Last week, the eighth annual Boulder Startup Week took place. As the original startup week in Colorado, this year’s event focused on engaging the entire Boulder innovation community by breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration among various industries. Although Twentyseven Global currently operates out of Denver, Colorado, Creighton O’Neal, vice president of client service, emphasized how united the Colorado technology community is, extending far outside of the Denver city limits.
O’Neal said, “The Denver metro is a huge ecosystem. From Aurora to the High Rockies, and from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, there’s startup activity and tech innovation happening, so confining anything to just Denver doesn’t make sense.”
For the first time, Boulder Startup Week expanded its focus beyond just tech startups with two new events. Boulder-based startup accelerator Techstars sponsored the two events, called Community Open House and Community Night. According to BizWest, these special events are designed to bring together startups not just in the tech industry, but also outdoor recreation, beer, natural and organic foods, cannabiz and more. O’Neal said this is important because brainstorming in collaboration rather than operating in their silos helps startups leverage each other’s businesses or at least share references. And depending on the type of startup, some may require a technological component to streamline processes or enhance the customer experience. By networking with people in the technology space, they are more likely to find the necessary resources to build out a business.
On Monday night, a panel was held to address the state of venture capital in Colorado. According to BizWest, many local venture capitalists said the Boulder Valley is actually suffering from a shortage of capital, but groups like Rockies Venture Capital and Access Venture Partners are working to remedy the deficit by connecting angel investors and VCs with startups. As Twentyseven Global works with many companies in the startup space, delivering software and mobile app solutions, the state of investing is critical to the growth of the entrepreneurial community. Overall, panelists felt optimistic and said because the area is sprawling with startup activity, they were confident that the sheer amount of talent and quality of life would eventually attract more venture capitalists to the area.