Last week we hosted what we called the “Foundry Group Digital Life Summit” here in Boulder, Colorado. While we are no strangers to helping host conferences such as Defrag and Glue, this was a much more intimate event that we arranged ourselves.
The genesis of the idea was to get our three portfolio companies in our Digital Life Theme together – namely Cloud Engines, Memeo, and Pie Digital – for a day or two of knowledge transfer and collaboration. After mulling the idea around, we decided to extend the gathering beyond our own portfolio and invite executives and board members of venture-backed and public companies that play in the broader Digital Life universe.
On the first day, we hosted board meetings with our portfolio companies followed by a dinner as a group at Restaurant 4580, one of our favorite places to enjoy an evening with a medium sized group. We began day two with a closed session where our three companies got together and talked about topics and issues relevant to each of them. In the second half of the day, we had an open session that included executives from companies as diverse as Apple, Comcast, CBS, Bug Labs, Boxee, EchoStar, Liberty Media, Sling Media, Sonos and Qwest. This afternoon session was organized around a series of interactive panels dealing with topics from building extraordinary consumer devices, marketing new products, and working effectively with strategic partners.
The day was concluded by a fireside chat with John MacFarlane, CEO of Sonos and Blake Krikorian, founder of Sling Media, moderated by Stewart Alsop. The discussion of what the digital living room would look like in five years continued well into what was a fantastic dinner at 14th Street Bar & Grill.
We had a great time hosting this superb set of people in Boulder. In addition to plenty of insights, we had a lot of fun together participating in a wide range of conversations that wouldn’t have happened at a larger conference. We’ve now got focused events covering three of our four primary themes – we expect it’s just a matter of time before we do something around our Human Computer Interaction Theme.