The Wright, School of Mines announce new partnership

The Wright Springs Forward with a New Home in Golden & an Expanded Open-to-the-Public Program May 1-3
GOLDEN (Feb. 13, 2018) – The Wright, a celebrated industry summit and award program recognizing outdoor-inspired innovative businesses, is set to present an expanded three-day program May 1-3, in its new home of Golden, Colorado.
The Wright is more than an industry showcase for innovation and outdoor lifestyle companies, states Chuck Sullivan, co-founder of Something Independent, the visionary team who handcrafts and produces The Wright. "The Wright is recognizing that unique breed of leader," he says. "The kind to bet on instinct over conventional wisdom. They're just out to do good work. Their work. They can be a little tough to corral, but for three days in May, we'll gather and celebrate their companies and their communities." 
For six years, The Wright held a cornerstone date on the fall calendar of not-to-miss outdoor industry events in Denver. "The shift to spring points to new and exciting happenings," says Sullivan. "For The Wright to put down new roots in Golden, a foothills community with the slogan – 'Where the West Lives' – and at Colorado School of Mines, a university dedicated to pioneering research that addresses the great challenges society faces today, speaks to much of what The Wright is all about: independent spirits, resilient communities and purposeful work."
Over the course of three days, The Wright convenes a cross-section of industry leaders, shedding light on the far-reaching impact of the outdoor-inspired entrepreneur on the economy and brand of the Rocky Mountain Region. A new series of open-to-the-public panel discussions and daily keynotes lead up to the much anticipated Award Night on Thursday, May 3 hosted in partnership with Colorado School of Mines. 
Each year, Something Independent embarks on a mission to assemble the new class of contenders. Twelve contenders for The Wright were selected from more than 125 peer-based nominations of innovative companies from five states in the Rocky Mountain region. In moving toward an expanded regional showcase, The Wright fielded nominations from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, opening the door for companies from outside of Colorado to be selected as official contenders for The Wright.
"This industry, its companies and their founders share a mindset. The Wright has convened these disruptive innovators and gritty, hard-working entrepreneurs who are inspired by the outdoors and celebrated their approach to work" says Luis Benitez, director, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industries. "We're proud of our Colorado companies, but we're all in this together. Something Independent, in bringing these stories from across the Rocky Mountain region into the public realm, provides a fresh lens and unique opportunity for all of us to connect and collaborate." 
Since its inception in 2010, The Wright has recognized nearly 100 companies, representing 26 towns across Colorado including Voormi of Pagosa Springs, South Main Co and Deerhammer Distilling from Buena Vista, Bonsai Design of Grand Junction, Icelantic Skis and Yeti Cycles from Golden, Big Agnes and Hala Gear from Steamboat Springs, Oskar Blues from Longmont (and Lyons), Rapidgrass Bluegrass Festival in Idaho Springs, Eldorado Climbing Walls in Boulder and Denver-based Flylow Gear and Topo Designs. 
"So often outdoor-inspired businesses are hatched from ideas shared around the campfire, on the river or over a whiskey," says Sullivan about The Wright. "These companies are set apart by their grit and determination. We, at Something Independent, were simply drawn to their work and desired to delve deeper into their stories, bring them together and celebrate their wins."
The 2018 contenders for the 7th class of The Wright are:
  • Alpacka Rafts, Mancos, Colo.
  • Green Guru Gear, Boulder, Colo.
  • The Hot Tomato, Fruita, Colo.
  • Mountain States Snowcats, Torrington, Wyo.
  • Powderhorn Resort, Mesa, Colo.
  • Rocky Mountain Underground, Breckenridge, Colo.
  • Sarabella Fishing, Denver, Colo.
  • Strafe Outerwear, Aspen, Colo.
  • Western Rise, Telluride, Colo.
  • Weston Snowboards, Minturn/Denver, Colo.
  • Wood's High Mountain Distillery, Salida, Colo.
  • Yeti Cycles, Golden, Colo.
The schedule of panels, keynotes and events will be announced later this month, and will incorporate both free and ticketed programs. Ticketed events will go on sale in March. For information about The Wright, visit
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For 2018, The Wright expands into three days of keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and events and will culminate with the much anticipated Award Night on May 3. For the first time, The Wright received nominations from five Rocky Mountain states, including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Twelve contenders have been selected and are now tasked with creating a 90-second video to tell their story that will debut at Award Night on Thursday, May 3 at Colorado School of Mines. 
Award Night, the signature event of The Wright, features the first-time public screening of 90-second videos produced and submitted by each of the contenders. As part of their selection into The Wright, each company is charged with conveying through video their vision, their mission and their inspiration. The debut of the contender videos is followed by the announcement of The Wright three finalists who take the stage together and face a rapid-fire Q&A session from a panel of judges. The judges in turn, are tasked with selecting the winner and presenting the $5,000 prize. For 2018, Award Night is being hosted in partnership with Colorado School of Mines at Lockridge Arena. 
Over the years, Something Independent (S|I) has come to see what 'real work' looks like and better understand the mindset that lies behind it - a disposition inherent to the Mountain West and the independent-minded men and women who carve their paths here. Through The Wright and other projects, Something Independent seeks to celebrate the industry and culture of the outdoors. 
May 1-3, 2018
Historically, The Wright has been a signature outdoor industry event in the fall. For 2018, The Wright moves to the spring with an expanded schedule of events beginning May 1 and culminating May 3 with the Award Night.
New for 2018, The Wright program and Award Night will move from Denver to the heart of downtown Golden, as well as to the campus of Colorado School of Mines. 
"Golden was founded over 150 years ago by entrepreneurs with adventurous spirits, and it continues to attract like-minded people today; from miners, brewers, ski and bike manufacturers, to scientists and engineers," says Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan. "They share a sense of determination, a desire to innovate, and a love for the outdoors. The Wright represents all of these great things, and we are excited to host this unique summit and award program here in Golden, and to join in the discussions and celebrations for our community of outdoor-inspired innovators and entrepreneurs."
"Reflected in The Wright and in the companies it recognizes are the core principles of entrepreneurship and examples of innovation in action," says Werner Kuhr, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Colorado School of Mines. "The Wright presents an exciting opportunity for our students and our greater community to connect with innovative businesses and leaders who emphasize the same work-ethic, problem-solving abilities and collaborative focus valued here at Colorado School of Mines." 
Amy Kemp, Mountaintop Media | 970-331-7362 |
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3361 |
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.