Situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Denver and Boulder have long been popular destinations for people in search of beautiful scenery, fresh air, good food and healthy living. And over the past decade, they’ve also become choice cities for entrepreneurs looking to build the next generation of innovative tech companies outside Silicon Valley.
Bolstered by the influence of the global seed accelerator Techstars and the local presence of large corporations like Comcast, Amazon and Google, Denver and Boulder have attracted a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem that thrives on their tight-knit communities and high standards of living. Together, these economically-connected urban centers illustrate how “lifestyle cities” can successfully grow and compete against larger, more established tech environments.
Just last week, the Powderkeg team traveled to Denver to unveil the findings from the 2018 Denver and Boulder Tech Census Reports, the latest in our series of inaugural censuses of rising tech communities between the coasts. While there, we spoke with eight influential members of the Denver and Boulder tech communities to break down how far the two cities have come, what factors have powered their growth and what obstacles they must overcome on their path to continued success.
Download the 2018 Denver Tech Census Report
Download the 2018 Boulder Tech Census Report
In this episode with some of Denver and Boulder’s top tech entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders, you’ll learn:
- How much a fledgling tech community can grow and evolve in five years.
- Why every tech ecosystem should be focused on attracting diverse talent.
- How a “give first” mentality among investors can lift entrepreneurial communities.
- The lifestyle city superpower for attracting entrepreneurs and tech talent.
- Tactics for large corporations to help lift up the startups in their ecosystem.
- Expert community-building advice for cities on the brink of a tech explosion.
Please enjoy this conversation with some of Denver and Boulder’s brightest entrepreneurs, investors, and tech thinkers!
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- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.
Quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:
“Boulder is one of the most connected startup communities in the world. For its size, it punches insanely above its weight.” — @tomhigley on @PowderkegHQ
“I think we have an opportunity to truly be innovative. How do we build that infrastructure and ecosystem that doesn\’t become something we don’t love?” — @thejoethurman on @PowderkegHQ
“When it comes to technology innovation, if only a very small group of people are designing the future, then we are looking at a very scary future.” — @heylizelle on @PowderkegHQ
“When you don’t have access to a lot of capital, you have to generate an immense amount of value. You have to show real sales off the bat.” — @missbikesalot on @PowderkegHQ
“There are so many opportunities for people to move to different, interesting, creative, fun companies. That’s the selling point of the Denver-Boulder market at this point.” — @coloradocraig on @PowderkegHQ
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
Companies and organizations:
- Colorado Startups
- Women Who Startup
- Teegarden Financial Corporation
- Jobber Group
- Denver Startup Week
- Downtown Denver Partnership
- ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
- Augur (acquired by BounceX)
- Lazy Bee Ranch Honey
- The Boulder Tea Company
- Artifact Uprising
- ANGI Homeservices
- Cloud Elements
- Arrow Electronics
Venture capital and angel investment firms:
- Connector Capital
- Upslope Ventures
- Stout Street Capital
- Foundry Group
- Rockies Venture Club
- Zero G Capital
- Boulder Bits
- Lerer Hippeau
- Highland Capital Partners
Startup accelerator programs:
- Paul Foley (LinkedIn)
- Lizelle van Vuuren (@heylizelle)
- Kate Shillo Beardsley (@kshillo)
- David Prichard (LinkedIn)
- Joe Thurman (@thejoethurman)
- Craig Smith (@coloradocraig)
- Rachel Beisel (@missbikesalot)
- Tom Higley (@tomhigley)
- Chris Baggott (@chrisbaggott)
- Brad Feld (@bfeld)
- Jason Mendelson (@jasonmendelson)
- Ryan McIntyre (@ryan_mcintyre)
- Seth Levine (@sether)
- Jens Nicolaysen (LinkedIn)
- Niel Robertson (@nielr1)
- Rajat Bhargava (@rajatabhargava)
- Marc Benioff (@Benioff)
What stood out most to you about what these entrepreneurs share in this podcast?
For me, it’s how a “give first” mentality among investors can lift entrepreneurial communities.
You? Leave a comment below.
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Technology, innovation, designing the future. If only our small group of people are designing our future, or looking at a very scary future
I think we have an opportunity to truly be innovative in how
we build the infrastructure for Cambodia,
voters will emerge communities by the size of beautiful
Hey powderkeg fans, you’re tuning in to Episode 61 of powderkeg igniting startups, the show for entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators, building remarkable tech companies outside of Silicon Valley. I’m your host, Matt Hunckler. And today, I’m excited to share with you some of the insights from our recent Live Show hosted in Denver, Colorado. In front of a packed house, we invited eight tech leaders from Denver, Boulder and the entire front range in Colorado to discuss some of the data behind our recent tech census, and to share some stories about building a tech company there. So in this episode, you’re going to hear from the following amazing experts. First up is Paul Foley, co founder and CEO at SMART Capital and the organizer of Colorado startups. Next up, we have Loiselle Van Buren, founder and CEO at women who start up next we’ve got Kate Beardsley, Managing Director at upslope ventures. Then David Prichard joins her on stage, and he is the president of Teegarden financial Corp. Next up, we have an amazing discussion on the talent situation in Denver and Boulder, and that’s led by Joe Thurman, the CEO at Jabra group, and Craig Smith, the CEO at home advisor. Next, we have Rachel vehcile, who is the CMO at cable labs who talks about the partnership between corporations and startups. And finally, we have an amazing Fireside Chat with Tom Higley, who is a serial entrepreneur of several companies, including service metrics, which sold for $280 million to Exodus communications back in 1999. He’s had several other startups since then. He’s currently the founder and CEO of 1010 10. And I can’t wait for you to hear about it. This show is packed with insights on the local Denver and Boulder communities, as well as some lessons learned, growing and scaling tech companies. Here we are live from Denver, Colorado. And so our first guest this evening is actually one of the people leading Colorado startups and I want to read his bio, because I don’t want to miss anything. It’s a very storied bio. And you’ll see me do this tonight. Because we really, we really wanted to put it together. And so when you give you call out each of these bios, these are Denver and boulders own so please clap it up, hoot and holler, your modifiers if you want to. Our first presenter tonight is a Colorado native and a huge tech startup enthusiast, heavily involved with Colorado startups. He founded and sold his own tech startup auger to bounce X and has since turned his attention to investing in venture capital. Something as you saw in the video, very important here in the community. He runs an angel group connected capital and is actively working on a firm to allow anyone to invest a portfolio in a portfolio of early stage tech companies. Please welcome the co founder and CEO of SMART Capital Paul folio. cool is that one? All right, this one. All right. So in each of these talks, I really want to kind of dive into first and foremost, the personal story. So your Colorado native. When did you actually get involved in the tech world here?
