Photos: The 2015 Denver Challenge Cup at The Commons on Champa

The Commons on Champa served as a vibrant venue for the 2015 Denver's Challenge Cup.

The Commons on Champa served as a vibrant venue for the 2015 Denver's Challenge Cup.

the global incubator and venture fund 1776, hosted the 2015 Denver Challenge Cup at The Commons on Champa in Denver on November 24, 2015. The goal of the 1776 Challenge Cup is to “discover the most promising, highly scalable startups that are poised to solve the major challenges of our time.”

Winners of the Denver Local round then move up to the Regional competition and each of the winners in the 9 Regional Challenge Cups - along with a few wild cards – are invited to participate in the Global Finals to be held June 2016 in Washington, D.C.

“There, they’ll compete for over $1 million in prizes, as well as spend time with the investors, customers, media and other key connections that can help them succeed on a global scale.”


a few images from the 2015 Denver Challenge Cup

Each of 20 entrepreneurs had two minutes to pitch to the judges and one minute for questions. 

Michelle Archuleta, CEO of Doctor Speak, describes their platform for "translating medical terminology and speech into something you as a patient can understand and use to make informed medical decisions."

With the energy radiated by Daryl Oster, Founder and CEO of ET3 Global Alliance, Inc., we may soon be ridding in high-speed evacuated tubes pods.

Dynamic Desiree Shank, Founder and CEO of Future College Fund, describes how to crowdfund your child's college education. 

Anthony Franco, CEO of mcSquares, describes their "dry-erase system that enables you to collaborate and create like never before."

mcSpuares gets everyone involved in the process on an equal footing. Shy or not. 

John Schnipkoweit, CEO/Co-Founder, on supercharging your Fitbit for better health.

Mike Kobneck, President and co-founder of Novum Concepts, describes Biophone, a smart-phone/iPad app that deploys “to first responders to capture images and video from the field that are sent to the ER prior to arrival.” 

Kevin Krauth, co-founder of Orderly Health, explains how their service helps you "understand your complete cost of care, including what you spend outside of your insurance company" by combining "healthcare spending from both claims and personal spending accounts to show you every dollar spent to keep you and your family healthy."

Wendi Burkhardt is co-founder and CEO of Silvernest, an online market that "boldly breaks the rules of aging so you can open your home on your own terms. We’re creating the next generation of roommates. A more modern kind. A well matched kind."

CONGRATULATIONS TO the winners & ALL THE Participants!


Learn more about the 1776 Challenge cup here.

Find links to the 20 competing startups pitching at the 2014 Challenge Cup here.

Australia’s Richard Di Natale: Transitioning from coal “an economic imperative”



Richard Di Natale, Australian Senator and leader of the Australian Greens caucus, recently announced plans to create RenewAustralia. The new agency is intended “to double Australia's energy efficiency and move the country towards 90 per cent renewable energy by 2030.” 

In addition, a $1 billion Clean Energy Transition Fund would be created “to assist coal workers and communities with the transition to clean energy.”

Speaking with Australia’s ABC, Di Natale emphasized the transition from coal is “an economic imperative”:

There is an economic imperative here in that if we don’t make the transition away from dirty, coal-fired power to clean, renewable power, we’re going to miss out on the jobs that come with that. We’re not going to be setting ourselves up as a nation for the huge economic opportunities that exist in making the transition.

People are going to be looking at coal in the same way as people look at the horse and cart when it comes to transport.

Saving 3.3 million acres in the "heart of the Amazon"

Image credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT

Image credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT

"For over a decade, Chicago’s Field Museum has been working with the Peruvian government on the creation of a national park 22 times larger than the Windy City itself. Finally, their efforts have paid off: a large portion of the Sierra del Divisor mountain range has just been granted national park status, making the central 3.3 million acres of Amazonian rainforest untouchable to those looking to profit off its resources."

Read more at Peru establishes 3.3 million acre national park in the heart of the Amazon

Paleo Pumpkin Brownies

Image credit:

Image credit:


"These brownies are legit the most amazing dessert I’ve ever made…and I’ve made a lot of dessert. Linley and I tested these babies 4 times before getting it JUST right. I based the recipe off of Davida’s Avocado Brownies, but there’s no avocados involved. When I was in Toronto a few months ago (I can’t believe it’s already been a few months since I as in the TO), I had the pleasure of eating her Avo Brownies first hand and huzzzzzah….they were delicious!"

Read more at Grain-Free Pumpkin Brownies

Exxon: What did they know and when did they know it?

Did Exxon, over 30 years ago, recognize that the burning of fossil fuels would increase atmospheric CO2 and warm the planet? Take a careful look at the graph above from an Exxon research study published in 1981 and recently posted by CleanTechnica. As you can see, Exxon scientist noted the range of global temperatures due to “natural fluctuations” would remain level beyond 2100. However, they discovered that continued release of CO2 into the atmosphere would warm the planet much above the normal historical baseline.

Instead of acting on their results and investigating alternative energy sources, Exxon began denying humans were warming the planet and obstructed corrective measures. As reported by The Guardian:

Exxon channeled about $30m to researchers and activist groups promoting disinformation about global warming over the years, according to a tally kept by the campaign group Greenpeace. But the oil company pledged to stop such funding in 2007, in response to pressure from shareholder activists.

Despite the pledge, ExxonMobile (Exxon & Mobil merged in 1999), continued their obstruction and “gave more than $2.3m to members of Congress and a corporate lobbying group that deny climate change and block efforts to fight climate change – eight years after pledging to stop its funding of climate denial.”

