Denver Entrepreneurs Pitch Obama At White House Demo Day

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Photo: Billy Griffin Tony Hatala Base Directory White House President Barack Obama Demo Day
Billy Griffin and Tony Hatala pose with President Obama after demonstrating their website, Base Directory, on the first ever White House Demo Day.

Two Colorado companies were in Washington D.C. this week to participate in the first-ever White House Demo Day. President Obama used the day to encourage innovation in the tech industry. Among the entrepreneurs asked to share their business ideas and personal stories was Billy Griffin, of Denver. He's developed Base Directory, a website and smartphone app that helps military families as they move from base to base. Griffin is a Navy veteran and his co-founder Tony Hatala is a Marine.

"One of the issues that we found is we move from base to base, which most military members do," Hatala told the president during their demonstration. "Sometimes government data is a little bit hard to find. We started pulling in information and making it a lot easier for people to find it."

Griffin spoke with Colorado Matters' host Ryan Warner.

A blurb about Base Directory from the White House website:

"When new troops arrive at a military base with no idea where to get a haircut or find an ATM, they load up the Base Directory app. Founded by two military officers who met on deployment, Base Directory helps service members and their families connect with resources on military installations After the initial launch of the app, co-founder Billy Griffin realized that, in order to take the company to the next level, they needed the technical know-how to maintain the app and build a new website. So he enrolled in Galvanize, a 12 week coding bootcamp that has made commitments to the TechHire initiative, where he learned the programming skills to succeed as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. The service saves people time and frustration by getting them the information they need in a quick and easy-to-use way. The company’s app and website provide a directory of locations, phone numbers, and even movie show times for U.S. military bases worldwide."