So I actually went to a fellow big tensile Michigan, so I was born in Boulder, grew up in Lewisville, Colorado in between boulder number and then went to University of Michigan for an engineering degree. moved to Austin, Texas. And then I worked for a large corporation called the week. I did not like it. Quickly left after seven months, I was the first one that week, my class and then another cloud native, Christine left like two weeks after so the to Colorado people were out. And then I don’t really say startup and they started doing consulting for fast growing startups. I got really lucky. My first client was SolidFire and Boulder, which was a extremely fast growing company. I learned a ton what year was happening? That was 2013
Okay, what was the tech community like in Boulder in 2013?
So, it was funny, I would say you have TechStars and founded in 2007. So Tech Stars that have a really good job of kind of uniting the community. You obviously have foundry with Brad Feld and Jason Mendelsohn, and Brian Sass and then you it. It felt like Boulder specifically had a lot of older entrepreneurs that were more well established, that had more resources to to start a company in terms of connections and knowledge. The younger entrepreneurs, he was just starting to, but I remember when I was doing my consulting company, I, there was this interesting guy named Jeff nicolaysen, who was starting this funny clothing company called chagasi. They were selling it out of his garage, the restoring you don’t change these?
I’m not I’ve heard of it. But I’m not familiar. Give me like the 32nd elevator pitch.
It’s like a It’s kind of wacky clothing. A five second
I don’t know what they’re doing well, I think they’re on track for like $10 million or so. But they it was just like we I remember, there’s only a handful of us that were just starting companies. And we worked out of his house, we call it the wacky workspace, co working space. So that was like the old days, somebody’s doing consulting. And then and then my two co founders or auger, they had actually gone through TechStars. And so I joined on as a co founder. We ended up selling it two years later, two and a half years later. Grats Thank you. And then we raised from investors in Montreal in Toronto when we pitched but TechStars follow on fund and Foundry access. They were all very polite, but they just wasn’t for them. And so that was one of those things that it became kind of clear, there wasn’t kind of the same level of capital in Colorado that there was in the valley or in New York. So I was actually contemplating whether to move out there. Or to start something that would allow more venture capital here in Colorado, because that was the the only complaint I had of the entire community was there’s tons of entrepreneurs here today, smart people, but the capital. So there’s there’s angel groups, there’s accelerators, there’s now a lot of micro VCs that have popped up for seed stage. But later stage keselowski report actually shows that, yep, there’s not as much here. So for me, it was kind of like, how do we get larger funds here?
Yeah. So in terms of attracting that capital? What do you think is the next best step for that? This isn’t necessarily the capital discussion section. But it sounds like you might have some opinions on that.
So to algorri and TechStars credit, they’ve done such a good job that I don’t think any of them want to compete against. And that’s almost like a detriment. So two things happen. Foundry decided not to bring any kind of associates, which I guess why, but also, at the same time, where you see in the valley, if someone joins a fund, they get trained, and then they go spin off their own fund, same thing in New York founding ever did that TechStars, same thing. They don’t really they added Nicole, which is great. But they don’t really breed the next level of VCs. And they’re just really great people, they are extremely nice. And we need to first get first. And so I think a lot of people have tried to not necessarily compete in that area. So I think your way, if you’ve looked at venture capital and Colorado, the amount of micro VC funds that have popped up in the last year or two, that have ambitions to be much larger funds, you’re looking at around 20. So from last time I counted, so the I think Denver specifically because of the growth, you’re gonna start seeing a lot more VCs pop up. And you also have a lot of entrepreneurs that would want to move here, if there was capital. So the other thing too, I’ve been finding is entrepreneurs will move here for a year or two, they’ll say this is awesome. But there’s not that access. Or I wouldn’t move here if there was more access to capital. And I think what you’ll see is capital starting with John here, so whether it’s the RBC fund, or whether it’s zero G, and I’m not sure if they’re here, but you’re gonna see putting out the call. Yeah, exactly.
Well, I’d love to bring another perspective to join us. Yeah, if you’re down with it. Absolutely. All right, cool. She’s so self proclaimed tech attic, launching global global brand. Global Brands and building companies passionate about shining a spotlight on women founders, is the founder and CEO and President of women who startup please welcome on stage less than a year have to share in life because there are two mics. happening right now. So can you tell us a little bit about women who start up by started? Sure.
Hi. I’m Zell founder of Women startup. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve been in technology since I was 19. Here in Colorado, so that’s almost 18 What 1617 years of being in our incredible economy, whether enterprise technology, startups, you name it, we’re going to start up. I love that you asked him earlier what was happening in 2013, and Denver, we’re going to start off starting. So you know why? Because there was no women in the room. So 2013 was an interesting year and our economy and our community, it was the second year of Denver Startup Week, people were just starting to feel this big cast, this big net, those being cast at the same Listen, we are a very innovative, technology oriented, business loving, if you see a gap in the market, innovate people start something, launch something, ship something, hire great people to do with what we didn’t have any money. So that is still a challenge for women to start up. It’s basically a learning platform for early stage entrepreneurs, who are figuring out their very first idea and how to ship that puppies. And we’re catered to sharing spotlighting women who are building their first second, or actually, multitude of companies. So I believe in knowledge sharing through storytelling, kind of like we’re doing right now, we’re sitting here, human connection, one of the oldest things to humankind, which is community sharing, and learning through community. So we’re going to start up has been an evolution of that, quite honestly, sharing stories of how people are building companies successfully, and extracting knowledge from those people, their experiences, their how to use their whatnots to, etc. So that’s what I’m going to start out
what so one of the things from the tech census that we found out in the report was that the number one social issue that the tech community, both in Denver and Boulder, wanted to impact was the diversity and inclusion in the tech industry itself. Why do you think people are so passionate about it? And what do you think is the most important thing for these tech companies to do right now, in order to further a more diverse and inclusive tech?
