Success depends on finding and connecting with the right people. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or an investor, however, finding the right investor or the right company is hard. In fact, it is too hard.
We wanted to do something to help the Colorado startup community make these connections. Something social, visual, and powered by the community. As part of the lead-up to the release of Brad Feld’s new book Startup Communities, and inspired by Represent LA’s mapping project, Brad partnered with the Silicon Flatirons Center and Startup Genome to develop a community-driven social startup map for Colorado.
The map can be found here: http://www.startupgenome.com/city/boulder-co
“A long list of communities around the country have tried to become ‘the next Silicon Valley.’ But very few have the mix of money, universities, a high-tech talent pool and appealing lifestyle needed to hatch tech start-ups. Boulder, however, has been luring tech industry veterans and young entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Manhattan with promises of a tech community that allows for lunch-break hikes in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.”
“The indefatigable Brad Feld and his TechStars colleagues will scale the mentorship-driven startup accelerator model to 15 independently owned and operated regional organizations. Over the next three years, the TechStars Network will ensure that 5,000 successful and experienced entrepreneurs and investors will mentor and support 6,000 promising young entrepreneurs, increasing their success rate tenfold and creating 25,000 new jobs by 2015.”
“Today’s Opportunity USA Start-Up City, Boulder, CO saw almost $2 Billion in VC funds invested in hundreds of Colorado-based between 2007 and 2009, essentially solidifying Boulder as a magnet for start-ups… the real buzz around town is the number of tech start-ups that call Boulder home. Meet Nate Abbott and Natty Zola, lifelong friends who both left Wall Street to globe trot and a year later returned to their native Boulder to start a travel site called Everlater. Launched a little over a year ago, they’re already venture-backed.”
“I really wanted to find was what was in the water that made Boulder the unlikely home to more entrepreneurs per capita than anywhere else in the world. To do that, I needed interviews. Typically these are a bit of a pain to get, but a simple email to my friend Elaine at Trada resulted in no fewer than 10 invitations only a couple of hours later. That fact is important — Boulder is a city where people want to help others succeed. According to Foundry Group managing director Brad Feld, it’s a city that doesn’t appear to believe in a zero-sum way of life.”
Companies including Ball Aerospace, Celestial Seasonings, Level 3 Communications, Noodles Inc. and White Wave all got started in Boulder, creating a culture of entrepreneurship that thrives today with organizations like TechStars encouraging more start-ups to develop right here every day.
Colorado is a state that naturally encourages entrepreneurship, as can be seen in the “Entrepreneurial by Nature” campaign that is dedicated to creating a unified movement across all ventures in the state.
Boulder’s dreadlock-friendly, left-leaning, free-thinking culture is a bit hard to explain. The running joke, according to Feld is that “this is where the hippies on their way out to the Bay ran out of gas.” Looking around the city, that’s not hard to believe. There is, however, an inordinate amount of financial success in Boulder and that success seems to cause new ventures to thrive…That sense of collaboration became a recurring factor over my next few days in Boulder. If Omaha was trying hard to do everything that Silicon Valley wasn’t, then Boulder was priding itself on offering what the Valley can’t. More here.