Entrepreneurship in Boulder in 2009

2008 was a fantastic year for entrepreneurship in Boulder.  While the VC firm I’m part of (Foundry Group) invests nationally, the partners have made a deliberate decision to live and work in Boulder.  As a result, we believe it is our responsibility to participate actively in Boulder’s entrepreneurial community.  I’ve been living here since 1995 and have seen and helped Boulder evolve into a serious entrepreneurial hub, as written about by my friend Ben Casnocha in his article Start-Up Town in The American Magazine.

There are many people that are now engaged in the Boulder entrepreneurial community in a wide variety of ways.  I believe that entrepreneurship and innovation are the fundamental drivers of long term economic growth in the United States and have dedicated my work life to this area.  Even thought no one really knows what the 2009 holds for us, I’m hopeful that the entrepreneurial energy and momentum that has been generated in Boulder over the past few years will continue strongly in 2009.

To get us started, Andrew Hyde put up two posts that are relevant to all Boulder-based software and Internet entrepreneurs.  The first is HackSpace at TechStarsOn January 15th at 5pm, the TechStars space (the Bunker) will be opened up for anyone to come hang out and hack together.  If you know where the Bunker is, just show up.  If you need more info, drop Andrew an email at andrew {at} startupweekend.com.

Also up on the Boulder is for Startups site, Andrew has a post titled Boulder Jobs.  If you are a company in Boulder that is hiring, drop Andrew a note (andrew {at} startupweekend.com).  If you are looking for a job, drop him a note also.  Look for a steady evolution of a local job site that builds off of the very successful Boulder Job Fair event a few months ago.

  • http://www.bearonbusiness.com Dan Caruso

    Like Brad and his gang, I also want to see Boulder evolve into a serious entrepreneurial hub. Through Zayo, Envysion, and NGT (and through angel investments in datAvail and Lanx), I hope to make a small contribution to Boulder's evolution. A goal of 2009 is to strengthen the ties between CU and the companies that I am involved with.

    Brad–thanks for providing the leadership in this area.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      Dan – you have had and continue to have a great impact on the local scene! Keep it up. Let’s do something together in 2009.

  • http://mattwilson.tv @MattWilsontv

    I've only been once, but defintely think boulder is an awesome place to start a biz. I hope we can get some meetups going at Under30CEO. If anyone knows anything about the CU e-ship scene let me know!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      There are loads of things happening at CU. A simple google search will show you some – see http://bit.ly/Fb7O.I’d be happy to connect you if you want – just drop me an email.

  • Brad Bernthal

    This post is a great way to start 2009. A few additional comments to Brad's reply re CU & Entrepreneurship:

    (1) Robert Reich of Oneriot has done a phenomenal job in building up the New Tech Meet Up (http://www.silicon-flatirons.org/initiatives.php?… The Meet Up is hosted on the first Tuesday of the month by the Silicon Flatirons Center at Colorado Law School. It is exactly the kind of community/ university partnership that works well, and is easy point of entry for those looking to be involved in the tech start up scene. Next Meet Up is Tues Jan 6.

    (2) More broadly, while challenges exist and work remains to be done, things are trending the right way at CU concerning entrepreneurship. Specific to technology, the Silicon Flatirons Center (where I lead entrepreneurship efforts) focuses on catalyzing IT-based innovation and start-ups across CU and in the Boulder/Denver area. (See our Initiatives page for a summary of these offerings — http://www.silicon-flatirons.org/initiatives.php?… Additionally, other entities at CU-Boulder are doing great things around entrepreneurship, including the Deming Center (in the Business School), ATLAS, eShip (in Engineering), and the Tech Transfer Office. Notably, we're all collaborating on a cross-campus competition — the New Venture Challenge (cunvc.org) — which is the capstone event for CU's first Entrepreneurship Week during the week of April 13, 2009.

    (3) Finally, Brad is being modest about Foundry Group's commitment to local entrepreneurial community involvement. At CU, no one is more actively engaged on a regular basis in promoting entrepreneurship. In addition to Brad's ubiquitous and effective involvement, Jason Mendelson has made a significant impact, especially in his time teaching teaching students and helping make things happen at the Silicon Flatirons Center. I know that Chris Wan also helps the Deming Center. While this undoubtedly omits other Foundry Group efforts at CU, in short, their impact is felt across campus and is a model for how committed individuals can help make a difference at the university.

    I'm pleased to follow up with individuals looking to connect to CU. My email is bradbernthal at gmail dot com

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