I like the diversity and inclusion question to be asked to someone that’s not
quite well, but it’s gonna require that but
but because I’m such a big advocate for diversity, inclusion, the challenge that we have, here’s the good news. We live in one of the most inclusive economies, communities around, believe me, we don’t have a very diverse community, however. So people get confused. They’re like, Well, what do you mean, we’re inclusive? But what do you mean, we’re not very diverse yet, okay? Look at this room. So we’re still predominantly male, that’s not a bad thing. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, relax, relax. But there is an opportunity for more women to know that they need to be in the room for people of color, the essential importance for them to be in the room, the LGBTQ community, the importance to be in room for people with disabilities to be in the room when it comes to technology, innovation, designing the future. If only a very small group of people are designing the future, we are looking at a very scary future. Because we are not always equipped to consider all sorts of things that we don’t inherently think about. The way we operate in the world, the way we drive from home to work, the way that we think read watch movies, experience, a mobile application that cetera the importance of diversity and inclusion is not to make any man in this room feel left out of the equation. It is an encouraging call to action, like I’m reaching out and saying do grab my handle is grab these people that aren’t in the room tonight, so that they can help us innovate, design the future, scale those ideas, get other opinions, feedback, opinions, points of view perspectives, education, backgrounds, you name it, and we can do really exciting things. And I know that’s a challenge, but it’s individually our responsibility to do better about that. So I’m encouraged. We have a huge opportunity to still make sure that everyone knows not only that they are welcome in our technology community, in business, especially in leadership. But this economy Colorado has to start putting their money where their mouth is we have to step up and put our money where our mouth is 2017 data on venture capital, for example, less than 2% of all venture capital last year, less than 2% went to women. That means point 2%. One Two women of color. This is not because point 2% of women of color, or in the United States are trying to raise money, no. of all have economies of scale, we have to invigorate, we have to get excited about making sure that people are in the room. And that takes community builders to do the hard rolling of rocks of mountains to get the word out to cast the net to make make sure people are in the room. And we have a lot of work to do.
I have a feeling where to come back to this theme throughout the thing. So my question to you is your biggest hope for the Denver and Boulder communities in like 10 Seconds or Less
Yes, let’s give it up for a great way to kick this off. All right, the energy is wonderful here. I love this community. Our next presenter that I’m going to bring to the stage, we’re just going to continue to talk on capital. Our next Our next guest is going to be discussing capital and very excited to bring her up to the stage she helped establish, build and manage three funds, and over 200 plus investments in New York City as director of operations. In four years, she launched her career at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia managing special projects for Martha Stewart and currently, she’s a partner at upslope ventures, an early stage fund investing in technologies across the country. Please help me welcome up to the stage Kate Beardsley. Kate, thank you so much for being here with us tonight. You get your choice of chair,
I guess. Sam, and today I’m pretty pregnant.
Can you tell me a little bit about why you ended up here in Denver?
I met a man. Very. I mean, that’s the honest answer. He gave me the choice of I was living in New York, working remotely for galvanize. And for two years. And, you know, the cheesy stories, he was like, an OG galvanize member. And I’m sitting here like Lafleur, hippo ventures speaking, I made the biggest mistake of my career. Because like, the funds was going like this. And we were getting in every deal every woman and I was like, like, but I knew I wasn’t gonna have a partner there. Because this was before. Some of the stats that was said is that you know, making women partner wasn’t like you’re trying to get, but I could just see the writing on the wall. I was like, that there’s not a position unless something drastically changes. And yeah, so I joined galvanize started our first fund been formation the whole nine yards. And yeah, my now husband hit on me like the first day. Circle my desk. Anyway, so it’s funny, about a year later, we went on a date. And then it was like, that’s a cheesy Galva in Colorado sort of is awesome. Because here, it was, like completely doubting my career. And like, you know, I was trying to take this risk and starting a fund from scratch. And you know, did I get off a rocket ship because it’s stupid. But here’s what’s really cool to be a part of the growing company in Colorado, and then have my whole life turned around and now pregnant. My second kid hanging out with you guys. Cool, like, not to say like, but this was my also my thesis was, I lived through the New York, kind of gross word of tech. We started our I started there about a paper first time in January 2010 Being a half million dollars, which was nothing and no one was investing but money was in mattresses at that point. So it was like living through that and then seeing this wave of investors start to populate New York City and realizing that as I was traveling around the country for you know, there random things that the same thing was happening in like Boston, Seattle, and I came out here to go skiing was like hot and really exploding. And, you know, I just and of course there’s boulder rising versus so that’s that’s also a draw. So I had this assumption that you could start investing in other places besides San Francisco and New York. So that was my answer. To like joining up with galvanize and investing in this market, it’s now your upslope. Sitting with mine is galvanized, sorry for the name change. Yeah.
Yeah. And slightly more than half of Denver and this is according to tech census report, slightly more than half of Denver founders get 65% of boy founders said that they struggled to raise capital here locally. Yeah, definitely. It’s a common theme, not just in Denver and Boulder. But it’s still a struggle here. What do you think needs to happen? Do you think that what needs to happen is on the venture side? Or do you think it’s just the deal? Flow is not?
No definitely venture. It’s our fault. There’s very little early stage seed capital here, you know, like the behemoths, the awesome groups, like foundry have done such a good job of establishing a brand name for technology in Colorado, I think one of the cool things that our market has over other smaller cities is that we’re actually a technologically forward environment. So that’s moving here, you have Facebook and Google and you know, that’s not accidental. And you have people moving here for lifestyle reasons. So it’s like all of it’s working. And it’s certainly sort of spinning in the right way. But there is a huge absence release due to capital, I’m part of the problem. I don’t have active money right now to invest in companies, which drives me nuts every day, I have to go out reasonably fun to do that. But no one’s gonna give a pregnant woman money. So have a kid I’m just saying. Like, she could still test and then maybe that would get me more money. Anyway.
Got some videographers here, everything’s
great finds you like statute that you’re working with. They’re trying to be part of that conversation, too. And so I think there’s certainly people who get it and are trying to remedy it. But you know, factories not upstream, right. So they used to be a really great indicator of our founders leaving my seed round, then that means I have local support. And the the trick with seed, I shouldn’t say as a trick is, it’s it’s pretty obvious, but it’s seed investing is emotional and local. So you know, if you got sick, like we talked about shining sea for a minute ago, like that was really like looked at I loved it, because it just hilarious. But, you know, does that really, you know, like materialize over time, and we’ve done a great job. But that was something where all the local investors saw that deal, because he was here, you know, and that’s kind of how it works. And you also have to kind of pull on that emotional strain a little bit, because it’s not far removed from Angel investing. So we just we have lack of firms that are certainly willing to need and certainly willing to put in substantial enough capital that sends a signal to other investors that are maybe smaller that they can fall on, because that’s the thing with seed is that you’re probably seeing this now is you can close around, you’re setting the terms or you’ve gone through TechStars. And using the star car now, it’s all great, you can get it done a lot further. It’s so much, you get the wind in your sails expert who sits there and says, oh, like I got a term sheet from upslope. And then that means something kind of thing.
Well, I love to bring another investor up with us add to the conversation. I’m gonna do the pre created version because I want to save time for the Convo serial entrepreneur himself, co founder of ACB Ranch, honey, which is on all the Whole Foods shelves. He’s now the president of tea garden Financial Corporation. He’s up to the stage David Fincher. And David, and Ken asked me to share I’m like, because we’ve got David, can you talk to me a little bit about your perspective of what you’re seeing out here in terms of deal flow and what needs to happen in the capital markets? Anything? You want to ask kids perspective to share?
