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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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Senator Mark Udall Co-Sponsors The Startup Visa Act of 2010

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I’m extremely excited that Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), the senior senator for Colorado, has signed on as a co-sponsor of The Startup Visa Act of 2010 that was originally proposed by Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lugar (R-IN).  Senator Udall joins his Colorado colleague in the House, Jared Polis (D-CO), who has proposed Startup Visa legislation as part of his EB-5 reform bill.

In addition, our friends at SVB Financial (the parent of Silicon Valley Bank) have also formally endorsed the Startup Visa.  My partner Jason Mendelson wrote a post about a roundtable that Silicon Valley Bank hosted for members of “the new Democrat Coalition” which included Jared Polis.  Shortly after this meeting, SVB formally endorsed the Startup Visa.

I’m really proud that two of Colorado’s members of Congress are leading the charge on the Startup Visa.  I have deep respect for both Mark and Jared, their understanding of the importance of entrepreneurship, and their vision for innovation in our country.  I’m also grateful that SVB – which has been an integral part of the entrepreneurial activity throughout the US – for their support as well.

We are working on a few additional major announcements and endorsements in the next sixty days.  I’ve received a number of requests for ways to help.  At this point, if you are part of an organization that you think would be supportive of the Startup Visa, please drop me an email and let’s talk about ways to get a formal endorsement.

Silicon Flatirons Conference: The Role of Place: Entrepreneurial Immigration, Iteration, and Innovation

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On Thursday, March 18th (during CU Entrepreneurship Week) there is going to be a great Silicon Flatirons Conference on “The Role of Place”Brad Bernthal, who is chairing the conference, leads with a great quote from Harvard Professor and Monitor Group co-founder Michael Porter.

"Paradoxically, the enduring competitive advantages in a global economy lie increasingly in local things – knowledge, relationships, and motivation – that distant rivals cannot match."

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this personally given all my work around the Boulder entrepreneurial community, TechStars, Foundry Group’s investments in different parts of the US, and the Startup Visa initiative. 

I’ll be on the first panel titled Entrepreneurial Immigration Policy with Lance Nagel (partner in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ Labor and Employment Practice) and Vivek Wadhwa (Senior Research Associate, Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and an Adjunct Professor at the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering).  I expect we’ll get a good chance to cover plenty of ground, including several of the incredible immigrant entrepreneur loci and projects like the Startup Visa initiative.

The second panel is Place and Iteration: Lessons From Storage and includes several folks who have been involved in the Boulder “storage ecosystem” over the past 30 years, including Jesse Aweida (founder of StorageTek) and Kyle Lefkoff (general partner of Boulder Ventures, who has invested in several Boulder storage companies over the years including McData and LeftHand Networks).  Jim Linfield (partner at Cooley Godward, the founder of Cooley’s Colorado office, and counsel for a number of Colorado storage companies) will be anchoring the panel.

The third panel is Innovation and The Architecture of Geography and will explore broader lessons and insight concerning the role of place, regional architecture, and innovation.

Once again, my friends at Silicon Flatiron have put together a rich conference on a very important and timely topic.  It’s taking place at the Wittemyer Courtroom, Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado on Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 2:30PM to 6:30PM.  Register now and come join us.

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