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Millennial Trains Project Comes to Denver

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Jeff Haessler

DU alumna is part of cross-country tour


A train filled with 26 millennials focused on making the world a better place through entrepreneurship and innovation rolled in to Denver’s Union Station this week. Their journey is taking them through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Milwaukee and Detroit. They’re part of the Millennial Trains Project, a showcase for young people dedicated to becoming the next generation of leaders.

For more than a week, the vintage train cars become home. Along their journey, participants are meeting with community and business leaders. Erik Mitisek, executive director of DU’s Project X-ITE and chief innovation officer for the state of Colorado, rode on the train from Grand Junction to Denver and met with the millennials in Denver.

He mentored the young innovators who are working on individual projects in each city. “These (projects) are everything from trying to change water filtration in countries that have the least amount of access to water, to really big ideas on how to drive inclusiveness around domestic violence and gun laws in the United States through changing public policy and it’s something the University of Denver is really excited to be behind,” Mitisek explains.

DU is really the hub of entrepreneurship within a collegiate environment

Ally Seeley DU Alumna

Ally Seeley is one of the millennials riding onboard the train. The University of Denver alumna graduated with a degree in electronic media arts and design. While in Denver on Monday, she met with Roy Katz and Tanya Fleisher, founders and owners of canvas- and leather goods company Winter Session. She selected the local company, she says, because Katz and Fleisher are innovators and a staple of the small business community in Denver. “They’re transforming the way we think about local products and also how to deliver those products to consumers with a storefront that is right behind their actual work space and their manufacturing space.”

Seeley is interviewing entrepreneurs she meets along her journey for her podcast, “On the Rails.” “People can really get an immersive experience online of what these founders are about,” Seeley says.

Seeley says her experience at the University of Denver was amazing, and the support she gets as an alumna is incredible. “[It’s great] to have your alma mater say, ‘What you’re doing matters,’ and to be a part of that as well. DU is really the hub of entrepreneurship within a collegiate environment, and it’s great to see that they’re supporting people outside of (the student experience) and want to champion the whole Denver community in entrepreneurship.”