Yeah, I think Kate touched on a lot of it. In I would echo, I agree, that’s largely at the venture side and just awareness and drive more capital. But on the other side, you know, from a proactive standpoint, as far as the entrepreneurs and I think being aware of where they’ll reach the Capitol, in what they need to get there. is powerful because you see a lot of companies gonna get stuck in this. Keep going on After the small little raises keep trying to move the ball along a little bit. And I think there was a little more awareness around, you know, rather than trying to do this $300,000 thing, four times before I get to, you know, my series A or whatever. It’s like, No, this is what I need to get there to get the institutional money or venture whoever in the deal. And all right now, how do I get that? Get it out of the way,
is done quickly. What I want to share just a little bit of metrics from the text census report, only 9% of startups survey identified as like b2c companies. We had 26% bowler hat bowler hat three times as many stars at 26% or BSC, in terms of like, sort of like the mix, not only just b2b and b2c, what industries do you see like really kind of taking off here? Or do you think it’s just sort of demo mode is great for any and all startups?
I mean, both, if you’re curious to see, you know, what you got to say about it. But yeah, I mean, we have a lot of activity in both areas. And I actually thought was really interesting. It was like three times as much b2c activity, and Bullard is Denver. And that was a head scratcher for me a little bit. But also, it was more of maybe a cultural thing. You know, if you think about sort of the culture in Boulder, and then the founder and the africare, in that space, and what they’re concerned about, I have a feeling that despite a lot less than there, is worried about making a company more efficient, and we’re concerned about, you know, how do we help that, you know, that consumer that individual or impacted life or, you know, planning says about the lawyer and I can come up with?
You’re totally right, it’s, it’s good startups? Got a ton of startups? Yeah. I mean, it’s, we have
some examples here in the Denver boulder area,
um, gosh, somebody, I’m just thinking of like Whole Foods file.
Just like mostly,
kind of like think of it right. It’s something that is super popular right now is like anything to do with super foods, right? So there’s teas, and like bhakti. Chai is there. So
Just because peanut butter, like, I mean, there’s, it’s funny, like, if you look at if you’re any of you’re looking for jobs, and you’re trolling circle, it’s like, there’s always like to food companies that are hiring every day, like all that let you know, it’s just it is how it is. It’s great, because that’s attracting a certain type of entrepreneur that wants to then go be around those other entrepreneurs. And so it’s also cool to see like their shyness, being bolder, because, you know, that’s a different kind of consumer company. And then we’re seeing, like, we’ve artifact uprising here in Denver. And so I think we’re starting to see more, like, there’s a new company called Fulton that’s just starting in Denver, and that’s in a clothing space. And so that’s something that New York is certainly known for, and by all portfolios, all the E commerce stuff, but yeah, Denver and Boulder, I think like, we could pick it up in that area, for sure. But, I mean, I have two hardware companies in my portfolio Raggio notion and like they manufacture locally that helped them get their start. They didn’t have to go to Shenzhen right away, you know. So there’s, I think, a lot of opportunity. He loves SAS, we love, you know, continue with telecom here. So it’s you sort of think of like what you can do with the other industries that are here and the experts that are here and kind of build up with that, for sure.
Well, I appreciate you both for sharing your perspective on the investment side. My last question for each of you is, in 10 seconds or less, give first was not surprisingly, one of the core values most highly rated in the tech sector this report. How do you embody, give first, in your day to day as an investor? Or does it first applied to investors?
I think it definitely applies. And I always like to use an analogy and sort of, you know, always trying to pull up, right, whether it’s building our portfolio and our investment success, but at the same time, we need to be pulling people along with us and not over developed one arm versus the other. Right. And I think one of the things I love about Colorado is I feel like culturally, there’s a pretty good balance there like people inherently the typical idea of venture capitalists or you know, some guy with money doesn’t isn’t your typical, you know, money source here in Colorado, we’ll make an effort to help.
Totally agree. And I think that’s one of the attractions for entrepreneurs wanting to build their companies here is just that sense of people will take meetings with you and have coffee with you. They don’t need anything in return. They’re just trying to kind of, they want to see someone else here, you know, trying to do the same thing. You know, it’s funny, in early 2008, or 2010, New York felt like that from the tech perspective, because there was no one else doing it there. So we were kind of huddled around each other and All, you know, there was like four offices that you could go to that were totally open and you could get to talk to friends also regularly. And those people had their doors open because it was such a small, close knit community and everyone was rowing in the same direction for the success of that community. And we still have that here. New York is tougher now, because there’s just too many players. And it’s a level of access. And that’s what San Francisco feels like, if you’re not in it. So I think that I hope that we have the givers mentality the whole time, If this ends up becoming another, like awesome, huge communities.
It’s a great wish for the community. But getting David, thank you both so much for sharing your perspectives on capital. Alright, we’re gonna keep things rolling. Next up, probably needs no introduction, because he’s introduced me to half of this tech community here in town. He is the founder and CEO of jobber. Group, amazing. Tech, talent placement agency. They’re using their own technology. I absolutely love how they’re helping match companies with the right talent at the right time. Please help me welcome to the stage the CEO jabber Mr. Joe. Joe?
You talk to me about talent a little bit? Just broadly. Let me ask a more pointed question. Talk to me about the biggest struggle you see happening, like, where’s Denver heading right now, in terms of the talent gap? Do you feel like it’s getting smaller or anything, it’s actually getting wider as things heat up. And more and more tech companies are coming here, more more talent is coming here. Which ones outpacing the other, but things are gonna get worse before they get better? Yeah,
I mean, it’s it’s definitely getting getting wider, right? I mean, across the board, I mean, everyone we’ve heard for years automation is going to change everything, you’re going to need less people, etc, etc. And the opposite is what has happened, right? Companies have figured out that if I can do 100%, of what we accomplished today with 50% of the resources, then imagine what I can do with four times the number of resources, right, so everyone wants to scale, everyone needs highly intellectual, you know, individuals who are problem solvers. We’re also technical. And so it’s going to be a gap that everyone faces, including Colorado.
So the stats that I wanted to get your perspective on is that 94% The Tech census respondents enjoy their careers here in Denver, more than any other tech census we’ve done or any other market today. What’s in the water here in Denver, Boulder. That’s more than just a calendar of companies. What is what’s what’s going on here? I think 4% seems ridiculous.
And I think it’s just from the top down or lifestyle, city, right? The leaders of these organizations are here, because they will love the lifestyle that it offers. And that flows down, right. And so it’s, it’s not, you don’t hear the stories of like in Silicon Valley, guys who sleep on top of each other, and beds, you know, trying to in bunk beds, trying to build companies, and they’re in warehouses. And I see stories to this day, right? That doesn’t really happen here. I mean, you’ll go mountain biking, and you’ll do other things to kind of put your hand here, Colorado. And so that balance is really what I think people have fallen in love with. And it flows from the top down, regardless of the size of the company. And that makes I think that’s why companies are here, we always talked about we look at San Francisco, but how can we do it a little bit better than they did?
