NewCo Boulder: Open House Tour of Innovative Companies in Boulder

Forget those business conferences with long speeches and boring panel discussions. On October 8, Boulder’s most innovative businesses will open their doors to the public to celebrate Boulder companies who drive the networked economy. NewCo Boulder is a city-wide event that takes you right into the corporate offices of 35 of the most innovative and successful companies around Boulder, offering attendees a tour rather than a company description packet.

At NewCo, attendees will sign up for a free pass to visit any of the participating organizations, from software companies, to restaurants, to non-profits and more. During the event attendees will check out the offices of the some of the most interesting and inventive companies around the city and take part in an interactive presentation about what each organization is doing to make an impact on the global landscape.

I am proud to serve on the Board of Advisors along side Kimbal Musk, Jane Miller, Brad Feld, Seth Levine, Larry Gold, Walter Knapp, and Sean Maher. Boulder’s NewCo team, Rich Maloy and Tim O’Shea, have pulled together an impressive group of organizations across a wide range of industries in the community.

It’s an opportunity to see what Boulder businesses are doing and where it actually takes place: offices, breweries, bakeries etc.  Attendees can learn from their strategies and executions, gain some insights from their successes, maybe even drop off a business card or resume. The event is open to everyone and it’s free for the Boulder community.

For more information on NewCo Boulder including the companies participating, please visit: http://bdr.newco.co

Have questions about NewCo Boulder 2014? Contact Rich Maloy, Engage Colorado: rich@engagecolorado.com

Want to work for a startup? Job fair on 8/27

The companies in the current Techstars class are hiring!  Practically every company is hiring at least one position (hey, do more faster, right?).

On Aug 27th, we’re doing a quick and dirty job fair.  It’s a chance for you to meet 13 great companies that are hiring right now.

Positions available include:

  • Designer (UI/UX)
  • Graphic Designer
  • Business Development
  • Growth Hacker
  • Account Manager
  • Inside Sales Person
  • Sales & Marketing Generalist
  • Sales Executive
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Intern
  • Marketing Director
  • Director or VP of Marketing (DOE)
  • Senior Developer
  • Junior Developer
  • Full-Stack Engineer/Generalist
  • Director or VP of Operations (DOE)
  • Operational/Organized Rockstar

If you’re interested in learning more or to RSVP – go here!

Techstars Boulder 2014 ALS Icebucket Challenge to Techstars Austin

Dear Techstars Austin Class of 2014.  Consider yourselves challenged.  That means you have 24 hours to either meet the challenge, or donate to ALS.  In fact, you should just donate anyway. Jason Seats, Brewbot, Burpy, Cloud66, Common Form, Experiment Engine, Fashion Metric, Free Textbooks , LawnStarter, NMRKT, Pivot Freight, & Smart Host!

With Love,

Techstars Boulder 2014

New to Boulder or the Boulder Tech Scene? Come say hi…

I’m often getting emails from people who are either new to Boulder, or just want to connect deeper with the Boulder tech scene.  In an effort to bring everyone closer together, we’re launching a Welcome To Boulder event series.  It’s only 30 minutes long, just long enough to have a quick drink, but you’ll be hosted by some of Boulder’s most connected individuals in tech, including myself, Seth Levine, David Cohen, Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson, Brad Berenthal, Robert Reich, Dan Caruso and others.  There will always be at least one of us there to answer your questions, introduce you to others, and point you towards great local resources.  And you can meet other like-minded people who are also launching their exploration into Boulder.  We want to be your welcoming committee!

If you’re interested in getting more connected to the Boulder tech scene, this is a great jumping off point.  Below is a list of upcoming events:

Monday, August 25th, 2014: 5-5:30pm – RSVP here  (yes! That’s next monday!)

Monday, Nov 17th 2014, 5-5:30pm – RSVP here

Monday, February 16th 2015, 5-5:30 pm – RSVP here

Monday, May 18 2015, 5-5:30pm – RSVP here

Huge shout out to Julie Penner who’s spearheading the organization of this.  If you don’t know Julie, you should.

Also, if you’re new to the scene, check out the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Boulder’s Startup Community. It’s a great resource.

 

 

 

Running Lean Workshop in Boulder

One of the best lean processes for startups I’ve used is Ash Maurya’s Running Lean.  It’s wonderful in how tactical and practical it is, and I’m excited to announce that he’s personally coming to Boulder on Aug 27-28 to run a 2 day workshop on the method.

I couldn’t recommend the workshop enough, in fact, I think it’s so important, that I’m thrilled to give you a 30% discount if you attend.  Enter code TECHSTARS.  Sign up today, it will sell out!  (And thanks to my friends @Galvanize for hosting!)

