Boulder is the Best

I’ve lived in Boulder now for nearly 10 years but prior to that, I moved here from Florida.  Ahhh Florida – this brings me to the topic of my post.  There recently was an article about how Florida was the Next Hotbed of Venture Capital.  Other than the appropriate descriptive “hot” in the title, the author couldn’t be more wrong.

Never in Boulder will you find your VC in a jacket and tie.  Well, ski jacket, maybe, but that’s only because he’s invited you up to Vail to ski for the afternoon.

In Boulder, the VC’s get their pick of the smartest people in the country.  Really – Boulder has the most advanced degrees per capita.  Florida has what, the most mosquitoes?

In Boulder, you get to bike to your presentation with your VC, and get brownie points for doing so.  In Florida, you’d get hit by that drifting Cadillac and be so thoroughly drenched in sweat by the time you got 5 feet from your house… oh wait, both of those things happen even if you drive.

In Boulder, the VC’s love the community because entrepreneurs often help entrepreneurs.  The succesful ones are frequently heavily involved in the community.  They sit on advisory boards, serve as mentors, take almost any meeting – and really serve as a support group for the next generation of entrepreneurs.  In Florida you’ll have to take your business advice from Mickey Mouse.

There are so many other reasons Boulder is a great town.  We have the best weather on the planet.  You can climb, bike, and ski all in one day if you felt so inclined.  The music here is fabulous.  Our winters are mild, our springs are glorious, our falls are beautiful, and winter is often the best season.  There is an energy here that Florida just doesn’t have.  People are actually nice to each other.   Just come to Boulder for a day and talk to anyone on the street, they’ll tell you how much they love it here.  Talk to anyone on the street in Florida and they’re usually running for the air conditioning.

I lived in Florida a majority of my life, and it has its pluses.  I’ve also stayed extensively in many places people consider paradise – Hawaii, Greece, Thailand, Fiji – and Boulder is still better.

How to get into TechStars…

techstarsbadgeSo I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve accepted the role of GM for TechStars Boulder this summer! I’ve been at it for 3 weeks now and I’m having a blast. The one question I keep getting is ‘How do we beat all the competition and get into TechStars?’. While I’m truly new to the program, I think I can share a little insight about what gets everyone excited.

1. The Team: If there are 2-4 of you, and you’re all rockstars, we get excited. Rockstars know how to execute. They’re bright, driven, creative, and have accomplish tons in a short period of time on this and/or past projects.

2. Hunger: Your team has to really want this – and communicate that with us. Walk the line of annoying. Just saying you want it doesn’t count, you have to show us by working your ass off to hit your milestones.

3. Idea: You’ve come up with something innovative, new, & exciting. While a good team will always trump a good idea, the combo is thrilling.

4. You listen: TechStars is a mentor-driven program. We try to surround you by the best and brightest to help accelerate your company. You have to know how to listen to input (sometimes negative), sort through the noise, and execute quickly on the best advice.

5. You Execute: I’ve said this in almost all of the above points too, but thought it imperative to call it out on its own. Millions of people have hundreds of good ideas. It’s not the good idea – it’s the ability to execute on a good idea that makes all the difference. Hell you can execute on a bad idea and that’s better than not executing at all. Learn how to get stuff done quickly, cheaply, and effectively and you’ll not only go far at TechStars, but whatever you do in life.

If you haven’t applied yet, you better hurry! Deadline is March 21st!