Thoughts on Boulder’s Tech Scene

“We’re number one of the second tier.”

That’s how Me.dium co-founder Robert Reich described Boulder. And if you think about this for a moment you’ll realize that this is an advantageous position to hold. My Canadian Idol Theory holds up (More on this in a later post. Really). The city is big enough to provide meaningful support, yet not so big that tech start-ups become meaningless in the news.

I spent three days in Boulder (/Denver) last week and my impression of the emerging tech scene in that city continues to strengthen. Today, while thinking about my time there during a run it became official, I’ve become a fanboy of Boulder. What’s happening there is special and I hope that hasn’t been lost on those who are immersed in it.
There was such a feeling of community.

A warm dinner the first night with Brad, Ryan, Jason, and Chris (note: warmth may have resulted from Sake + altitude :) ) helped set the tone for our time in Boulder. I enjoyed meeting familiar names like David from Colorado Start-ups and Tara from Lijit (who provided a tonne of helpful advice… and jokes! What is the deal with the extra dot in del.icio.us?)

The guys from Me.dium – Kimbal Musk, Robert Reich, and David Mandell – were helpful beyond belief and played wonderful hosts, inviting us to present at Boulder’s New Technology Meetup during a few minutes of downtime before heading to The Kitchen, Kimbal’s restuarant, for an incredible meal (I highly recommend the garlic fries).

It was fun to meet Josh from Intense Debate (more on this soon) and I’m looking forward to growing a friendship with him – it’s already started by swapping stories about moving thousands of miles to join a start-up and chase a dream. Stan must have drawn the shortest straw, having to eat dinner beside me two nights in a row. I really enjoyed chatting with Kevin, a mobile rock-star (Tiny Twitter!), while discussing the finer points of a start-up playoffs website (may have been the wine + altitude :) ). And best of luck to Ari as he works towards Filtrboxes launch!

I was impressed with how the connections and relationships were woven together, everyone supporting one another in a way that transcended a working relationship and approached friendship. That’s a powerful community builder and something that happens from being the number one of the second tier. Hopefully I’ll be in Boulder again, I’m looking forward to meeting everyone again and seeing just how well the various companies are doing. Thanks everyone for making our trip so warm.

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    Fraser – we'll let you come visit anytime. Seriously, it's been great getting to know you. This post captures a lot of what makes Boulder a special place.

  • http://iquitforlijit.typepad.com/i_quit_for_lijit/ Tara Anderson

    Thanks for the kind words about our community. It's no Hamilton, but we like it. I had a good time talking to you and appreciate you letting me borrow your joke for use on stage. The video of you and Alex is funny and I'll post it on my blog later today. I can't wait to hang out again…perhaps an Adaptive Blue ski trip?

  • http://newmanva.com/blog arinewman

    How nice to hear/read that you were able to get so much perspective on what's happening here in a few days. It was great to meet you and Alex in person and I look forward to spending some more time with you guys in the future!

  • Fraser

    Many months reading + following helped build an understanding of what's happening there. A few quick days helped bring perspective and first hand experience. Some reflection has solidified my thoughts… Boulder's a great place for a tech start-up!

  • Fraser

    Don't drop that joke on me – I was making a joke about how hilarious it would be to make that joke on stage. Never did I think someone would actually have an opportunity to perform it on stage, let alone go through with it!

  • Patrick Woodward

    Wow, that was some serious insight into Boulder's tech community. I've wondered what the community there was like-thanks. I love the fact that Kimbal has a restaurant. Thats great;)

  • David Cohen

    Fraser – it was great to meet you as well – i’ve been reading your blog for some time now. glad you enjoyed boulder – please let me know if you make it back again. would love to hang out more.

  • http://techstars.org David Cohen

    Fraser – it was great to meet you as well – i’ve been reading your blog for some time now. glad you enjoyed boulder – please let me know if you make it back again. would love to hang out more.

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  • IPA-IBA

    There’s some really creative things happening down there – worth keeping an eye on that area for sure!

  • http://www.biz-doctor.com IPA-IBA

    There’s some really creative things happening down there – worth keeping an eye on that area for sure!

  • Nick

    Second Tier honestly sounds a little too giving. The only thing so far to come out of Colorado has been Photobucket.

  • http://www.mackaysatellite.com/ Satellite Phones Service

    Wonder full writing skills you got mate.

    respect
    DAINE MADDIE
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