stakeholders, and time for team building and brainstorming. The event culminated in each team pitching to a panel of judges. Awards were given to two teams.

Speakers included: Kim Bender, Matt Rutherford.

GoCode Colorado

Date: April 7, 2017

Hosted the regional coding competition in partnership with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

Flight to Denver

Date: March 31, 2017

From March 31 – April 2, Project X-ITE hosted Flight to Denver in partnership with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the United Nations Foundation. Flight to Denver brought 17 global entrepreneurs from 11 countries who whose companies and projects are directly fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Project X-ITE curated mentoring teams comprised of community leadership, faculty experts, and students from five Front Range universities. Flight to Denver leveraged Colorado’s uniquely collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem to accelerate the impactful businesses these entrepreneurs are building and scaling.

Speakers Included: Gov. Hickenlooper, Megan Smith, former US CTO under President Obama, Luis Duarte (Gary Community Investments), Nicole Glaros (Techstars), Jackie Ros (Revolar), Hannah Lippe (Fidelity Labs), Jared Marquette (Village Capital), Andy Stoll (Kauffman Foundation), Jesus Salazar (Prosono), Keith Roberts (Zenman), and Pamela Ratti (Galvanize).

Click here to learn more

Venture for America

Date: March 14, 2017

Began building a partnership with the regional Venture for America team to encourage students to apply for this experiential program and eventually have large representation from DU graduates.

disCOver Challenge Pitch

Date: March 4, 2017

Final pitches from the disCOver teams that were formed during the ideation session.

Design Thinking

Date: March 3, 2017

A kick-off to the Discover Challenge, featuring leadership from Fidelity Labs.

Speakers included: Heather (PharmaJet), Sean Belka (Fidelity Labs), JB Holston.

Future of the Professions Summit

Date: February 22, 2017

Hosted 15 speakers from across the world who explored how technology is changing traditional professions.

Speakers included: Deans Smith & Smith-Acuna, Chairman Scrivner, Daniel Susskind, Anna Ewing, Padden Murphy (WeWork), Jeffrey Nathanson (10.10.10), Donna Flynn (Steelcase), Rich Baer (Liberty Media), Ed Moran (KPMG).

disCOver Challenge Ideation

Date: February 4, 2017

Sponsored by Fidelity labs, Project X-ITE hosted student teams from 7 Front Range schools in a design-thinking workshop. This was the first cross-institutional endeavor hosted by Project X-ITE and led by a Student Innovation Fellow.

Veteran Entrepreneurs

Date: January 10, 2017

Highlighted the unique qualities and experiences that veterans bring to entrepreneurship.

Speakers included: Jacob Hyde (Sturm Specialty in Military Psychology), Nic Gray (HyprLoco) & Josh Anderson (Patriot Bootcamp).

Design for Social Innovation

Date: November 15, 2016

Panel discussion about design thinking used in engineering, development, and education.

Speakers included: Chris Nicoletti (iDE), Bernard Amadei (Engineers Without Borders), Gordon Bronson (Sewald Hanfling), Doris Candelarie (Morgridge College of Education)

Social Entrepreneurship Summit

Date: November 11, 2016

Hosted 36 speakers from across the world who are experts in social entrepreneurship.

Speakers included: Chancellor Chopp; Deans Chrite, Holston, Smith, McBride; 8 faculty members; Matt Flannery (Kiva), Becky Straw (The Adventure Project), Jamie Van Leeuwen (Governor’s Office), Janice Sinden (DCPA), Paolo de Rezende (Humanitas 360)

REVERB Conference

Date: November 3, 2016

Project X-ITE sponsored the 1st Colorado government innovation conference in partnership with COIN.

Speakers included (not limited to): John Hickenlooper (Governor of State of Colorado), and Ashton Kutcher (Co-Founder of Sound Ventures).

Click here for full length of speakers.

Entrepreneurial Impact

Date: October 25, 2016

Discussion on the long-term impacts of the startup community on our ecosystem.

Speakers included: Dan Caruso (Zayo), Chancellor Chopp.

Rise of the Rest

Date: October 4, 2016

Curated a tour of Denver’s entrepreneurial ecosystem for Steve Case, founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution, culminating in a pitch competition and party.

Speakers included: Steve Case (Rise of Rest), Philippe Bourgignon (Exclusive Resorts), Mayor Hancock, Gov. Hickenlooper. + more than 600 community leaders throughout the day.

Startup Funding

Date: September 20, 2016

Discussion on the ins and outs, successes and failures of venture capital funding for start-ups.

Speakers included: Michael Myers (Moderator), Sue Heilbronner (Merge Lane), Kirk Holland (Access Venture Partners), Will Ford (Launch Boom), Ryan Kirkpatrick (CO Impact Fund).

DSW Pitch Competition

Date: September 15, 2016

Project X-ITE hosted the first-ever pitch competition at the world’s largest free event for startups.

Speakers included: Jenna Walker (VSCO), Kirk Holland (Access Venture Partners), JB Holston, Erik Mitisek.

Founder’s Toast

Date: September 14, 2016

More than 200 people joined Project X-ITE and the Colorado Innovation Network at a toast with Gov. Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock during Startup Week.

Speaker included: Gov. Hickenlooper.

Entrepreneurs Fireside Chat

Date: August 31, 2016

Intimate look at the academic and tactical sides of entrepreneurship.

Speakers included: Dan Caruso (Zayo), Steven Kaplan (U Chicago), JB Holston.

Women in Innovation

Date: August 17, 2016

Three executives who paved the way for women to lead the technology sector.

Speakers included: Chancellor Chopp, Nancy Phillips (Viawest), Colleen Abdoullah (WOW), Lucy Sanders (NCWIT).

Making Mental Health a Priority

Date: June 28, 2016

Featured Brad Feld and Jerry Colonna talking candidly about their mental health struggles, in partnership with Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.

Speakers included: Brad Feld (Foundry Group), Jerry Colonna, and Greg Greenwood (BEN Colorado).

Cybersecurity Summit

Date: April 1, 2016

Hosted a delegation from Israel to explore domestic and international cybersecurity issues, complexities & solutions.

Speakers included: Partnered with CU, Regis and the cyber community to raise awareness around cyber security and the ecosystem. Gov. Hickenlooper headlined the event, with CISO from Blackberry closing out the day.

Innovation in Academia

Date: April 1, 2016

Workshop led by George Kembel of the Stanford D-School and Randy Bass of Georgetown.

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