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Techstars was founded in 2006 by David Cohen, David Brown, Brad Feld, and Jared Polis. Those who have been around Techstars over the last decade have heard quite a bit about co-CEOs David Brown and David Cohen, Brad Feld, and others in the early cast of characters such as Nicole Glaros and Jason Mendelson. But, perhaps some of the Techstars community doesn’t know Jared Polis nearly as well. Before we get to some fun (and slightly embarrassing) photos and videos from the early days of Techstars, we want to tell you a bit about Jared.

Jared is a fantastic Colorado entrepreneur, who founded amazing companies including American Information Systems (sold in 1998), BlueMountain.com (acquired by Excite@Home in 1999 for $780M in cash and stock), and ProFlowers.com (which went public after being renamed to Provide Commerce and was subsequently bought in 2005 by Liberty Media for $477M).    

For the first year or two of Techstars, Jared was a regular super-mentor to the original Boulder accelerator classes. At this time, Jared was already a public servant and a member of the Colorado State Board of Education. Then, about two years into Techstars, in 2008, Jared was elected to Congress and we understandably started to see less of him around Techstars. He was re-elected to Congress four more times by Colorado voters in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Then, in 2018, Jared announced his run for Governor of the state of Colorado.

The three of us (David, David, and Brad) were thrilled for Jared and for the people of Colorado after he won this latest race and officially became Colorado’s Governor-elect just last week!

It’s always been exciting to have someone who truly understands the power of startups representing our country and now our state. To us, Jared’s service in government is an incredible expression of his lifelong #GiveFirst attitude.

We thought it was appropriate to offer our congratulations, but also toss in a small collection of Jared’s Techstars history below. So, from the bottom of our hearts: Jared, thank you and here’s to you!  

Boulder Daily Camera article announcing the creation of Techstars, January 2007. Photo courtesy Boulder Daily Camera.

Here’s the Denver Post article “How Techstars Was Born” with some nice embarrassing photos below of Brad, Jared, and David Cohen. David Brown knew better than to show up for this one. Photos courtesy of the Denver Post.

And Finally, circa 2007, Jared makes an appearance in the original marketing video for Techstars.


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David Cohen
(@davidcohen) Founder & Co-CEO of Techstars, previously founder of several technology companies. David is an active startup advocate, advisor, board member, and technology advisor who comments on these topics on his blog at DavidGCohen.com