Registration is open for the 2022 Q4 Leadership Bootcamp, which is happening in Boulder, Colorado, on Nov 10-13, 2022.
Regular readers of this blog know about my long-time (back to 1996) friendship with Reboot co-founder and CEO Jerry Colonna. What you may not know is that several years ago, Jerry and his partner Ali Schultz moved exactly 0.8 miles away from me (there is one 40-acre parcel of land between us.) In the evening, when we are both in Boulder (well, Longmont), he sits under his Cottonwood Tree, I sit 0.8 miles away on my couch next to my pool, and we text and wave at each other.
I’ve been to several Reboot Leadership Bootcamps as a special guest. They are unique and powerful experiences for entrepreneurs. As a bonus, the Reboot Retreat Center is actually on my property in a building called “The Carriage House.” Amy and I don’t charge Reboot for the use of The Carriage House – it’s our gift to entrepreneurs and Reboot for this amazing experience.
If you’re looking to reboot and refresh your leadership, join Team Reboot this November 10-13, 2022, in Boulder, CO, for their fall Leadership Bootcamp.
In the last seven months, the venture / entrepreneurial world has gone from “the only thing that matters is massive growth” to “the world is going to end.” For perspective, all you need to do is look at a dozen high-flying IPOs from 2020 or 2021 to see that the peak happened just before Thanksgiving.
The private markets lag the public markets. That’s not new. This time around, the lag was about a quarter, as many VCs started to talk about what was happening around the beginning of Q2.
There is no doubt that we are in the middle of, well, whatever you want to call it. “Correction” and “Choppy Waters” is probably a generous phrase for what is going on.
Having lived through this as an entrepreneur in 1987, an entrepreneur and VC in 2001, a VC in 2008, and a VC today, I embrace that this is just part of the entrepreneurial and economic cycle. I also know that many people freak out at this moment. If you’ve never been through this (like I hadn’t in 1987), it can be terrifying. If you are experienced and suddenly find yourself caught flat-footed for any number of reasons, it can be equally terrifying.
I no longer believe in clichés or prognostications such as “make sure you have three years of money in the bank” or “do a RIF quickly and deeply regardless of the situation you are in.” Instead, I think it is crucial for each company to understand its current reality clearly and make rapid and appropriate adjustments. This could mean “do a RIF quickly and deeply or “make sure you have three years of money in the bank,” but there are many other things to consider and do.
I’ve been involved in companies that have used these moments to gain huge market share from failing competitors. I’ve also been in companies that, in these moments, simply failed. I’ve been involved in companies that made adjustments, soldiered through, and came out the other side stronger. And, I’ve invested in brand new companies founded during these periods that ended up creating entirely new categories and extremely successful companies.
I expect that’s the tone of what we will discuss on 7/14 as part of Bolster’s Speaker Series about the VC Perspective on Navigating Choppy Waters. Fred Wilson has been through this many times, and his post on Amy and my 29th anniversary in Staying Positive is a wonderful perspective. Martina Lauchengco and Heather Hiles are long-time operators turned VCs who have also been through many cycles.
Join us on 7/14 @ 3pm ET for a discussion on Navigating Choppy Waters that hopefully will not be full of the same old clichés currently making the rounds.
CU’s Silicon Flatirons Center Startup Summer is back!
Startup Summer provides a fantastic experience for college-age students and interns interested in entrepreneurship and the Front Range emerging company scene.
Startup Summer is a free offering that enhances your company’s internship program. Your company hires and pays your intern(s). You can hire an intern out of your own pool of candidates or, alternatively, let us know and we will get you student resumes from individuals who have reached out to us.
This program is free – there is no charge for companies or interns. Now in Year 10, Startup Summer is one of CU Boulder Silicon Flatirons’ most popular programs.
Startup Summer pulls college-age students together on Tuesday nights from 5:30 – 7:30 pm during the summer. Startup Summer students and interns get to (1) meet leaders in the Front Range emerging company community, and (2) build their own startups on the side. More info is available at our website Startup Summer page.
If your company is interested in Startup Summer, please reach out directly to Sara Schnittgrund (Sara.Schnittgrund@Colorado.EDU) and Brad Bernthal (Brad.Bernthal@colorado.edu) at Silicon Flatirons by Thursday, June 3.
$avvy investigates the historical, cultural, and societal norms around women and money. This documentary questions why women often take a backseat to their finances. Interviews with business and financial experts like Carrie Schwab, Farnoosh Torabi, Sallie Krawcheck, and Haley Sacks (aka Mrs. Dow Jones) show why it is so important—now more than ever—for women to take control of their financial futures.
The first screening of $avvy is at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival from March 31st to April 10th.
For a long time, I collected computers (hardware, software, manuals, and magazines.) About five years ago, I donated my collection to the Media Archaeology Lab, located at CU Boulder. Also, Amy and I have made substantial gifts to MAL from the Anchor Point Foundation. And, last year, our gift enabled them to buy a vast collection from Benj Edwards.
On Thursday 1/21/21, at 5 pm, there will be a virtual tour of the Media Archaeology Lab collection. I need different things to do at the end of each day, so I’ll attend as a way to immerse myself in nerd history.
Join me. Given everything else going on right now, I think it’ll be a nice break.
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:
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.