Pope Francis at UN: Harm to the environment is harm to humanity

Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

"First, it must be stated that a true “right of the environment” does exist, for two reasons. First, because we human beings are part of the environment. We live in communion with it, since the environment itself entails ethical limits which human activity must acknowledge and respect. Man, for all his remarkable gifts, which “are signs of a uniqueness which transcends the spheres of physics and biology” (Laudato Si’, 81), is at the same time a part of these spheres. He possesses a body shaped by physical, chemical and biological elements, and can only survive and develop if the ecological environment is favorable. Any harm done to the environment, therefore, is harm done to humanity."

Source: Full text of Pope Francis’ speech to United Nations

"Change agent" Mike Biselli on reimagining healthcare

With the Denver skyline in the background, Mike Biselli pushes the digital health vision forward at the March 2015 Prime Health Meetup at Taxi.

With the Denver skyline in the background, Mike Biselli pushes the digital health vision forward at the March 2015 Prime Health Meetup at Taxi.

Recently interviewed by Innovation News, Mike Biselli on Colorado’s digital health ecosystem and reimaging healthcare:

I firmly believe the “dam is about to break” and with that will be incredible transformation for the healthcare industry! I’m continually humbled and inspired to be recognized across the country as a “change agent” for healthcare; we desperately need to reignite this ailing industry, and I have no trepidation with challenging the status quo! That’s what keeps me so interested and excited!

Read the interview at Innovation News.
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Casetabs: Transforming Case Communication in the Ambulatory Surgery Center

Anyone who has worked in an ambulatory surgery center knows the flow of information is crucial to success. Phone calls, faxes, and person-to-person conversations have traditionally been the tools of case coordination. But with so many people in the loop – including administrators, materials managers, clinical staff, device reps and physicians – the “flow” of information may be fragmented and lead to case delays or cancellations.

Digital healthcare company MedPassage recently announced the preliminary launch of case tabs, a digital health service that unifies case communication. Currently in use at seven ambulatory surgery centers nationwide, this desktop/mobile app network coordinates information flow among key personnel.

The key features of casetabs include:

  • Real-Time Case Updates
  • Support Requests Simplified
  • Helpful Alerts Minimize Errors
  • Easy to set up. Hard to mess up.

As reported on The Street, Gavin Fabian, CEO of casetabs notes:

The ‘telephone’ game just doesn’t belong in surgery centers,” “Our vision has been to build an app that would centralize case communication. Casetabs provides real-time, helpful updates to the case team, with the ultimate goal of saving time, reducing case delays, and improving job satisfaction.

To learn more, visit

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Future Medicine: Mercy to build 120,000-square-foot Virtual Care Center

Image credit: Mercy

Image credit: Mercy

Catholic health system Mercy has announced plans to build a 120,000-square-foot Virtual Care Center to care for patients in multiple states in the central US.

According to their fundraising document, Mercy is the “nation’s number one integrated health system, providing a coordinated continuum of services” and consists of “more than 4,000 physicians and approximately 30,000 health care professionals.”

Mercy's goal is to reach all their members -

Whether you live in an urban or rural community, our health care staff will bring a consistent, high degree of advanced capabilities to all communities near and far, deliver exceptional care and dramatically improve turnaround times.
Image credit: Mercy

Image credit: Mercy

The Virtual Care Center will care for patients at multiple sites through a staff of cardiologists, intensivists, neurologists, pathologist, radiologist, pharmacists, and nurses. The clinician team will include case managers, disease management, and nurse-on-call services.

To my knowledge this will be the largest virtual care center in the US and will likely spearhead the development of other multispecialty virtual care centers. 

John Oró, MD

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2015 DIGITAL HEALTH SUMMIT, Denver, Colorado

2015 DIGITAL HEALTH SUMMIT, Denver, Colorado

The Prime Health 2015 Digital Health Summit: The Next Steps was held at the McNichols Civic Center in Denver, Colorado on May 7, 2015. Attended by over 500 professionals from the technology, healthcare, investment, and other industries, this milestone event will further stimulate the digital transformation of healthcare. 

I hope these photos convey a sense of the enlivening contributions by the keynote speakers, moderators and panelists and the vibrant nature of Colorado’s digital health community.

Trans Fats Reduce Memory in Adult Males

Image: Glane23

Image: Glane23

By John Micheal

Potato chips, French fries, onion rings, ice cream, pancakes… Wait, what are we talking about? A study commissioned by the American Heart Association has found that men who eat more trans fats than their peers may experience a decrease in the performance of their memory.

In the study, 690 adult males completed a survey about their dietary habits, from which researchers estimated their level of trans fat consumption. Then participants were shown a series of cards, each containing a single word. To assess their memory, researchers asked participants whether each word was new, or whether it had already been shown to them.

The study found that men who ate more trans fats on average remembered 10% fewer words than their peers. This correlation remained even after the researchers factored in age, education, ethnicity, and depression.

Generally used to increase the shelf life of foods, trans fats can go for months without rotting. Yet since the 1990s scientific research has demonstrated that trans fats have a negative effect on human health, increasing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. 

The recent American Heart Association study further confirms the dangers of trans fat consumption.

“Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career-building years,” said Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego. “From a health standpoint, transfat consumption has been linked to higher body weight, more aggression and heart disease. As I tell patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people.”

To avoid trans fats, always check the nutritional information on any item that you purchase. Trans fats also go by the name “partially hydrogenated oils,” so make sure to avoid them as well. Products that generally contain trans fats include store-bought baked goods, deep-fried foods, and non-dairy creamer.

The American Heart Association recommends avoiding trans fats by eating lots of fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, and nuts. Given that trans fats are only found in processed foods, your best bet would be to embrace an all-natural diet like what our Paleolithic ancestors enjoyed.

So the next time you’re at the grocery store, skip the cookies and fried food, and pick up some fresh berries and lean meat.

It’ll be the best decision you’ll remember having made in a long time.