Coloradans are known for their creativity, passion, and inclination towards out-of-the-box thinking. It therefore comes as no surprise that Denver, Colorado is home to some top-quality resources for local inventors and entrepreneurs. From intellectual property protection to unique networking opportunities, these digital and physical resources are all catered towards aiding entrepreneurial and innovative success. If you’re a Denver-based inventor and/or innovator, we highly recommend checking out the following resources.
If you’re an inventor in Denver, CO, you’re hopefully already familiar with the United Inventors Association (UIA) of the United States of America. It’s a nonprofit organization that caters specifically to inventors, and should, therefore, be their main go-to website for questions, clarifications, and general concerns. Want to know how much you’re going to pay for licenses and patent costs? Don’t know the first step to producing or selling your invention? The UIA provides dedicated resources for all U.S.-based inventors to help them navigate the basics of producing, marketing and selling their ideas—all while promoting ethical business practices amongst assigned providers in the industry.
Common content topics include:
- Trade Shows
- Inventor events
- Inventor news
- Patent and license resources
- Job opportunities
The UIA’s free content is publicly available on their website. Members get access to more content and other benefits.
For Denver inventors focused on securing patents and trademarks for their ideas, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should be your first stop. This federal agency manages and monitors registered patents and trademarks of all U.S.-based inventors. It’s the main database—and therefore number one source—for cross-referencing intellectual properties with their rightful owners. It also offers legal advice on intellectual property (IP) policy and enforcement.
Under the USPTO is the Office of Innovation Development. It provides useful information regarding patents, trademarks, inventor’s legal rights, and the complexities of idea ownership. If you want to know the basics of protecting your intellectual property or what kind of patent you should apply for, their online resources are available for public consumption.
For the past 32 years, the Inventors Digest has dedicated itself to “revitalizing American innovation” by publishing rich content regarding American inventors and innovators. Their articles, opinions, stories, and digital resources can be found on their website; all of which are catered specifically to the aspiring and professional creators across the U.S. They’re categorized as:
- American Inventors
- Bright Ideas
- Eye on Washington
- Inventing 101
- Lander Zone
- Marketing Tips
- Online Only
- Time Tested
Founded in 2017 by licensing experts Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss, the Inventors Groups of America is an online initiative dedicated to “educating and empowering” inventors. Driven by their two-fold goal to (1) teach individuals best practices for commercializing their product ideas and (2) strengthen and support inventor groups all across the country, IGA continues to put out quality information and fully accessible support for the inventors and innovators who need it.
IGA believes that “ideas from individuals drive innovation,” but they also understand that not a lot of inventors have prior knowledge or tools on-hand to product and market their products—especially in terms of starting their own business, protecting their intellectual property, and securing the right patent licenses.
Through monthly meetings, guest speaker events, and their own website, IGA seeks to encourage their members to ask questions, discuss ideas, and offer assistance amongst themselves. Some of the common topics they cover are:
- Defining licensing terms
- Defining venturing terms
- Intellectual property strategies
- Patent costs
- Trade show listings
- How to license product ideas
- Expert tips on starting and developing ventures
In 1978, a nonprofit organization called the Rocky Mountain Inventors Congress was formed with the intention to help people—especially inventors—achieve their greatest possible potential through their fresh, industry-changing ideas. They offered an open education forum made up of dozens of diverse professionals and impartial information providers.
Even though they’re now known as the Rocky Mountain Inventors Association, the goal of this group has not changed. The RMIA is driven to “promote successful product commercialization and protection” by simply offering their members the best possible tools for success: unbiased information, updated education, professional guidance, and like-minded connections.
Members of RMIA include novice and veteran inventors, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, marketers, patent attorneys, and other similar professionals interested in the business of creating, producing, and distributing ideas. They have access to all of RMIA’s on-going events and regular programs, such as:
- Monthly educational meetings
- Discussion roundtables
- Educational conferences
They also have access to all verified professional information resources and unbiased content. Non-members may pay a fee to join regular RMIA events.
For Patents & Licensing
The World Intellectual Property Organization describes itself as a “global forum” for intellectual property services, policies, information, and cooperation. This self-funded agency of the United Nations boasts 193 member states and 53 years of operation. Their current mission is to spearhead the creation and development of an efficient international IP system that “enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.”
The WIPO presently has several external offices located in different countries all over the world, including Algeria, Brazil, Russia, and Japan.
Some of their services include:
- IP policy forum to shape international IP rules
- Global IP protection services
- Dispute resolutions
- Technical infrastructure for connecting and sharing IP systems
- Programs to help enable all countries to use IP for economic, social, and cultural development
- A world reference source for all things IP
… and many more. You can find more in-depth information regarding their programs, goals-by-sector, and global intellectual property resources—plus other great content—on their website.
Bold Patents Austin is an excellent online resource for inventors and entrepreneurs looking specifically for legal advice and support regarding intellectual property. As an online specialist organization dedicated to helping people protect their ideas and potentially earn from them, Bold Patents offers legal guidance, referrals, and verified resources on patents and intellectual property concerns. They serve investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and industry game-changers who are driven to constantly test and defy limits through their creations.
