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Introducing Music4Life

Recently, I had the good fortune to meet one of those people who have a clear mission in life. Someone who is knowledgeable, passionate, driven, and articulate about her particular field. She is Judith Pinkerton, LPMT, MT-BC. Those fancy letters after her name indicate that she is a licensed music therapist. If you’re like me, you may not have even been aware that there is such a thing as music therapy. But it’s a legitimate form of therapy as indicated by her license, granted by the Nevada State Health Division.

Judith moved to Las Vegas in 1989, but was already aware of the power of music therapy from some experiences she had in Alaska. Currently on the Solutions Recovery Wellness Campus, she facilitates music therapy classes and sessions in her office. In addition (and the reason for this article) she’s getting ready to expand her online presence significantly. Though she works with some patients from the recovery center, she also sees individuals not associated with the center.

Though some are skeptical of music as therapy, I think a few simple examples will explain the power and value of music. Who here doesn’t have a favorite song that puts them in a certain mood (either a happy mood directly or as the result of memories around the song)? Powerful anthems (classically “We are the Champions” by Queen) are played in stadiums around the world due to their strong music and lyrics. Music affects not only mood, but physiology as well.

Though she’s had an online presence for a while, last year she began focusing on plans to roll out Music 4 Life® on a much wider scale, including course availability via iTunes University, playlists on iTunes, and subscription music packages designed to invoke certain moods.

If you’re interested in experimenting with some playlists to expand your musical tastes and start to set other moods with your music, start with Pandora’s Enigma Radio channel. It’s a mix of new age, EDM, jazz, and techno, and really shows how moods invoked from music can come from any genre. In Music 4 Life® music therapy, “approved” songs from all genres are categorized into one of four categories: Unsettled, Soothed, Energized, or mixed. A single song can start sad, but end on a very uplifting note, so it’s important that your songs be categorized properly when you’re building playlists to invoke a certain emotion or want long-term relief from unsettled moods.

Check out Music 4 Life® at http://www.music4life.us and http://www.m4lti.com. You can also listen to Judith on Blog Talk radio at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/music4lifeusa.

March 9, 2017 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

Iron Yard Graduation

On February 16, 2017, The Iron Yard Las Vegas held a graduation for its back-end(*) class. Like all previous Iron Yard graduations, the projects presented by the students are well beyond what one would expect from students coming out of a 12 week bootcamp. These were not mere toy projects nor unfinished efforts.

The event was hosted by Gabe Shepherd, with comments by both instructors, Jeff Newburn (back end) and Mike Sweeney (front end).

The students then stood up and presented a brief overview of their individual projects.

The students were as follows:

Each student was bright, articulate, and well-spoken. What really struck me was how each project truly followed the student’s individual passion.

Melody worked for an artist for a number of years, and she has a real love for art. Her project allows users to track their favorite artists and discover new works by both their favorite artists as well as artists with similar styles. Her project was especially impressive in it’s visual design (to be expected given the subject matter, but still excellent nonetheless). The design was sleek, fluid, and aesthetically pleasing. If you’d like to see for yourself, hop on over to http://myartbook.herokuapp.com/.

Darion is a coffee aficionado. His site allows users to find, rate, and share information about their favorite coffees and where to obtain them. I typically hesitate to describe people’s projects as “the X of Y” but in this case, it seems appropriate to call Darion’s project the laser-focused Yelp of coffee, but on steroids. The idea, not the coffee.

 

Josiah is a gamer. His idea is rooted in his own experience, and one he has seen commonly in video gaming. Many games have levels that are difficult to beat, even with high levels of repetition. There’s often a trick to a given level, or occasionally a user gets stuck and misses a simple solution. Josiah’s website allows users to pair up to assist each other with a given game.

 

* – Although this was nominally a back end class to teach Java, the students were also taught front end (HTML, CSS, and Javascript). Normally, front- and back-end classes run at the same time and students pair up for their projects. For this cohort, there was no front-end class, so the back-end students had to do the entire project themselves. Rest assured that these did not look like unfinished front-end or poorly styled projects. Instead, the students took this challenge on full force and did a wonderful job.

Disclaimer: I am on the Board of Advisors for The Iron Yard Las Vegas.

March 5, 2017 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

#VegasTech changes name to #TechVegas

NEWS BULLETIN – APRIL 1, 2016 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Effective immediately, #VegasTech has changed its name to #TechVegas.

“We felt there was too much confusion with the old name and wanted to freshen the brand a bit,” said Rick Duggan. “Instead of being primarily about Vegas, the new brand is primarily about Tech. The old brand started with Vegas, the new brand starts with Tech. Get it?” he continued.

Commented Nigel Tufnel, “It’s just like VegasTech, only it’s TechVegas.”

You may see that this change will take a while to take effect. New letterhead is on order, and a team of graphic designers is working on redesigning the #VegasTech logo. The leading candidate for the redesign moves the word “Tech” before the word “Vegas” but some feel the kerning of that design is not quite up to snuff. In addition, new fonts, such as Comic Sans, are being considered. Stay tuned to this blog for updates when the new logo is revealed.