It seems like you’re doing a little bit better. It’s, the data says you get a little I love to bring up one of your friends that have collaborators. What do you want to do the introduction? Sure. Great.
HomeAdvisor, President CEO of home advisor
so, Craig Smith, CEO of home advisor, which recently acquired at home services based out of Indianapolis, so we’re now on the same floor as home advisor in Indianapolis. They’re on NASA. And it’s really cool to just see how long have you been with the company? 20 years?
Not quite 2020 Alright,
so sorry to exaggerate their credit, what are you seeing on the ground at home advisor and in terms of the need for talent, the roles that you have to like, Do you know how to open roles now? Right now? I don’t want to
Yeah, we have a lot of
open roles and it’s been a A real challenge, actually, I think the ecosystem overall, has evolved in a very meaningful, interesting way over just the last five years, because, you know, we’re recruiting talent 567 years ago, it was really hard to get somebody to come here and take a risk, and to move from one of the coast because if the gig with HomeAdvisor, didn’t work out, they didn’t see many other opportunities. And that’s clearly not the case anymore. There’s so many different options. If somebody were to move here that if it didn’t work out with HomeAdvisor, you can end up with a big mature public company to early stage startup to mid stage company. And so there’s such a tremendous amount of both support and career opportunities outside of that, then that risk is not really a problem anymore for
us. But one of the things that TechStars is pointed out was that majority of respondents had annual expenses of less than $80,000, in both Denver and Boulder. So even though the lifestyle is great, the cost of living seems to still be lower than you might expect, and a market are used mentioning advantage to recruit talent from the coasts or outside of Denver boulder used to
they used to be kind of the sole way we recruit this look, you know, your mind’s gonna go a lot further. But that gap is closing very, very quickly, we were looking at doing some benchmarking in Chicago just today. And you know, our cost of living our salaries, everything’s very much in line with the Chicago market at this point. So I think that gap is narrowing very quickly. And we’ll need to differentiate in different ways. And part of that is the strength of the community that we do have the support of the community that we do have, which is I think unrivaled. It’s phenomenal. I also think the lifestyle is incredible, we clearly sell that. But that’s just the unknown and constantly. But there are so many opportunities for people to move to different interesting, creative, fun companies that that’s the selling point of the Denver boulder market, I think at this point is it is, you know, at every stage, there are very interesting companies doing interesting things and a lot of opportunity to move between those.
One of the topics that came up earlier is building diverse and inclusive communities. But as we all hopefully know, from the researchers out there, building diversity inclusive teams, is something that’s not just good to do as a human in a leadership position. It’s actually good for business. Research report after recent work shows that, you know, when you have teams that are closer to 5050, men and women, there are better ideas, the third about when you’ve got people from different backgrounds, whether it’s ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, or disability that brings different perspectives and can help innovate faster. Are there ways that you’ve seen that kind of come to life at home advisor anytime now?
We’ve we’ve made a lot of progress. I think we have a long way to go. There’s a lot of work to be done on that front. But I do agree with everything you said when you have the diverse culture, you get better ideas, better input better perspective. And you know, better output. It’s it’s the way to go, certainly. But there’s a lot of work to be done for us to close that gap. Gentlemen,
I just like some of the things that you’re seeing with the teams that you’re working on in terms of helping them build more diverse teams. Is that something you’re coaching and consulting on currently?
Yeah, I mean, it is I mean, like we say, inclusion, we always say inclusion and diversity, right. And part of the problem we do have to have we have a pipeline problem here in Colorado with diverse talent, right. I mean, we talked about that earlier today. But you know, I do think that all companies are open to that, right. And it is a very inclusive environment here. We talked about how much even just from an entrepreneur perspective, anyone will take meetings. And that’s, you know, Craig is a great friend, because he believed in us when we were a small company, right? He pushed us to do things that we couldn’t do that we didn’t think we could do. And we told him, to me, that’s not what we do. And
he said and so, but that drives down through employees and everything in so I think it’s just it’s gonna take time, right and gallon with the galvanizes of the world, the colleges, they’re working on it, but it’s just gonna take time, you know, we’re trying to solve it at the end with companies saying, hire more diverse people and all these different things, but you have to solve the front of the pipeline before he can do the end. And so it’s just it’s a time thing. I mean, I wish there was a silver bullet, but there’s just not.
And it’s the one thing I was going to add that I think is really helped propel us just in the last few years, is we’ve adopted a pretty strong internship and apprenticeship program, and have engaged with the local schools and with a local community to at least shed a light on what’s possible for a lot of the students we do, I think is a state of good job of attracting talent from outside we don’t do a good job of it. hiring local talent to get into technology. And I think it’s our responsibility to do a better job of that. And we’ve started to embrace that and started working with Denver Public Schools with other people in the community, career wise, and others with apprenticeships and internships. And I think we need to do a lot more collectively. And we can do a lot more things at home services.
That’s really exciting. And just as a history lesson, the whole reason I didn’t move to the coasts out of college is because, you know, services had a program in Indianapolis called The War fellowship program that convinced me to go work for agri tech company in Indiana. It kept me there for two years enough to build my seed network there and literally been there ever since. So it’s really cool to see Angie’s services continue to hire more fellows, and some of the ones now they’re in leadership positions, where you know, that classic to LogMeIn back in the day, so it’s it’s really cool to see that in terms of what you want to see next, for Denver and Boulder tech, Kenny, what’s your greatest wish?
I just like to see that momentum continue. You know, I think we just have incredible man on so many great things going on. Obviously, there’s a gap in funding, you know, clearly, we’d love to help solve that. But you know, the amounts of mentorship opportunities that exist, you know, full lifecycle early stage and mid stage to, you know, public IPOs that have come out in the market recently. There’s a great support infrastructure in place. And so I think we need to just continue to make the best out of that and continue the great momentum that we have, and let’s find some money.
Some money. I love it, John.
