Member Spotlight: Artifact Uprising Grew 3X Thanks to Galvanize’s Community Connections


While working as professional photographers, sisters Jenna Walker and Katie Thurmes noticed so many of the moments and memories they were capturing were being left behind – on cell phones, hard drives, jump drives. They wondered what stories are being forgotten…or worse, never even told. Together, with Jenna’s husband Matty, they pooled their creativity and began iterating a product that would fill this gap in the photography market making it easier and faster to take photos from your device and into your life. From this, Artifact Uprising was born.

Within 9 months of launching Artifact, Jenna, Katie and Matty quickly realized they had a lot to learn about tech in order to succeed. They saw that Galvanize was quickly becoming Denver’s premier tech hub, and joining our community was an obvious choice for gaining access to knowledge and resources in the tech industry.

Their team started in the unassigned, flexible desk area because there was great energy. “The [desks] established a great culture and pace of DOING, which is what we wanted for our team in the early days. We were hesitant to leave that area,” Jenna Walker said. It was in the unreserved desks that they launched their App, armed with a white board to tally how many users downloaded it that first day. The momentum took off and Artifact was ready to grow.

From the unreserved desks, they took a suite, giving their team a consistent place to store their growing product collection and hold meetings. The Galvanize model provides options for flexible growth, giving community members the opportunity to adjust according to their needs.

“We needed a [community] where we could [grow], ask for help and expand our network of mentors around us. Being in the [Galvanize] community enabled that process and made it a casual conversation. Access to that help is much easier [here],” says Jenna. They leveraged not only mentors but serendipitous relationships with other community members who could help them with marketing, sales and establishing a strong tech foundation. In 2014, they saw triple-digit growth and their team went from 4 to 15.

Planning for 2015, they were early in the process of fundraising for future growth and had no intentions of selling the company. Shortly thereafter, they were approached by the founders of the Visual Supply Company, based in Oakland, CA.  “We could not have had the insight and confidence to make the decision to join VSCO without turning to these perspectives and relationships rooted in the Galvanize community. We knew our path ahead – and we knew the one with VSCO was just extraordinary.”

In early January, Artifact and VSCO officially announced the acquisition.

“The acquisition is really just the beginning of our journey to build one of the greatest creative companies of our time. We’ll put down strong roots in Denver to ambitiously grow our team around the world. We still view ourselves as a startup with an entire future ahead. We’re staying in Denver – it’s home. We really believe we can attract great talent here and not everyone is looking for an experience on the coast. We love the culture of work hard, play hard – it’s who we are and we aren’t willing to lose that.”

Artifact Uprising is an internet-based company that creates tangible products for digital photos. Driven by a mission to move stories off your device and into your life, this Colorado start-up is known for a product suite that is beautiful in both its minimalistic design and eco-friendly roots. Signature products include their instagram-friendly photo books whose interior pages are printed on 100% recycled paper and their collection of wooden products handcrafted with mountain beetle pine.