Developed | The App Economy Tour is a series of events that brings entrepreneurs, business leaders, industry experts, and local, state, and federal officials together for discussion on next-generation apps, game-changing mobile solutions, and innovations driving the app ecosystem. These events are an opportunity for developers and entrepreneurs to get more insight into how to build a brand, what rules and regulations they must be mindful of, how to get into app stores quickly and efficiently, and how to figure out what comes next in terms of funding streams and business opportunities.

Now that sounds great, but what does all that really mean? What do attendees experience? What are we really talking about? Look no further than this blog! We’re about halfway through our tour, so we’re hitting you with a city-by-city Developed update, answering the “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How,” and including all the Developed content you could ever want.


#DevelopedRI was held at Tech Collective, a tech hub in the state that partners with companies, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, government, academia, and other members of the technology workforce in Rhode Island. The panel discussion highlighted community as a business development resource as well as the benefits of platforms, especially for small businesses. Speakers included:

  • Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee
  • Robert Blackburn, Founder, Blackburn Labs
  • Erin Abrams, Marketing Manager, Tech Collective
  • Jessica Mayernik, Grant Advisor, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
  • Kirsten Maynard, Senior Vice President Waxman Strategies

Stop two of our Developed Tour took place at Our/New York Vodka in New York City (cheers!). This panel discussed the platform shifts around cloud computing, existing tools within platforms for developers, and how platforms can build out accessibility features for developers and users of all abilities. Panelists ranged from connected health professionals and accessibility experts to early stage venture capitalists. Speakers included:

  • Mark Liber, Strategy & VP of Business Development, Kaia Health
  • Jacob Yormak, Partner, Story Ventures
  • Walei Sabry, Digital Accessibility Coordinator, NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication
  • Nick Horowitz, Senior Director, Waxman Strategies

The next city on our tour was Boulder, Colorado. Attendees and participants gathered at Upslope Brewing, nestled between the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Flatirons, for an evening of discussions around platforms, policy issues impacting small tech startups including broadband infrastructure, AI, workforce development, and privacy, and the choice to do business away from the stereotypical coastal tech hubs in the United States. Speakers included:

  • Trish Thomas, CEO, TEEM Marketing
  • Jon Carroll, CTO, Sphero
  • Andrea Orrego, CEO, Atelier Home Design App
  • Andy Merritt, State Director, Senator Cory Gardner

Atlanta is home to one of the most diverse entrepreneurship ecosystems in the country, making it the perfect stop for the next leg of our Developed Tour! Naturally, Atlanta was the perfect place to discuss diversity and inclusion within the local app economy. Over beers and snacks at Monday Night Brewing, the panel discussed their experiences with funding and shared advice on how to tap into the resources available to developers and small businesses in Atlanta. Speakers included:

  • Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens
  • Kinnis Gosha, Division Chair of Experiential Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies, Morehouse College
  • Lucienne Ide, Founder and Chairman, Rimidi
  • Chris Adams, Partner and COO, SouthernDNA

#DevelopedSeattle was our only early morning (and by “early morning” we mean 9 a.m.) event where attendees and participants enjoyed coffee, convos, and contact info at the infamous 13 Coins Seattle. It’s no secret that Seattle is well established as a home for innovation, but over the last 10 years the city has become a hub for small businesses with a vibrant community making astonishing contributions that spans industries. The panel covered everything from platforms and privacy to advice on how to tap into the resources available to developers and small businesses in Seattle. Speakers included:

  • Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
  • Jens Francis, Managing Partner, Faultline Group
  • Jennifer Sunshine Steffens, CEO, IOActive
  • Mike Sax, Founder, Wellbeyond

#DevelopedMN marked the halfway point for the Developed Tour, and what a way to mark this milestone! The Twin Cities are home to so many exciting startups, but most importantly, it is home to Finnegan’s Brew House and their Finnovation Lab. The Finnovation Lab is a social business catalyst that provides services designed to help entrepreneurs launch their ventures and increase their impact. Minneapolis’s startup community is extremely tightknit, leading to some really thoughtful and important discussions around platforms, data privacy and use, and individual empowerment. Speakers included:

  • Congressman Dean Philips
  • Jacquie Berglund, Founder and CEO, Finnegan’s Brew Co. & Finnovation Lab
  • Parag Shah, Founder, Vemos
  • Michelle Maryns, Founder and Sparkler-in-Chief, WeSparkle
  • Casey Shultz, Director, Twin Cities Startup Week
  • Landon Zinda, Legislative Director, Congressman Tom Emmer
Still to come:

12/17 – Charleston, SC

1/23 – New Orleans, LA

2/4 – Santa Monica, CA

2/6 – Oakland, CA

2/13 – Houston, TX

2/20 – St. Louis, MO

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