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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Where I’ll Be At Denver Startup Week 2014

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This week is Denver Startup Week 2014. Seth, Ryan, and I are spending all day Thursday in Denver doing startup week stuff.

If you are looking for me, I’ll be hanging out all day at Basecamp, which is sponsored by Chase.

Following are the events I’m participating in.

8:00 – 9:00: Building Great Entrepreneurial Communities

1:00 – 2:00: Feld and Friends

2:00 – 4:00: Mentor Hours (special Foundry/Galvanize/Techstars Edition). People can sign up here (sorry – they don’t have this organized by day, just by mentor).

4:00 – 5:30: Practice Pitch with Techstars

5:30 – 7:30: Beers at Basecamp, Foundry/Galvanize/Techstars edition (Seth and Ryan only – I’ll be doing a talk at Condit about creating innovation spaces.)

I hope to see you sometime during the day.

Hang Out With Me and My Mom In Denver on Friday 11/1

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My mom (Cecelia Feld) is having an opening in Denver on Friday 11/1 at Artwork Network Gallery from 5pm – 9pm. I’m heading down to Denver at the end of the day on Friday and will be there from 5pm – 7pm before I head out for dinner (a good son has to eat, right?)

I love my mom’s art and if you’ve ever been in my office you’ve seen some of it around. If you aren’t familiar with it, a piece from the show is below or go check out her website at Studio 7310.

Springtime Suite 2

 

Artwork Network Gallery is located at 878 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 (303-388-7420). I hope to see you Friday night!

Startup Phenomenon, November 13th-15th in Boulder

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An event called Startup Phenomenon is happening In Boulder on 11/13 – 11/15. It gets to the heart of how startup communities are developed and I’d love to have you join me at it. If you register to come, use the code “feldfriends” for $100 off the $995 price.

You may have seen the recent Kauffman Foundation study that ranked Boulder tops among all cities in the U.S. in terms of tech-startup density. That Boulder was number one was interesting, but what’s more exciting is that there are so many emergent startup communities around the United States that it’s now worth ranking them.

Startup Phenomenon is designed to bring attention to these communities, from small towns to large cities, as we explore how this startup phenomenon works. We’ll cover topics including:

  • The Finance Chain: How VCs, angels, crowdfunding models, and all the rest fit together
  • Startup Kitchens: Transformative accelerators, incubators, and mentorship programs
  • Big data: New tools for measuring growth, investments, and economic activity
  • Networking models: The meetups that are truly improving the businesses of those who attend
  • Case studies: Entrepreneurs and investors who are building startup communities around the world
  • Culture: The major shift taking place away from hierarchical structures to collaborative networks
  • City governments: Why some are better than others at nurturing local startups
  • Corporations: How large, established companies can help startup communities
  • The silos: Biotech, food, the Internet of things, clean energy, and all the other sectors providing fertile ground for entrepreneurs and investors

On the third day of the conference we will provide a deep look into what’s going on here in Colorado. That Kauffman report of densest startup communities actually had four Colorado cities in the top 10 (Boulder, Ft. Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs.) And you may have seen that the New York Times recently dubbed Boulder “Silicon Valley for Ad Agencies.”

The speakers list is awesome. As a special treat, I get to interview Jim Collins author of Built to Last, Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall, and Great By Choice who happens to live in Boulder.

This will be a great opportunity for you to bring attention to your work and to learn about the entrepreneurs and investors who have come together around the world to build vibrant, open startup communities.

Boulder Is Hiring!

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It’s no secret that many companies in the Boulder/Denver area are looking for talent — there are dozens posted on the Foundry Group and Techstars job pages alone.

If you’re looking to meet some great Boulder companies looking for technical help in person, check out the Boulder Tech Job Fair Sept. 11 from 3-7 p.m. at the Boulder Chamber building, 2440 Pearl Street in Boulder.

A total of 13 companies are looking to fill more than 100 technical positions covering a wide variety of programming languages and ranging from entry-level positions to senior embedded engineers with 10 or more years of experience. These companies are interested in speaking with qualified applicants from not only Colorado’s Front Range, but from other cities as well. While most positions are based in the Boulder/Denver area, some companies are looking to fill openings in other cities.

Participating companies with immediate openings include:

  • Cardinal Peak
  • Coalfire
  • Confident Financial Services
  • FullContact
  • Gnip
  • JumpCloud
  • Kapost
  • Mocavo
  • Pivotal Labs
  • Rally Software
  • SendGrid
  • Quick Left
  • Simple Energy

For more information, applicants can visit BoulderTechJobs.biz where there are links to all participating companies, as well as more detail on the job fair and information about Boulder. Qualified applicants not able to travel to Boulder for the fair may also request Skype interviews with participating companies.

If you’re curious, stop by. You’ll meet some great companies and see just what a strong market Boulder/Denver is.

Built In Colorado

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A few weeks ago I did an event with Built In Denver where I interviewed Tim Miller and Ryan Martens, the founders of Rally Software, on their journey from a startup to a public company (NYSE: RALY). As part of the event – held at Mateo in Boulder – the gang from Built In Denver announced they were rebranding as Built In Colorado.

The attendance at the event was roughly 50% Boulder entrepreneurs and 50% Denver entrepreneurs.

The past two days the Colorado Innovation Network held it’s 2nd annual COIN Summit. As part of it, Governor Hickenlooper rolled out a new brand for all of Colorado, an effort led by Aaron Kennedy, the founder of Noodles & Co. The focus was on Colorado, not on Boulder, or Denver.

Powerful startup communities start at the neighborhood level. They then roll up to the city level. And then cities connect. Eventually it rolls up to the state level.

It’s a powerful bottom up phenomenon, not a top down situation. And inclusive of everyone. This is one of the key parts of my theory around Startup Communities.

When we started Startup Colorado in 2011 as part of the Startup America Partnership (now Up Global), the first of our six initiatives was:

Export the magic of the Boulder tech community to Fort Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs by expanding New Tech Meetups, Open Coffee Clubs, and Community Office Hours to these cities.

When I look at what is happening in Denver, and the connective tissue between Boulder and Denver, I’m incredibly proud of what has been accomplished in less than two years on this front.

When I see questions on Quora like Should I start my start-up in Boulder or Denver? and then read the answers, my reaction is “poorly phrased question” and “wrong answer!” It’s not an either / or – the two cities are 30 minutes apart. They are both awesome places to start a company. It depends entirely on where you want to live – do you want a big city (Denver) or a little town (Boulder). If you choose Boulder, when you reach a certain size, you’ll end up with offices in both like Rally and SendGrid.

I’m psyched that Built in Denver is rebranding to Built in Colorado. I’m going to spend most of the week for Denver Startup Week in Denver, and CEOs and execs from most of our portfolio companies are converging on Denver in the middle of the week for a full day session together.

You’ll note that we have deliberately named things like The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO) with “Colorado” in their name to be inclusive of all entrepreneurs in the state. And we we do things to celebrate the startup community, like The Entrepreneur’s Prom that EFCO and Cooley are putting on September 7th at the Boulder Theatre, we focus on the entire startup community.

Entrepreneurs Prom

Innovation and entrepreneurship is off the charts right now. Let’s make sure we work together to continue building a base for the next 20 years.

Build something great with me