Brad's Books and Organizations

Books

Books

Organizations

Organizations

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.

« swipe left for tags/categories

swipe right to go back »

Startup Summer – Applications Close 2/28

Comments (8)

It’s a daily occurrence that a college student emails me asking how they can get involved in the Boulder startup community or any startup ecosystem. This gets me both excited and sad – excited that another young soul is ready to put their energy into the fray and sad that opportunities for them to do so are not readily available or visible to them.

For those students looking to get involved in Boulder and in Denver, I always point them towards Startup Summer, a program out of Startup Colorado.

I like to describe the program as a 10-week immersion program into this startup community. Just as being complete immersed in a culture is the best way to learn that culture’s a language, being immersed in a startup community is, well, the best way to be a part of that startup community. The program does this through placing a cohort of students at various startups as an internship region, giving these students exposure to the top entrepreneurs and mentors, and providing a set of crash courses on entrepreneurship that allows the students to truly understand the discourse. A sample of companies participating are GnipTeamSnapSendGrid, and Revolv. You can find the full list here.

Startup Summer is in its third year. For the first time, there will be two programs – one in Boulder and one in Denver. All the internships are paid. Application close on February 28, 2014 - go get the last few positions while you can.

Oh, and if you’re a company in Boulder or Denver that wants to participate, ping me at brad@feld.com and we’ll see if we can fit you in this year. If not this year, then the next.

Talking About Failure

Comments (42)

Startups fail. That’s part of the natural entrepreneurial cycle.

A great post is making the rounds from an entrepreneur who has 30 days left before he hits the wall. His blog - My Startup has 30 Days to Live – promises to be a powerful one, at least for 30 days. I’m only sad about two things: (1)  It’s anonymous and (2) There are no comments so it’s one way.

I left a message on “Ask me anything” asking him/her to reach out if I can help. We’ll see if he/she responds – or it’s either (a) a one way rant or (b) a fake failure story.

Either way, entrepreneurs need to talk about failure. It’s fine – I’ve failed at a ton of things. On Monday, I gave my “How To Fail” talk at Techstars Boulder. Included were all the Startup Summer students as well as a bunch of members of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado. I told the story of my first failure (my first company – Martingale Software) and my biggest failure (Interliant). I made some broad points and then did an hour of Q&A.

I hope it was useful.

I see entrepreneurs, especially first time entrepreneurs, in denial all the time about the possibility of failure. “Failure is not an option”, or “I’m afraid to fail”, or “Everything is going great” (when it isn’t). Sometimes failure is your best option.

Denial of reality – and what you can do – is a big issue. Ignoring reality until it’s too late is another. Not reaching out for help when there is still time is yet another. Fear of failure – which is the mind killer  – is yet another.

In one of my darkest moments of Interliant, I was sitting hunched over at the kitchen table of one of my co-founder’s (Len Fassler) – breakfast table. We had a brutal day in front of us and I was waiting for him to finish getting dressed so we could head to the office to deal with things. When he came into the kitchen, he saw me and said “C’mon Brad – suit up – let’s go.” He patted me on the back in the wonderful way he always does and said “Just remember – they can’t kill you and they can’t eat you.”

Follow My Startup has 30 Days to Live. Learn from it. And if the entrepreneur uncloaks, let’s try to help, even if it’s just providing emotional support.

Startup Summer Colorado

Comments (9)

One of the fun projects I am involved with is Startup Colorado, a community focused initiative to spur new company creation in Colorado.  One of Startup Colorado’s most promising projects is Startup Summer.

Startup Summer is an immersive summer program offering the opportunity to work as a paid intern for a Boulder/Denver startup and attend a variety of evening events, including a weekly seminar series on entrepreneurship.  We are looking for students at any four-year college or university in Colorado who are aspiring entrepreneurs and want to participate in a program that could change their lives.  If you know a Colorado college student who would want to participate, tell them to apply to Startup Summer:

The idea is simple: work as an intern by day for a great startup, then participate in a variety of evening events that will give you great exposure to the basics of entrepreneurship, including substantive classes on issues that entrepreneurs face, as well as various social events.  As an added layer of fun and relationship building, we’re expecting Startup Summer interns to live together in CU housing in Boulder.

