Inspired by a desire for more diversity in the Colorado technology arena, Ibotta's VP of Data Analytics, Bijal Shah, organized the Colorado Tech Trek, inviting 15 MBA students from Top 10 programs throughout the country to tour local technology companies.
Calling the Tech Trek a passion project, Shah--who developed the program alongside her colleagues, Product Manager Phil Carter and VP of Human Resources Alison Meadows--says the goal of the program is to help recruit technology experts from Silicon Valley and reputable universities across the country to Colorado for internships and full-time positions. She says attracting diversity will result in a "more exciting economy."
"We're all fighting over the same talent," Shah says. "But if you want Colorado to thrive and find great leaders and make great teams, you've got to attract top talent."
The two-day tour in March consisted of stops at Ibotta, Havenly, SendGrid, TeamSnap, Techstars, Galvanize, Sovrn, Inspirato and Sphero.
To start, Shah and two colleagues at Ibotta "looked at our friends who had transplanted from other cities to Colorado and asked what schools they came from," she says of the process to plan the Trek. "We took it one step further to figure out why they brought their skills and built their lives here." When Shah approached Denver-Boulder-based CEOs and CTOs with the idea for a local tour, they agreed on the common challenge of attracting talent and diversity.
"My initial ask was, would you be willing to have a group of students come by your office, learn about your company and ask why you chose to come to Colorado?" Shah recalls.
As Sendgrid, a Denver-based marketing and email services provider, has...