Yeah, I’d say, being extremely innovative and creative in the ecosystem that we’re building, right. I mean, we talk to people in the bay all the time. And it’s just it’s outpaced the lifestyles not only right. And so I think we have an opportunity to truly be innovative, and how do we build the infrastructure and the ecosystem that doesn’t become something that we don’t love, right? I mean, we have to protect certain areas to protect, I mean, wages are going to change, right? Software engineers are not going to continue to make the same thing they make. Now general software engineers, in several years, it’s going to change. And so I just think that we have to figure out something I’d love to see innovation across the board, or from an ecosystem perspective, a hockey of rapid growth, fast growth, innovation, more money, and bounce back with you can live where you work as an individual. So maybe that’s a pie in the sky dream, but I’d love us to figure that out. But for those of you that,
think it’s possible. Let’s give it up for Joe Craig. All right, we’re gonna keep things rolling, we’re running about 10 minutes behind. But we have two more great speakers. Before I go into the next speaker, though, I do want to give a huge shout out to my alma mater, Kellogg School of Business, also yours as well. So Kelley School of Business has been immensely helpful with the tech census, we have a couple of their PhDs, who have been helping us with crunching the data, doing some of the data science behind what what we’re doing here at power pig with the tech census. They really believe in investing in tech communities, not just in Indiana, but across the country. And so they’re a national partner on the talent side of things. They’re very passionate about continuing education to be innovative in their approach about doing that. So not just your traditional course, sitting the lecture sort of classes, which is what it was when I went there. So next up, we have someone that I’m very eager to talk to, because she’s got an immense perspective on working with big, big companies. So she’s worked in culture, sales, marketing, culture, development in growth startups, all the way to Fortune 500 brands, and she’s an experienced leader and practitioner who has served a diverse profile companies, both at agencies and businesses, please help me welcome the SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of cable labs, Mrs. Rachel. Hello, I’m so happy that you could join us tonight because because I think one of the things that Denver really has going for it is all of these big corporations, the collaboration happening between the big corporations and the startups. So I’m gonna get your perspective on what are some of the companies here in Denver and Boulder area that are those bigger companies that work well with startups?
Well work well with startups. I guess that’s relative.
Potentially letting you choose the why they work well in startups.
Okay. Well, so I work for probably the most hated industry in the world. A cable companies. However, if you will run a wall XFINITY is the reason why we’re here. And it only has a charter folks in the audience but so it’s I think what we say the fastest way to kill a startup is to try to sell it to the cable industry. However, I don’t believe that that’s so true anymore. There’s actually a lot of capital. And that’s how I think large companies are able to innovate, because it gets increasingly more difficult to be able to innovate a large company, when you have a bureaucracy and regulation, there’s a lot of challenges that are presented there. So they often say they innovate when they’re really iterating. So they have to leverage the sort of community. So one of the things that have been CableLabs has done is tried to bridge that gap and make it a little bit easier, because we’re only 200 people. Yeah, we’re building technologies that impact how billion people every day. So one of the ways in which we do that is we started a program called up ramp, it’s actually a marketplace that connects startup communities with our cable companies. And instead of I’ve heard of a constant drumbeat here around lack of capital, but what we guarantee your deals, so you’re actually going to get a proof of concept, a letter of intent, some type of sale, instead of $70,000, seed round or something like that, where the company, you’re actually going to get a million dollar deal in three and a half months, because the sales cycle and cable can be set in half years. So it’s something that we’re doing that’s trying to innovate, we’re involved, at least within our industry.
How do you do that? So how do you take? How are you taking a seven half year sales cycle and getting it done in three months? What are some of the things that you know, they’ve kind of been coached to these larger enterprises to do in order to get to a pace that actually would work well with an innovative startup or tech company,
and a lot of its well, we have heard community a lot tonight, and that is definitely one I think, in Denver and Boulder, it’s unique in that you can have access to CEOs of companies, and they’ll gladly have a coffee with you, I think, in these larger enterprises, that’s one of the things that we had to do is actually we only have the relationships. But we knew that we needed the other side of that marketplace to be able to actually exponentially help our companies that at least are in our marketplace. So that was something that we had the access, all we had to do was bridge back. So we had to make those connections. And I think one of the other things that when you don’t have access to a lot of capital was that you have to actually generate an immense amount of value. And you have to show real sales off the bat. So you actually have to have something that people really want to buy. It’s not an idea that you’re selling. It’s an actual product that creates value.
In terms of the customers that a lot of startups have here, you’re talking about getting more pilots to companies, it seems like like it might be working, because the tech census found that in Denver, the number one customer size is more than 1000 employees, for Denver company or a Denver Startup and for a boulder startup. That was number two source. So a close second, as well, in terms of having a large enterprise as a customer as a startup, what is your advice to a startup? Looking at any work with enterprise?
If you’re fresh out of that,
yeah, if you’re if you’re out of patience, runway. But yeah, so it’s it’s definitely I think having enterprises are trying to solve such complex issues. That like, say you have a customer experience problem, really honing in on what part of that might be in that particular customer journey that you can actually solve. So there’s just one particular example that you don’t have to solve the entire problem, but this one piece is going to impact the bottom line exponentially in some way. So I think that’s something that it’s easier for an enterprise to potentially buy into that or even acquire that company, or Apple hire whatever that might be to get them to actually solve some of those problems. So that’s beyond the patient’s side.
Have you seen any of these larger enterprises kind of learn from startups and the way that the startups move quickly and disrupt themselves and iterate? Which major aren’t always the hallmarks of fortune? 500 companies?
Yeah, I think I mean, obviously, Eric Ries when we actually hired him to come speak to a lot of our CEOs that are a part of our organization. So talking about like, agile development and lean startup I know when I was previously in another fortune 500, which took seven months to get my computer out of procurement. But it was we were actually going to large companies like AmEx and I’m talking about agile development principles. And that’s actually why they did requiring my previous company that I was a part of, because that was something that was specialized. And that helped them move more quickly. So they innovated by biting us, essentially. But that was something that we saw is huge. And then trying to figure out that they need to do something differently. I think the average tenure of a company on the fortune 500 is now 13 years, which used to be greater than 50 years on the fortune 500. So clearly, there needs to be something that they have to figure out how to be more quickly,
a little bit of a downward trend. What, what’s your greatest hope for this community enterprises and startups that can really add to your work and CableLabs.
