Denver Startup Week, the largest startup week in the world, happens next week. In the time of Covid, it’s virtual, so I hope we attract a lot of people from all over the world.
I’m involved in a bunch of stuff this year, which I’ll list below, but I want to highlight a few specific events, including the Keynote Kickoff with Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners who grew up in Denver. He will be doing a fireside chat with Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
There is a large effort around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Listen to a short overview with Dianne Myles.
Following are the specific events I’m involved in.
Tuesday, September 15th from 1:00-2:00pm MT – Startup Communities, Complex Systems, Wicked Problems, and the Entrepreneur’s Journey: Brad Feld (Foundry Group & Techstars), Cheryl Kellond (Apostrophe Health), and Tom Higley (X Genesis & 10.10.10) talk about “complex systems,” startup communities, and wicked problems – and what they’ve learned about how entrepreneurs succeed.
Tuesday, September 15th from 5:30pm-6:30pm MT – COVIDTECH: Colorado’s COVID Response
– Brad Feld, Innovation Response Volunteers
– Sarah Tuneberg, COVIDtech Executive Product Owner, CDPHE
– Christen Lara, COVIDtech Product Manager, CDPHE
– Kris Kiburz, IT Director for CDPHE
– Moderator: Stephanie Cain, Colorado Digital Service
+ Pre-recorded opening remarks by Governor Jared Polis
Wednesday, September 16th from 3:45 – 5:15pm MT – Energize Colorado – Helping Prepare Small Businesses for the New Economy
– Panelists: Brad Feld, Danielle Shoots, Erik Mitisek, & Marc Nager
– Moderator: Wendy Lea
Friday, September 18th from 10:00-11:00am MT – Mental Health Fireside with Brad Feld and Dave Morin: Dave is Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Sunrise whose mission is to cure depression, reduce suffering, and understand the brain. Focused on bringing together science, technology, medicine, spirituality, philosophy, and design to revolutionize how humanity experiences all forms of depression.
Come join us for some of these, or any of the other hundreds of events at Denver Startup Week 2020.
I’m at the Authors and Innovations Business Ideas Festival in Boston put on by Larry Gennari. It’s a neat collection of people who are interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, and books, three topics that I love so I’m having a lot of fun.
Bobbie is running an organization called Innovation Women which is an online speaker’s bureau for entrepreneurial and technical women. In addition to being an entrepreneur herself, she’s helping women get more visibility as entrepreneurs through her business.
There’s something that gives me great joy about the random connections with people over a long period of time. While I haven’t worked closely with Bobbie, running into her for a third time in around a decade at different in contexts that are interesting to me, causes me to want to put some effort into finding ways to work together.
I’m keynoting the Authors and Innovators Business Ideas Festival on 10/24/19 at the UMASS campus in Newton, MA.
As a writer, I’m excited to see events like this happening. When I got the invite from Larry Gennari, I was delighted that it overlapped with a Wellesley College board meeting that Amy was attending. So, while we won’t be together (she’ll be in Wellesley and I’ll be in Newton), we’ll be near each other.
The other authors presenting are:
- Donna Hicks (Harvard Univesity): Leading with Dignity
- Gerald Kate (Boston College): The Technology Fallacy
- Dan Albert (Cox Automotive): Are We There Yet?
- Tom Davenport (Babson College): The AI Advantage
- Gary Pisano (Harvard Business School): Creative Construction
- Jonathan Gruber (MIT): Jump-Starting America
- Karen Mills (Harvard Business School): Fintech, Small Business & the American Dream
- Jules Pieri (The Grommet): How We Make Stuff Now
I just bought all the books on Amazon so my Kindle is extra loaded up for my trip to Alaska at the end of the week.
David Cohen and I will be at the Fort Collins Barnes and Noble from 6pm – 8pm on Tuesday 9/10/19 to sign copies of the 2nd Edition of Do More Faster: Techstars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup.
Over the next few months, we’ll be doing a handful of public appearances around the book. It’s the first book I wrote and – with David – really learned how to write a book almost a decade ago.
We freshened up the 1st Edition with some new stories, lots of context and history around the evolution of Techstars, updates on where the entrepreneurs highlighted are today, and some other nuggets throughout the update.
When Do More Faster originally came out in 2010, there were three Techstars accelerators (Boulder, Boston, and Seattle) with a fourth about to launch (New York). Today, there are 50 active Techstars accelerators happening each year, located in 13 different countries. In addition to funding 500 companies per year (10 per accelerator), Techstars also runs a number of other activities, including Startup Weekend, Startup Week, a number of corporate innovation initiatives, and a set of Ecosystem Development programs based on work surrounding my book Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City.