April 1, 2016 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

FundingPost Pitch Event @ Innevation Center

Hey #VegasTech community (especially early stage companies). FundingPost, a nationwide organization that connects investors and entrpreneurs, is hosting an event at The Innevation Center on March 3, from 10am to 4:30pm. If the FundingPost name sounds familiar, they ran a few events in Las Vegas a while back. They are now operating under a new regional director, Scott Kelly, and plan to run several events this year.

Scott and I had a chance to connect at CES, and I was able to learn more about FundingPost and their approach. While the event does charge an admission fee, I learned that they do not profit from this fee, but merely use it to subsidize travel for the investors they bring in. Given the size of the Vegas market and the number of local investors, I think we can all understand how important it is to expose our local tech companies to outside investors.

The event will be a fantastic opportunity to solidify and test out elevator pitches, network with more than 100 entrepreneurs and investors, and find out what it takes to raise capital for early stage companies.

Regional Manager of FundingPost, Scott Kelly, commented, “We are thrilled to host this event at the Innevation Center. Nevada has a great entrepreneur ecosystem and we look forward to showcasing many of the state’s best companies to investors from throughout the country.”

Like all FundingPost events, the Las Vegas roundtable is expected to not only sell out, but also lead to many success stories. The significance of the Las Vegas conference is to educate entrepreneurs on raising capital, growing their businesses, and helping the local economy build the companies of the future.

Entrepreneurs, startups, investors can register online via http://www.fundingpost.com/breakfast/reg1.asp?event=353

For more information, please contact Scott directly at scott@fundingpost.com.

February 12, 2016 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

Grand Opening of The Iron Yard Las Vegas

Tonight, The Iron Yard held a grand opening for their new Las Vegas campus. After a soft opening in June, they started by holding Front End Engineering and Data Science courses (taught by two very qualified instructors, both of whom happen to be friends of mine — Chase Adams and Jeff Newburn).

In what I think is a new milestone for the #VegasTech community, Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of the City of Las Vegas, attended the grand opening, participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony, and delivered an official proclamation declaring today, August 19th, as The Iron Yard day.

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For our tech community to get that kind of positive attention from a politician tells me we’re doing something right. Four years ago, it would have been inconceivable to think a mayor would attend anything we were doing — we were just too small at that point. But through a huge collective effort (you know who you are — heck, if you’re reading this, you’re probably part of that effort) we have been able to grow a pretty vibrant community.

Full disclosure: I’m on the Board of Advisors for the Las Vegas branch of the Iron Yard. Regardless, I think it’s pretty cool the mayor came out to support the #VegasTech community.

August 19, 2015 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

The Hackathon of Outlandish Things

Hey #VegasTech, you should go to this hackathon based on the name alone! Only 8 more hours to register for The Hackathon of Outlandish Things, a hackathon that gives a prize for “Most Outlandish Idea”! One of the rules is “Build something ridiculous!” so you know it will be fun.

Register here: http://bit.ly/1KUe3AE.

August 7, 2015 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

#VegasTech merger — separate companies no longer “a thing”

As everyone knows, the #VegasTech community has always been tightly connected and integrated. Some of you may remember SXSW 2013, where the #VegasTech community attended as a unified group, showcasing both the overall community as well as some individual companies.

This year, I’m pleased to announce that the numerous companies that make up #VegasTech have agreed to a 273-way merger. A merger of this size has never been contemplated before in the history of the modern corporation, so chalk up another first for #VegasTech. Although the list is too long to name every single company, that’s thankfully no longer necessary. In short, what has happened is that every single tech startup within a 50 mile radius of downtown Las Vegas has agreed to be called, in the future, simply #VegasTech (yes, with the hashtag). No longer will you have to remember the name of the individual company, you’ll just be able to go to the vegastech.com website and view all of the offerings in one place.

When John and I started this blog four years ago, our goal was to create a list of every Vegas startup. Fortunately, the aforementioned merger now makes this task trivial. There is now one tech startup in Las Vegas, and its name is #VegasTech.

April 1, 2015 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

Ask The Experts! A #GITLV Panel Discussion

Hi #VegasTech and Friends. I wanted to get the word out on an event coming up next Monday, March 23rd. The discussion is on some soft skills that often get overlooked, but actually are a key part of a successful career.

ASK THE EXPERTS! #GITLV Discussion Panel
Monday, MARCH 23RD
6:00PM – 7:30PM
WORK IN PROGRESS

Communication & Conflict Management Discussion Panel

Have you ever wished you could be better at having difficult conversations in personal and professional situations? Please join our panel of experts for a discussion on Communication & Conflict Management. Get tips on how to increase your communication & conflict management skills in your personal life and your professional life.

