You may have seen their installations during Denver Startup week or read their name in 303 Magazine as “Denver Artists to Watch in 2018.” Alt Ethos is introducing a new way of capturing the attention of audiences through experiential design. By combining mixed reality (MR), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create interactive light displays, people are more than just viewers – they become part of the art display.
CEO Ethan Bach and cofounder Eric Davis began seeing Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultants in January 2016 to explore several ideas for new programs and ways to expand their team. A year later, they enrolled in Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs to learn business basics and refine their five-year plan. They credit Denver Arts & Venues for making it possible for them to take the course through their Create Denver scholarship, a partnership with the SBDC that covers half of the program fees of creative and artistic businesses.
“Not only did we learn skills necessary for strengthening the foundation of our company, we also met other entrepreneurs and strengthened our relationship with the SBDC and Chamber,” Bach said of the course.
Since working with the SBDC, Bach and Davis brought on two more teammates – Paul Elsberg and Zac Layman. They also received several awards and recognitions including “Companies to watch from Denver Startup Week” by Denverite, second place in the Leading Edge business plan competition and were selected to represent Colorado in Washington, D.C. at the America’s Small Business Development Showcase.
And, they launched the nonprofit Denver Arts + Technology (DATA) to create a community center that puts research, education, creation and exhibition together under the same roof, developing curriculum for K-12 workshops and programs, creating an immersion lab, providing a professional job training program, creating diversity and fostering world leaders in immersive 360-degree technology.
Moving forward, they look to other like-minded companies like Moment Factory, Obscura Digital and Meow Wolf: “Seeing their success, we know that the world is changing and we have a good chance of actualizing our dreams,” Bach said.
2018 is a year to strengthen their foundation, increase revenue, offer new products and develop stronger relationships in Denver and nationally.
“When people scoff at these goals, we remind them of Elon Musk and his accomplishments. We are inspired by those who have set out to take on what others consider impossible and believe the world could use more of this type of ‘insanity,'” Bach said.
Metro Denver is a city for arts and culture, with its arts and culture district contributing to $512.8 million in economic impact in 2017. In fact, its vibrancy and support for startups and the arts is what made it the perfect home for Alt Ethos, Bach said: “We look forward to supporting the ethos in Denver as a dynamic engaged city that fosters arts, culture and technology.”
If you want to learn more about Leading Edge or the Create Denver Scholarship, visit our website.