Actually, it’s more geographical, we talk about inclusivity. And I now live in Colorado Springs, I don’t actually live in Boulder and Denver anymore. So don’t forget that we also have a community that goes from Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, I even went on that mountain bike today, I felt like today and I ran into somebody who said that they were going to be working in a company and Marksburg are familiar with Colorado, that’s a curve in the road. And there was a company there that has got a $10 million deal, and they’re about to go work at that particular company. So next time you do the census, maybe we should get from Fort Collins all the way down to actually Nashville native
to so maybe come up in two weeks. I don’t mean Colorado Springs tomorrow. So people you meet. All right. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you so much, Rachel, I really appreciate you sharing some of your perspective. And hopefully next year, we can bring you back to talking about the entire front range text. So let’s give it up for our All right, we’re down to our last presenter. And I’m so so excited for this conversation with serial entrepreneur. He’s been enormously helpful with the tech census. And so I’m eager to bring him up to the stage. But at first I want to give a shout out to one other organization who couldn’t be here tonight. They are normally travel with us to each of these tech census releases that we do. But that company is in accounting. And these guys have worked with just about every major tech company in Indiana area. They’re now expanding with us into areas like Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Cincinnati. They’re here in Denver, Boulder, as well as working with tech companies. And the things I like about them is that they actually use tech. So now using an accounting as we’ve built and raised our round of capital use their financial models. Everything that we do from expensing things to sending invoices is all automated into one like perfectly integrated system. So really appreciate these guys, and I hope we get the chance to meet them soon. So just want to give them a huge shout out. All right. Yeah, let’s get let’s get rid of accounting. This is a bio I do not want to botch because he is so interesting as you’re about to find out. He has been immersed in the Denver and Boulder tech community for several years. And his focus is really on helping entrepreneurs and large organizations deliver innovative products to the market. His current program 1010 10 Is 10 Wicked Problems with significant market opportunity. And then 10 CEOs from around the United States, each looking for their next big thing in 10 days together in a startup community and certainly Denver their engineers like Nashville. Please help me welcome the founder attempt at 10 top people Tom you are you have quite an amazing story. Your your novels you’re like one of the youngest people I’ve ever met. When I first met you I couldn’t I couldn’t keep up with the pace of ideas and thoughts. And it was really exciting and it’s I want to a couple weeks and repay some magic here. I think some of what sparked it was me asking you about your your story and how you got to Boulder and how you mentioned got to Denver. What brought you first to this brokerage area.
Law school. Yeah. This This works better. Maybe you
did better. Okay.
So so, law school brought me here. Ironically, I came out of practice. I got here in 89 practice at home and mark but lived in Fort Collins and so commuted every single day from Fort Collins to Denver. That gets old, it’ll make you older faster and eventually practice up there instead. And eventually as you probably know, I decided that rather than practicing law, I would really rather start companies.
Man, if I come sit next to you,
would you? Would you? I was hoping you a
very distant fireside chat here. So you got into starting companies, what was starting companies that caught your attention more than possible?
So I think it’s, it’s actually more than practically law, that that’s really what it was I, I tell people that I was smitten earlier, even before law school, I bought an Apple Macintosh in 84. It was a crystal ball. And I mean, I could see the future when I bought that thing. So that’s a piece of the lore around all this. But the other piece of it is, I began to realize what it meant to practice law and, and who you are and what you’re not in that context. And I will tell you that while there certainly are some attorneys that look at what’s possible, and try to help their clients pursue those things, it’s also true that the precise profession as a whole isn’t mainly about that it’s mainly about what happened, that’s bad that we want to avoid. And how can we structure a deal such that we don’t get in serious trouble as we move forward? That’s not what I wanted to do. But that’s what I was doing. So So for me, it was realizing this explosion of possibility that was beginning to happen. I mean, that that was true for almost everything that has happened from semiconductors through what happened with Microsoft and Apple. But he it was even more powerfully turn when computer computers began to be connected on the internet. When we saw the web come out, I just couldn’t sit on the sidelines, and I helped create fortnight up in Fort Collins, I was the founder, president and first executive director of that game. It was amazing. I couldn’t stop. It was awesome. And I was still practicing law. But that was like this and starting an Internet service provider that was like, wow, this is amazing. So so, you know, live in this or live in that. Yeah.
Tell me, tell me about when you got to Boulder and what that community was like when you got there? Well, that was a tech community, like when he got there.
So first off, I got to Boulder because I started my first tech company in Fort Collins. And at the time I did that. That was another good time to start your first technology import company in Fort Collins is awesome. But it wasn’t at that time. Awesome for tech companies. If you want a tech team in Fort Collins, then you’re expecting would have to come from HP. And you could you could rent people from HP only at great pains and almost never. So things have changed, right? But so so boulder was extraordinary for a whole bunch of reasons. But here’s the really big here’s how I ended up in Boulder really. I was raising capital, I was on Boston, Highland Capital Partners. And they liked the deal that I was showing that they wanted to be in and they said, we’d really need somebody that we trust in this deal. Do you know Brad Feld? And it didn’t, and no one did really in this area. Yeah. Because he just moved here. And so Brad and I met in Fort Collins, he drove up gotten an accident on the way. He said Terry, terrible driver. Yes. So we became friends. He was an advisor to that company. And I came to Boulder eventually, because Brad was really in my deal became a friend. And in fact, the next company that I started the one that was most significant for me. I started because Brad Feld sent me a message that said, Tom, I know you’re planning to start your next company, you should be in this round. And this is an example of what you’ve been talking about tonight. This is the collaboration and connection and support. This is what we do for one another. So this was incredibly powerful. I met this extraordinary entrepreneur that Brad Feld knew that Brad was going to hire to do something in his company and so couldn’t run another company. And but he wanted a CEO and I was going to be that person and I became that personnel. Now the company was a draft business plan and there was no cap problem, there was no team, but there was no product but, but I was excited anyway. And the young guy was 23 years old. And I was in my 40s. And that’s the company that we built. And in the space of some 24 months, less than 24 months, we sold it for 280 million. And while we were locked up, it became, you know, north of a billion dollars. So, it feels like here, we built in bulk. We did and it was so fast. It was so quick that that you didn’t see it. Because either you were too young, or you blinked. One or the other of those things. I remember going to talk to someone at a bank in Boulder, a senior banking officer, he said, your time mainly. We’ve had 12 millionaires that were billionaires before just the you know, because of what just happened here. We’ve never seen this before. That’s awesome. It was amazing. And Brett was stays in the
ecosystem and reinvest.
And and then the two co founders, I had Brad Feld, our new Robertson and Raj Bhargava, they each started multiple companies since that, so yeah, it does
something in the water. Yeah, I think there is. So sounds like things were pretty good for you in Boulder. Why don’t you move to Denver?
But I love that question. So I love boulder. Boulder is one of the most connected startup communities in the world. I mean, for its size, it branches just insanely above his weight. And in part, I think that’s I’ll share that. I think it’s because Brad Feld, Brock is is Boston connections to Boulder. And he brought his Bay Area connections to Boulder and created a set of connections for boulder to every other. Oh, and when he started funding group, the partners that he brought on Brian’s, the Jason, they kind of claims that they didn’t just do a regional startup or regional venture firm, they actually went out to meet the best of the best startups, the best investors, they traveled everywhere, they work really, really hard. So that’s, that’s part of what happened. That hasn’t happened yet. In Denver, you know the way they can. So part of the reason I’m here is I have this extraordinary confidence that Denver can do, in some ways, what what Brad was able to do and what TechStars was able to do and others were able to do in Boulder, Denver can be better connected than it is now. And to do that Denver has to both reach out and go out and connect to other startup communities, entrepreneurs and investors, but also to bring books in. And that’s kind of what we do. Right?