Learn More About Our Experts By Clicking Their Name Below:

Mark Rowland, CEO – DTP Ventures and ROCeteer
Nancy Gabriel, Mediator – Mediation Around the Table
Lisa Ulshafer, Life Coach – Empowered Living

Moderator: Andrea Rishmawi, Executive Recruiter – FILD

The event schedule is as follows:

  • 6:15p – Christina Intro Girls in Tech and our moderator, Andrea
  • 6:20p – Discussion Panel
  • 7:00p – Questions
  • 7:15p – Event ends

Here are some topics the panel will cover (time permitting):

  • What has been the biggest conflict or obstacle (internal or external) that you have overcome and how did you overcome it?
  • What do you see as a really common conflict or communication barrier? What is something that might impede a person’s growth, but is commonly overlooked?
  • What are tips for standing up for yourself without coming across as too aggressive or too passive? (This could be in or outside of the workplace .)
  • What is a way that you can help offer unsolicited advice to someone who appears to be in a difficult situation, without being pushy? (Or do you feel it’s better to keep quiet unless they ask for your opinion/help?) Tell us about the people YOU go to for advice.
  • Harnessing your emotions: it’s really easy to harness your emotions when it’s passion or excitement or love or something similar. How can you effectively harness other (not so positive) emotions in a positive way?
  • If you could give 1 single piece of advice for communicating with grace and effectiveness, what would it be?
  • What does your ideal meeting look like? Do you send an agenda in advance? (Video Conference? Phone?) What length of time do you think meetings should be, and how often?
  • Do you think it’s more effective to figure out your own strengths as a manager or to identify how others needs to be managed?
  • Gender Communication: we all know that this is a hot topic right now, especially in tech. How do you deal with a situation in which you don’t feel comfortable about a situation or with someone’s behavior?
March 17, 2015 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

#VegasTech STEAM Education Sessions for East Career & Technical Academy

Hi All. Wanted to let you know about a great event being put on by the #VegasTech community this Friday.

Originate, a global digital product development and venture firm, will be hosting #VegasTech STEAM Sessions with East Career & Technical Academy students on February 27, 2015. The Innevation Center proudly sponsors the space where the event will be held.

“I am looking forward to moderating the panel that will include several members of the Las Vegas technical community, including John Hawkins from 9seeds and Jinger Zeng from Skyworks Aerial Systems,” said Rob Mallery, VP of Talent at Originate. “I think the 100 high school students in attendance will enjoy hearing personal stories of what it’s like to have a career in tech and the steps each of the panelists took to get where they are today. I’m excited to be a part of helping our finest young minds connect with some of our city’s best technical leaders!”

A recent economic development assessment by Brookings Mountain West finds the K­12 educational system in Nevada is underperforming and workforce skill level is low, yet the state possesses the fundamental economic assets to build the next Nevada economy.

“Our team listened to the presentation from Brookings Mountain West this past November,” said Rob Meadows, founder and CEO of Originate. “We were inspired to organize an event with the Clark County School District to bring high school students to our Las Vegas office at The Innevation Center to hear from local entrepreneurs, startup founders, and STEAM professionals about what it’s like to work in technology.”

Meadows is a product of the Clark County School District and graduated from Bonanza High School in Las Vegas. He went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in computer engineering and a master’s degree in computer science. In 2003, Meadows co­founded Lumitrend and was CEO of the company until its acquisition by Asurion in August 2006. In 2007, Meadows founded Originate and is partner and CEO.

“STEAM educational initiatives are at the forefront of Switch’s philanthropic efforts which is why we are thrilled to donate space at The Innevation Center for this important and exciting event,” said Adam Kramer, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for Switch. “When students get the chance to interact with the entrepreneurial minds that make up the VegasTech community, they will see first­hand how companies apply the fundamentals of traditional STEM learning with the Arts (STEAM) to build successful businesses that solve major problems.”

Originate hopes the event will excite and motivate East Career & Technical Academy sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the Electronic Technology and Information Technology Systems programs to continue to pursue STEAM­related fields post­high school.
“We organized three panels for the event,” said Jacqueline Jensen of Originate. “Panelists from the local tech community range from software developers at Originate, to local drone startup Skyworks Aerial Systems, to former NFL player turned startup founder Gerome Sapp. There will be participation from the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Foundation, VegasTechFund portfolio companies, UNLV graduates, and Startup Weekend Las Vegas organizers. The goal for the event is to introduce students to individuals in our community who are doing amazing things in technology, and allow them a space to ask questions about their future in their own studies.”

Please join me in thanking Originate and The Innevation Center for hosting and sponsoring this great event.

February 23, 2015 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

#VegasTech acquired by Google

Big news everyone: The #VegasTech community has been acquired by Google for $25 billion. In a stunning show of how quickly the community has grown, we are now seeing our first acquisition, and it’s a big one. Sure, the $16 billion WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook followed by their $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift seem like a big deal, but that’s nothing compared to the coup we just scored.

According to Larry Page, “The #VegasTech community has grown by leaps and bounds since 2011, and we felt like we should get in now before it gets bigger than Google. This was, frankly, our only chance to make this acquisition, and we’re pleased we were able to do so.”

According to a Google spokesperson, they plan to keep #VegasTech headquarters in Las Vegas, but may open satellite offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York.

April 1, 2014 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

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