Giving Back, Just as Boulder Needs It

In 2007 when I co-founded Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado with a bunch of folks our mission was to create wealth that we could give back to the community that has been the foundation for so many of our entrepreneurial endeavors. We envisioned that this would be a long term build, just like the creation of many of the  companies we are involved in. Over the last six years we’ve now generated gifts of over $500,000 that have gone back directly to our community, with the most recent one being from Intense Debate, a company that went through Techstars Boulder in 2007.

Today my friends from GoodApril, who went through the Techstars Boulder 2013 program, just gave $20,000 to EFCO to help with the victims of the massive Boulder-area floods. In addition, Eric and Kim Norlin from the Defrag Conference offered to give $250 to EFCO for everyone who register for Defrag this week.

I asked Mitch Fox and Benny Joseph from GoodApril to write up their thoughts on why they did this. It follows.

A month ago, the sun was shining in Boulder, Colorado as my co-founder, Benny Joseph, and I as we announced the biggest news of our lives.  Our startup, GoodApril, had been acquired by Intuit (maker of TurboTax) in the final days of the TechStars Boulder accelerator program.

In this last week, rain clouds have overwhelmed Boulder and several other Front Range towns.  We’ve been distressed by the devastation, and inspired by the Boulder community’s resilience.

While we were a part of the Techstars program, Benny and I pledged our support to the Boulder community through the Entrepreneurship Foundation of Colorado (EFCO), a program that enables startup founders to give back through the contribution of equity in their companies.  In light of the flood and its impact on Boulder, we have agreed to accelerate that gift.

Startups cannot succeed in a vacuum.  They are as much the product of the sweat and tears of their founders as they are of the mentors, customers, and investors that shape them.

This summer, we experienced the power and generosity of the Boulder community as we built GoodApril.  The Techstars program matched us with phenomenal local business leaders like Vijay Bangaru, JP O’Brien, and Brett Jackson, who helped us find both the strengths and weaknesses in our business plan.  We were welcomed into Boulder’s tech scene, and quickly connected with dozens of potential customers who shared their expectations and excitement for our product. As we progressed, the Techstars leaders, especially Luke Beatty, David Cohen, and Brad Feld, guided us through many tough decisions, including finally whether to accept Intuit’s acquisition offer.

We are extremely appreciative for what Boulder has given us, so we hope our donation to EFCO can help the community recover from this flood.

Thank you Boulder.  Here’s to seeing that sun shine again,

Mitch Fox and Benny Joseph
Co-Founders
GoodApril

  • http://www.startupmanagement.org/ William Mougayar

    Nicely done. Class act.

  • http://mitchellwfox.com/ Mitchell Fox

    Thanks for sharing our story, Brad! Benny and I can be reached at @bvj and @mitchellwfox on Twitter.

  • http://techleaders20.blogspot.com AlexHammer

    Brad, you, and Boulder, have built a very strong foundation, infrastructure and ecosystem. That is essential in times of challenge, in terms of resiliency and success.

    I am incredibly impressed with the seriousness of your focus and dedication to a sense of community, both in terms of Boulder and more broadly, and you are a major pillar of the resourcefulness that is experienced.

    Strength and leadership is demonstrated during times of challenge and it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows you that, once again, you are in the forefront in these areas.

    Individual communities can only do so much, and Boulder will require external assistance.

    We’re all in this together.

  • http://techleaders20.blogspot.com AlexHammer

    Of course kudos to Mitch and Benny as well!!

  • Rick Mason

    Brad you taught them well.

  • http://www.cornfedsystems.com/ Frank W. Miller

    I was interested before and this pushed me over the line! Registered.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yay!