Case in point. Yeah.
Welcome, by the way, and thanks for doing this.
Thank you for doing it. It really is an honor. And it’s fascinating to learn about each of these tech communities. I think each one has something to offer and learn from, but there’s certainly more opportunities. Certainly capital that need has been heard loud and clear. If you’re out this evening, what’s something that maybe we haven’t talked about yet, that you think is a growth opportunity for Denver to really go after right now.
So Denver has this magical influx of people, I tend to think of it as a as a magnet in a way for folks from the Midwest for folks all over the place. And it has that magical thing. That’s that early stage of collaborative impulse that we saw in the Bay Area. And in New York, we heard that from others, it has those things. But but for Denver to be what it truly can be, it needs to recognize a both. And then this is just like a startup hunger, by the way. It needs to recognize both its resources and capabilities, what has limits that are so extraordinary, and what it lacks, and it needs to go out and get the things that it lacks, and leverage the things that it has. So you know, I’ve said this, it probably shows up on a quote someplace. Denver is one of the best places to live, learn, work and play. It’s powerful. That’s a thing to leverage our connectivity and our connection to one another. That’s a thing to leverage. And that continues to grow in a really meaningful way I think. But what we still lack isn’t Just capital, we actually lack the evidence that we can deliver at size and scale in a way that folks have been able to do. And we, we want to deliver on that here. Some friends of mine, that are really successful serial entrepreneurs talk about the baseball, Jordan says this, you know, it’s like, you don’t want to be that baseball that gets swallowed by a bigger fish. Because when that happens, those resources are then distributed to other places, we had been that for years, we don’t want to continue to be that we want to be a thing that sustainable, and that grows, and that delivers value locally. And we can do that we can do that. It’s not just in one sector, it’s in many, but to do that way forward pretty hard. And we have to reach out getting away from the group looks like you in so
bring you out. Oh, yeah. Let’s do that. Before, before we end, Tom, I love it, if you could just share a little bit about what you’re going to attend to it. And it’s all tell folks here, how you’re looking to do these moonshot opportunities from the very ground floor.
So I love to talk about this. And what what’s so powerful about it for me is that it connects to a foundational problem to problem surely, the first of them for me is the notion that there are all kinds of really great serial entrepreneurs, who as great as they are, and experienced and capable as they are, make really foolish decisions about the next thing they did. They don’t have an established the ability to process unlike financial investors will look at 1200 deals to make 10 investments, you don’t get to look at 1200 opportunities, or even for that matter, 120 opportunities here really in doing your cell phone. So that’s that’s one piece of this. So part of the deal is what could we do that would help people like you and folks like you who make better decisions about the next thing you do. And that’s really founder due diligence, and its funding founder opportunity fit. So that’s kind of a notion. The second thing, though, moonshot like is that it’s always bothered me, that we have an extraordinary expenditure of time, talent and resources. Focus on nonsense. I mean, we do dumb, dumb things such as serial owners will make foolish decisions. We, we invest our time, energy resources, oftentimes in bullshit. And that’s, that’s not what I want to see in the world. If there are wicked problems to be addressed, that could be addressed by entrepreneurs and investors, supporting them by the community of folks that has the expertise required, why why won’t we begin to turn the attention of the entrepreneurial community to things like this. So housing and homelessness, for example, that’s been on our agenda a few times, we haven’t solved that problem yet. Marc Benioff is now paying attention to that in San Francisco in spades, right? But look, whoa. Maybe it may be if the tech community in fact, is a part of the problem, and that we’re bringing all kinds of people to the city to the urban environment, or increasing the cost of living in that space, or actually helping to create this homelessness issue and problem, maybe we also have a responsibility to begin to work out a sustainable solution to what that so that’s the aspiration way beyond that health, water, food, energy monitoring infrastructure, waste, security, climate change. The program is about bringing 10 Plus successful serial entrepreneurs together for 10 days to address those problems and engage with people who know more about them than those entrepreneurs ever can. And it makes sure you have diverse perspectives about those things so you could really attack
I’m really glad again, and I’m really glad you’re here in Denver. Thank you so much. So grateful for time and all of our speakers so grateful for all of you to join us here this evening. I do want you to do shout out to all them that alchemy new media. He’s here in the middle. He’s been shooting video all night he came in from Kansas City. We’ve been recording interviews here in the other room. We’ve got a whole video series from here in the Denver boulder community we want to share far and wide in the powder keg network through any network that will share them because we want people to know how great He is to grow a tech company here. So thank you all very much for being here. I’m going to quickly run through some of these in the tech census we had voting for best culture there was an amazing companies that made it spots 10 through four number three was caught elements number two was meet mindful number one just acquired sitting. Let’s give it up for all of us next up, we had most innovative tech company and number 10 to number four so amazing companies including including HomeAdvisor there’s some stiff competition there. Number three was Comcast number two Amazon and number one was Arrow Electronics. Let’s get to that for all of us. Oh, invest culture. We also have vesicle culture some amazing companies never attempted before. Number three was Dojo fork, number two boulder bits. All events will pass for the ones that get a lot of applause. And number one Tech Stars. Think finally most innovative. Some amazing companies don’t pretend to you for probably recognize these number three was NetApp. Number two is Amazon. Number one was Google. So let’s give it up for all. We’re gonna put the music back on here. We’ve got thirsty mug in the back. I want to make sure you know it’s live now. america.com If you haven’t gotten your free copy, you can download it there. Thank you again to all of our partners who helped make this happen. We are so grateful to all these organizations or other startups cluster Chuck alchemy comments on ChampVA statute capital and accounting one who started up Rockies venture club chopper group downtown Denver partnership Boomtown cable labs and all the companies like operate in cryo or sorry Kira. Hi Rio. All right here even greater connectivity galvanize Thursday amongst sifted 1010 sandwich we just heard about School of Business. Let’s clap it up. That’s it for today’s show. I hope you’re as excited as I am seeing the national tech landscape come together. As we look at the tech census data. Every market is unique and understanding their unique opportunities is key to creating a thriving national tech community and an amazing group of high performing tech companies. Check out our past episodes on the Indianapolis and Cincinnati tech censuses for even more context. In a few weeks. We’ll also share the results of our Tennessee Tech census, which covers four cities. I can already tell you by looking at the early data, Tennessee’s tech ecosystem is its own unique thing. Huge thanks for tuning in to Episode 61 of powderkeg igniting startups head on over to powder keg.com to get all the links and all the people and resources mentioned in this episode, and to be among the first to hear the stories about entrepreneurs, investors and other tech leaders outside of Silicon Valley. Please subscribe to us on firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash iTunes. See you next time on powder keg igniting startups.