Startup Summer offers a great experience, including:

  • A paid ten-week internship with a Boulder/Denver startup; the internship will include frequent interaction with the company founders and management team
  • The Startup Summer Seminar Series featuring prominent entrepreneurs teaching classes on entrepreneurship
  • A weekly social event with business leaders in the community
  • A community with your peers in Startup Summer through group housing in Boulder
  • An end-of-summer competition with an opportunity to win mentorship from some of Boulder’s finest entrepreneurs and investors

I think this program has the potential to open up high growth entrepreneurship to a wider range of Colorado students than has been possible before. If you are a student at any four-year college or university in Colorado, check it out.

Startup Summer In Boulder

Comments (16)

If your company is interested in joining Startup Summer, please email me and I’ll get you plugged in.

Startup Summer, a new program from Startup Colorado, will bring hard working, passionate college-age entrepreneurs to Boulder to work as summer interns for startup companies. We are looking for a total of 30 Boulder-based early-stage companies to participate as we are going to try to accomodate 30 students from around Colorado in the first year.

In exchange for free housing in CU-Boulder campus dorms, Startup Summer interns will spend the summer in Boulder interning with companies, learning about the world of startups, and building entrepreneurial business skills. We will hold a “meet the applicants” Startup Summer Speed Dating Night in the spring of 2012. At Speed Dating Night, a pre-screened pool of intern applicants will attend an open networking event in which companies will meet the various applicants in rounds of short interviews. Afterwards, Startup Summer coordinators will match company preferences with applicant preferences to match interns with companies.

Throughout the summer, interns will work during the day at the company that hires them; in the evenings, they will attend various dinners, events, and workshops. At the end of the summer interns will go through a TechStars-like Pitch Night during which any company can come hear their pitch about “what I learned about starting a business” which has the subtext of “why you should hire me as your next employee.”

We are looking for the first 25 startup companies who will commit the following to the entrepreneur interns:

  1. A decent summer wage (suggest between $10-$15/hr);
  2. An intern position with a supervisor/manager who will commit to constructing a meaningful position and spending at least an hour per week supervising;
  3. At least an hour every other week, but preferably every week, with you and the other company founders talking about the entrepreneurial experience, the lessons you’ve learned and answering the questions they’ll be bringing from their evening activities;
  4. Ideally a few hours during the summer with the person accountable for fundraising to teach the experiences of fundraising; and
  5. Ideally attendance at the summer-ending Pitch Night with a few words of introduction of the intern.

In return, Startup Summer will commit to you:

  1. The selection of the most passionate young would-be entrepreneurs in Colorado
  2. Transportation to Boulder and housing
  3. Immersive intern education at night with sessions including “entrepreneurs unplugged”, “topic of the week”, “peer sharing”, “company field trip” and a variety of other evening sessions.
  4. A process whereby you have input on the selection of your intern

Startup Summer is organized and run by Tim Enwall, David Hose, and David Mangum; it is one of multiple projects being developed by Startup Colorado, an initiative to spur new company creation and entrepreneurial spirit throughout the Colorado’s Front Range. Startup Summer has hired a CU student, Eugene Wan, as a Program Coordinator to assist with logistics relevant to applicant recruitment, initial application processing (vetting applicants for Speed Dating Night), intern move-in, and intern activities during the summer. Although certain skill sets like computer programming might be particularly valuable, Startup Summer is designed to be open to any student with demonstrated passion, dependability, and learning ability.

Companies such as Tendril, SendGrid, Rally, Integrate, Gnip, Orbotix, Trada, Next Big Sound, LinkSmart, Standing Cloud, Sympoz, NewsGator, and TechStars have already committed so you’ll be in good company.

If your company is interested in joining Startup Summer, please email me and I’ll get you plugged in.

Build something great with me