CatalyzeCU’s Demo Day is July 31st

I’ve been watching CU’s entrepreneurship ecosystem really evolve over the last 5 or 7 years.  It’s a grassroots efforts, led in part by the students, and in part by passionate faculty within CU.  For instance, Brad Berenthal’s efforts over at Silicon Flatirons have become a staple in the entrepreneurship community.  The Spark Boulder co-working space is thriving with young student entrepreneurs.  And the New Venture Challenge is producing some great companies, including many who made it to the final rounds of Techstars.  In fact, Varsity, one of the winners, has recently been accepted to Techstars (expect a blog post on that one!)

If you’re going to be in Boulder at the end of July, and want to catch a glimpse of the fun stuff happening at CU, you’re in luck.  Catalyze CU is throwing their first-ever Demo Day on July 31st from 6-8pm.  Make sure to check out the companies, and get your tickets before they’re gone!  And keep your eye on CU – the entrepreneurial groundswell is picking up some serious steam.

Bawte to manage my stuff


photo1When it comes to the stuff in my home I’ve bought over the years, I’m the annoyingly organized about it.  Everything from that Ikea dresser to our TV to the garbage disposal we just replaced, I have an entire drawerful of assembly instructions, instruction manuals, warranty cards, and more.  You know how many times I’ve had to go sorting through that drawer to find something?  Barely ever.  But the rare occasion when I have, I’ve been incredibly thankful that I’ve saved them.  But that drawer takes up valuable real estate in my home.

photo2Earlier this year, when browsing for cool new products on Product Hunt, a company called Bawte jumped out at me.  Bawte is an app that lets you inventory your stuff then saves the product manuals and warranty cards automatically and digitally.  Adding a product is pretty easy, simply take a picture of the UPC code (or hand enter the product in), and viola.  Inventoried.  You can even take a picture of the receipt, which could come in handy when having to deal with warranty or product support.  I think the app can also come in handy in case of insurance claims – proof of the stuff you bought!  Anyway, I began chatting with founder John Jackovin, we developed a great relationship over time, and he ended up applying to Techstars.  Today I’m honored to have him included in this year’s class.

We’re working on improving workflow and the ease of adding products to your personal inventory.  Download the app today and give Bawte some feedback!

Angel investors in CO might get a tax credit

Angel investors in CO who invest in tech (and a few other growth industries) might be able to get a tax credit for their investment.

You have to apply for the tax credit within 90 days of making the investment, there are only $375K worth of tax credits for this year, and I believe they evaluate on a first-come-first served-basis. I love that CO is trying to encourage more angel investing here.

Learn more in the OEDIT’s press release.

Process for Techstars applications

Now that applications to Techstars in Boulder have closed, I’m getting a lot of email inquiries around what happens next.  I tend to not publish this information simply because each year we do it a little differently, we’re always iterating on the process to make it less painful for entrepreneurs and reduce errors and missed opportunities on our side.  But, in the spirit of full transparency this year, let me outline how we’re processing applications in Boulder for 2014.

By no later than 5/19, we’ll be doing a first cut of teams.  Teams not cut will be invited to pitch a screening committee early next week, 5/19, 5/20, and possibly 5/21.  Those will consist of 5 minute pitches, followed by 5 min Q&A.  There will be approximately 50-60 companies who are invited to that screening committee.  That screening committee helps narrow it down to about 25 companies, and from there, myself along with a very short list of my own mentors help me select the final class.

So hang tight teams, you should hear from us soon whether you move on to the next round (screening committee) or not.

Best of luck!

 

 

Jason Mendleson Techstars Boulder 23rd Studios Colorado Videography (25)

18 things that can screw up your company

Last week, Jason Mendelson came and gave a fantastic talk at Techstars in Boulder on all the things you can do to screw up your company.  According to Jason, there are 18 things and most of them are not fixable!  I’m including his list below, and also the video of his talk for those who want to watch it in all its glory.

If you like content like this – make sure you get your applications in for Techstars – early deadline is April 13th!

Jason’s 18 things that can royally screw your startup…

  1. Pick a bad team
  2. Pick a bad idea
  3. Pick bad advisors
  4. Be arrogant
  5. Don’t know your business model
  6. Don’t understand your competition
  7. Staff up & hire too quickly ahead of revenue (aka, spend too much!)
  8. Don’t constantly test your hypothesis
  9. Don’t stay on top of your PR & press relations
  10. Overpromise & underdeliver!
  11. Not paying attention to people’s incentives (this is a really good section, watch the video for details!)
  12. Screw up your cap table
  13. Screw up your IP
  14. Not having defined goals and not knowing how to define success
  15. Not firing people fast enough
  16. Not knowing what you can control, and what you can’t.
  17. Not holding yourself accountable
  18. Figure you can do the ‘lawyer’ stuff later (hello 83b!!!)