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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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CEO Bootcamp with Jerry Colonna

Comments (5)

It’s really hard to be a CEO. Becoming a great CEO takes a lot of time, work, focus, coaching, and introspection.

My very close friend Jerry Colonna is hosting his second CEO Bootcamp from April 2 – April 6. Several CEOs from the Foundry Group portfolio went last year and each had an amazing time. This year I’m going to be attending as a special guest and participating throughout the four day program.

I’ve learned an enormous about from Jerry over the past 20 years.  We first met in 1994 when I was a chairman of NetGenesis. Jerry had recently invested in a company called eShare, which ended up buying a product called net.Thread (one of the first, if not the first, threaded discussion group system – which was written in Perl) from NetGenesis. I joined the eShare board as part of the deal and a very deep friendship and working relationship ensued.

When Jerry told me about the first CEO Bootcamp a year ago I encouraged a number of CEOs in our portfolio to attend. Each one came back saying some version of “it changed my life”, which wasn’t really a surprise to me knowing Jerry but was a strong positive affirmation of the experience.

This year, when Jerry told me the dates for CEO Bootcamp and asked me to spread the word, I asked if I could come and participate. It’s in Colorado at an awesome place called Devil’s Thumb Ranch so I can drive to it and is a topic that’s front of mind for me given my relationship with the various CEOs in our portfolio.

I try hard to develop a deep personal relationship with the CEOs I work with. I’ve written in the past about Being Vulnerable and think it’s one of the most important qualities of a leader. As Jerry says so well in the overview of the requirements for attendees, “you may be tired, but you must be vulnerable, curious and courageous.” The full list of requirements follows:

  • You’re the CEO of a tech start­up that has employees.
  • This is the first time you have been a CEO within a company of this scale.
  • You’ve logged immeasurable hours and have made tremendous sacrifices.
  • You’ve had success with your company. You realize there is more to this game than “success.”
  • You may be tired, but you must be vulnerable, curious and courageous.

I’m planning on participating in the entire event. The agenda is still being finalized, but the current plan is for me to do a joint talk with Jerry on Friday, fireside chats with Jerry on Friday and Saturday, and hikes after the main sessions.

I know two of Jerry’s three partners in this endeavor and think Sam Elmore and Ali Schultz are dynamite. To be clear, I’m volunteering my time and participating – this is Jerry, Sam, Ali, and Michael’s gig so I’m going to do whatever they want me to – or not to – do.

Registration is open until 2/9/14 at midnight MST. 20 CEOs will be accepted. I hope to see you there.

  • http://is.linkedin.com/in/balakamallakharan Bala

    I have applied for this year. Looking forward to see if I make the cut. I feel really bummed that I could not go last year. It is a bonus to have you participate :)

  • Matthew Bellows

    I went to the first CEO Bootcamp with Jerry last October. I highly recommend the experience if you want to get into deep issues around achieving personal, team and company potential. Learning from the other CEOs was as amazing as Jerry and the other teachers. Please email me if you want to chat 1:1 about it.

  • http://www.infomous.com/ Scarlett

    This event sounds amazing! Unfortunately, I’m not the CEO, just the second in command. Do you have any suggestions for similar camps for executive teams?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Sorry – I don’t know of anything similar.

  • http://matellis.com/ Mat Ellis

    I was at the bootcamp with Matthew. It was an amazing and enriching experience. I can strongly recommend it for any business leader who wants to get better at being a leader. Jerry and his team are amazing.

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