In Boulder, everyone seems to be somehow involved in at least one startup and/or training for their next triathlon. It’s definitely the perfect spot for either of these challenging undertakings. The sun shines practically nonstop, you’re surrounded by natural beauty, and there’s a palpable sense of excitement about startups in the air.
Boulder has developed a reputation for its distinctly “open door” nature and inclusive ecosystem. Everyone has something to contribute. There’s a true spirit of community, with everybody helping each other, giving back, making introductions and sharing information with others.
This unique approach certainly seems to be working, as the community has turned out some impressive startups. Trada is here, along with Rally,Gnip, Orbotix, RoundPegg, SendGrid, PivotDesk (I’m an investor in the latter four), and a slew of other successful companies. And the momentum continues to build.
Boulder is filled with resources for entrepreneurs. It’s the birthplace and home of my accelerator,TechStars, and it’s also home for many great VCs and angels. Along with individual investors, there are angel groups like Open Angel Forum and Boulder Angels, and VCs including Foundry Group, Access Venture Partners, Grotech and more. The Innovation Center of the Rockies and TiE Rockiesoffer support and guidance for startups. In addition, the University of Colorado-Boulder is part of the foundation of the entrepreneurial community, with the Silicon Flatirons Center, Graduated Entrepreneurs Association, StartupCU, and many other resources and projects related to entrepreneurship.
Besides being a social and interactive startup community, it’s just fun living here and being a part of it all. There’s always something going on, some opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs and make new connections. New Tech Colorado has more than 9,000 members, with hundreds attending the Boulder monthly meetups that fill up so quickly there’s always a waiting list. Then there are tons of other meetups and events including Boulder Open Coffee Club, Ignite Boulder, Mobile Monday, Boulder is For Robots, TEDx Boulder, Startup Weekend, and Entrepreneurs Unplugged.
I could go on and on. There’s just so much happening in Boulder right now and so much more on the horizon. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Boulder Startup Communityincludes links to groups, movements, events, organizations, accelerators, investors, resources and much more.
Boulder isn’t the only off-the-beaten-path startup community with lots of activity and momentum right now. Portland, Ore. is another community where plenty of big things are happening, including the Nike+ Accelerator and the PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment). You can check out more about Portland, Omaha and other startup hubs being covered this week on WSJ Accelerators.
This post recently appeared on The Accelerators at the Wall Street Journal, where startup mentors discuss strategies and challenges of creating a new business.