Whenever I ponder it, I get great joy from reflecting on how much progress Techstars has made from 2010 and, more importantly, the amount I’ve learned about entrepreneurship through my involvement with Techstars.
If you are near Fort Collins, Colorado on Tuesday night (9/10/19), come hang out with me and David at Barnes & Noble, 4045 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525.
From June 5 to June 8, Techstars Startup Week West Slope will be happening on the western slope in Colorado, with the main event in Grand Junction.
I’m doing a Keynote at on Thursday, June 6 from 11:30am – 1:00pm at Colorado Mesa University. I’ll be talking about building startup communities outside Colorado’s front range in a fireside chat / AMA format.
Startup communities in Colorado that are outside the front range (Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins) have become something that my partner Seth Levine and I have been very involved in the past few years. Seth’s providing a lot of on the ground leadership, through his work with Startup Colorado and the Greater Colorado Venture Fund. I try to show up or help remotely whenever I can and Amy and I have been writing plenty of checks from our Anchor Point Foundation to support various initiatives.
We have family in Hotchkiss, a house in Aspen, and have spent a lot of time in Summit County over the past decade when we had a house in Keystone. There are magical things going on all over Colorado, especially on the western slope. I have a strong belief that startup communities should exist everywhere and can have a meaningful impact on cities outside the large urban concentrations that we have in many parts of the U.S.
What’s happening in Colorado’s Western Slope is powerful and an example that can be used through the U.S. and the world. If you are interested, come join us at Techstars Startup Week West Slope to learn more.
Defy Colorado is growing nicely after some overall challenges with the national organization in 2018. Defy Colorado is now a separate 501c(3) and my partner Jason Mendelson and his wife Jenn Mendelson have been playing a huge leadership role with the Defy Colorado team.
Defy is in the business of building restorative communities and that community begins with us. On Wednesday, April 24th at noon at the Dairy Center they are celebrating the graduation of two special EITs who were released before they had the chance to officially graduate from the CEO of Your New Life Program. The afternoon will feature a primer on Defy Colorado and its work in Colorado prisons, a panel discussing transformative change, and the opportunity to hear energizing pitches from our graduates. Don’t miss it – register now.
Defy Colorado also has a business coaching session coming up on May 16th at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Ordway, Colorado. There will be up to 40 volunteers and 40 Entrepreneurs-in-Training at the event for the day. If you are interested in joining, reach out by email to Stacey Putka.
Yeah – there’s more …
Formlabs Digital Factory is for anyone interested in 3D printing. And, if you are already a Formlabs customer, the Formlabs User Summit is the next day, on May 8th, 2019.
EforAll’s mission is to accelerate economic development and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship in emerging communities. They are focused on fostering small business development and entrepreneurial activity amongst under-networked and under-resourced populations in communities that have been traditionally overlooked for economic investment.
The decision to support EforAll was easy for us as they focus on two distinct issues that we care about: building entrepreneurial ecosystems and supporting underserved entrepreneurs. Their metrics speak for themselves as their entrepreneurs have been: 57% unemployed or underemployed (when they started the program); 70% female; 41% immigrant; and/or 55% minority.
They also locate their programs outside, but near, communities that are traditional hubs for entrepreneurship. In Massachusetts (where they are based), they run programs in cities like Lawrence, MA, and Lowell, MA – both recovering factory/mill towns that lost their economic driver years ago when most of the factories closed down. In these two cities, EforAll has launched more than 130 small businesses and startups which have created almost 400 jobs in the community.
While there’s been tremendous growth in Colorado, it has been uneven across the state. We believe the importance of investing in the types of entrepreneurs and communities that EforAll works with is crucial, especially as the wealth inequality gap in our country continues to grow.
I’m particularly excited that EforAll has decided to launch their first Colorado site in Longmont. I’d like to invite you to come to an event on April 17th from 8:00am-9:
If you are interested in getting involved or supporting the effort, email Harris Rollinger who is the Executive Director of EforAll Colorado.
On April 17th and 18th, the “What Is a Feminist Lab?” Symposium will take place at the University of Colorado Boulder.
It is co-organized by Maya Livio, Lori Emerson, and Thea Lindquist. The event will examine the recent proliferation of labs, survey the lab landscape, and explore ways in which intersectional feminist approaches can be integrated into labs and the work they do.