Startup Colorado, a regional initiative to spur new company creation across Colorado's Front Range, is publicly launching on November 9 at the Wolf Law Building at CU-Boulder. Affiliated with the Startup America Partnership, Startup Colorado will increase the breadth and depth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Colorado's Front Range.
The public launch event will include discussion from Startup Colorado's three chairs, Brad Feld, Jan Horsfall, and Phil Weiser, as well as speeches by White House CTO Aneesh Chopra, Startup America Partnership CEO Scott Case, and TiE Rockies President Vic Ahmed. Panelists also will include Simple Energy co-founders Yoav Lurie and Justin Segall, Next Big Sound co-founder Alex White, Philanthropiece founder and Executive Director Libby Cook, and ViaWest co-founder Nancy Phillips.
From Fort Collins to Boulder, from Denver to Colorado Springs, Startup Colorado's mission is to multiply connections among entrepreneurs and mentors, improve access to entrepreneurial education, and build a more vibrant entrepreneurial community. Startup Colorado's various programs will deepen the communal backdrop out of which new companies emerge. Vibrant new company creation, by extension, improves the broader economic base of Colorado. Our first year goals include:
1. Expanding new tech meetups, open coffee clubs, and community office hours in Fort Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs
2. Creating an entrepreneurial summer camp in Boulder (talented college students from throughout Colorado will work as interns for Boulder startups)
3. Support entrepreneurial education in the Front Range
4. Evaluate current barriers that entrepreneurs face, including an assessment of what best practices are in place at entrepreneurial communities around the US and world
5. Engaging larger companies in the entrepreneurial ecosystem through commitments to help entrepreneurs
6. Building the Startup Colorado website to be a user-friendly, thorough database for information and connections
Startup Colorado is chaired by Brad Feld, Jan Horsfall, and Phil Weiser; its Executive Director is Silicon Flatirons Fellow David Mangum. Startup Colorado is supported by Brad Feld, Steve Halstedt, Jason Mendelson, Silicon Flatirons Center, Silicon Valley Bank, and the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association. Startup Colorado has put together an initial Advisory Board of committed entrepreneurs. Members include:
Paul Berberian, CEO, Orbotix
Libby Cook, Founder and Executive Director, Philanthropiece
Tim Enwall, Co-Founder and CIO, Tendril Inc.
Steve Halstedt, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Centennial Ventures
David Hose, Managing Director, Ideas and Plans, LLC
Jason Mendelson, Managing Director, Foundry Group
Erik Mitisek, Co-Founder, Next Great Place
Nancy Phillips, Co-Founder and COO, ViaWest
Mike Weiner, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney
Led by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs
For an entrepreneurial initiative to be successful, it must be entrepreneur led. Startup Colorado is based entirely on the efforts of entrepreneurs; from our chairpersons to our individual project leaders, entrepreneurs are front and center in our efforts.
Building a sustainable and successful entrepreneurial community requires taking the long view. By working with entrepreneurs and building on grassroots connections, Startup Colorado is focused on supporting entrepreneurship in an organic fashion so as to develop an ecosystem that lasts.
Engaging the entire entrepreneurial stack
Over the long-term, Startup Colorado will focus on all levels of entrepreneurship: serial entrepreneurs, first-timers, would-be and wannabe. Only through engagement with all levels of the entrepreneurial scene in the Front Range will we build the long term viability necessary for sustained success.
Talent flow: the lifeblood of entrepreneurial community
For any entrepreneurial community to have long term vibrancy, it needs a continual influx of new talent, both from higher education and from industry. Startup Colorado is engaging with both educational institutions and established companies to ensure that new talent is continually exiting the system.
About the Startup America Partnership
The Startup America Partnership was launched at the White House in response to President Obama's call to celebrate, inspire, and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. The Partnership is bringing together an alliance of major corporations, funders, service providers, mentors and advisors working to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of high-growth enterprises in the U.S. AOL co-founder Steve Case chairs the Partnership and the Kauffman and Case Foundations are founding partners. American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., and Microsoft are sponsors. The Partnership will identify, measure and report on the effectiveness of cross-sector collaboration in support of entrepreneurial ventures and its effect on job creation and growth. For more information on the Partnership and to register as a Startup America Firm today, visit www.startupamericapartnership.org and follow at www.twitter.com/startupamerica and www.facebook.com/startupamerica .