If you’re looking for practical, professional advice on protecting your ideas, choosing between a patent or a trademark, or how to best earn from your inventions, Bold Patent is a great place to go. Their legal team of experienced patent attorneys can answer any questions or concerns you may have.
The USPTO also manages official Patent & Trademark Resource Centers, or PTRCs. The Denver Public Library is one such example of a designated PTRC. Their Reference Services Department (which contains their Patent and Trademark Resource Center) can be located at Floor 3 of the Central Library.
The Denver Public Library offers free access to a wide range of verified patent and trademark resources, including both print and digital content. If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, there are reference librarians happy to help you start or refine your search. They can also provide assistance should you need help performing a preliminary patent and trademark search.
There are also designated workstations that provide access to the USPTO Web-based Search Systems and the PubEAST (Public Examiner’s Automated Search Tool) database for more advanced searching. You can easily call the Denver Public Library to schedule an appointment, or you can walk in during their operating hours and request a Patent and Trademark Appointment form.
For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs
The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is an institution dedicated to providing entrepreneurs and business owners with the best possible tools to develop their respective ventures. By utilizing powerful partnerships with the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver Metro SBDC has established itself as a solid foundation for the local business community. They have helped dozens of enterprises over the past 30 years grow, develop, and ultimately succeed.
Their sole purpose is to “put Coloradans to work,” and they achieve this by helping their clients pursue successful careers in business ownership. In doing so, they create active community contributors, job creators, and wealth producers. Relevant information, professional advice, and a collaborative environment are the three main products they offer. They also have core services that include free one-on-one consultation, group training, and specialized programs. Their four main workshops—which you can find out more about on the site—are:
- Startup Track
- Financial Literacy Track
- QuickBooks Online
- Common Leadership Blindspots
Clients and visitors can keep track of their current and upcoming workshops via their Workshop Calendar, as well.
On the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) website, there’s a section dedicated exclusively to small businesses in Colorado. This section is an excellent one-stop shop that Denver-based entrepreneurs should definitely check out.
The Colorado OEDIT’s purpose is to create a “positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth.” It works with statewide partners to provide technical assistance and substantiated support for local and regional enterprises that are actively contributing to—and eventually advancing—the state’s economy. Among other things, the OEDIT assists in monitoring and maintaining economic conditions by supporting (and improve) quality job creation
On their Small Business page, you’ll find a bunch of links leading to resource guides, step-by-step tutorials, interactive platforms, and other forms of media content dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. For instance, their Small Business Resource Guide is an A-Z tutorial on how to start, grow, or move your business in Colorado. Their Small Business Navigator is a digital guide that can help you navigate your way (hence the name) through the field of licenses, patents, permits, and other similar documents.
They also have quick links to other related programs and websites that any entrepreneur or innovator in Denver will find extremely helpful, such as:
- Training Courses
- On-Demand Assistance Requests
- Colorado Business Resource Book
- Occupational License Database
- Minority Business Office
- Incentives and Financing
For female business owners and career professionals in Denver, Colorado, Women of Denver is a development resource organization that you may very well call home. In general, their services can be summarized as networking opportunities and professional training. But to be more specific, Women of Denver is an organization that hosts workshops, summits, and networking events for women to build their business acumen, improve their confidence, and connect with like-minded, equally ambitious female entrepreneurs and leaders.
For career professionals, Women of Denver provides resources, tools, and exercises geared towards improving your likelihood of earning promotions, salary increases, and better job opportunities.
For entrepreneurs, Women of Denver offers small business training and education specifically designed to help support your revenue growth, increase your financial knowledge, and connect you with other entrepreneurial leaders.
Women of Denver organize around 40+ events a year (roughly two to four a month). Make sure you also check out their Free Local Business Resources page for some great content that you can definitely take with you.
Startup Colorado believes “in the power of rural Colorado.” Founded in 2011 by Brad Feld and Phil Weiser at Silicon Flatiron, Startup Colorado initially intended to focus on supporting startups on the Front Range. They’ve now extended that effort to support local entrepreneurship across the entire state of Colorado. Funded by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Startup Colorado is a homegrown initiative that amplifies local color and utilizes the creativity, resourcefulness, and innovative tendencies of Coloradans. They work to cultivate the growth of innovators and industry leaders by helping small businesses and startups tap into the best possible resources they need for success. Their mission is to demonstrate that “rural entrepreneurship will ignite a culture of potential,” ultimately “empowering people” to thrive and define their own future.
Startup Colorado aims to achieve this by:
- Making trusted connections for entrepreneurs and community champions
- Providing scholarships and sponsorships to create opportunities for education and networking
- Celebrating stories and creating opportunities for visibility and local exposure
- Endorsing initiatives that benefit Colorado’s rural entrepreneurs
So there you have it; our top 12 essential resources for inventors and entrepreneurs in Denver, Colorado.
- UIA of the United States of America
- USPTO Inventor & Entrepreneur Resources
- Inventors Digest
- Inventors Groups of America
- Rocky Mountain Inventors Association
- World Intellectual Property Organization
- Bold Patents Denver
- The Denver Public Library Patent & Trademark Resource Center
- Denver Metro Small Business Development Center
- Choose Colorado (Colorado OEDIT)
- Women of Denver
- Startup Colorado
Think we missed anything? Have some great resources you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!