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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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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.

Kauffman Sketchbook: Where Do Entrepreneurs Get Their Money?

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My friend Paul Kedrosky – who spends some of his time as a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation – has a thoughtful short video (as part of the Kauffman Sketchbook series) on where entrepreneurs get their money. While it’s easy to get confused and think that VCs are the center of the financing universe, Paul reminds us that most entrepreneurial companies are funded by the entrepreneur’s savings, cash flow, credit cards, friends, and family.

It’s a creative three minute video with plenty of meat to it.

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