Brad Feld

Tag: Boulder

Amy and I love sushi.  While my sushi dining experiences have been limited to the US and Europe, I’ve had a number of amazing sushi dinners, including Masa in New York.  Boulder has a bizarrely large number of sushi restaurants and over the years we’ve frequented them all numerous times.

A year or so ago a new one – Kasa Japanese Grill and Bar – opened up on the corner of Pearl and 15th.  It’s around the corner from our condo in Boulder so we stopped in a few times.  The first time went there it was empty, but the owner and manager Mimi was delightful and upbeat, shining her happiness on us.  As we kept going back, the number of people in the restaurant at any given time increased, but Mimi always welcomed us as if she was welcoming us into her home, doted over us, and made sure we had an amazing time.

Last week Kasa finally got a review that it had long deserved when the Boulder Camera wrote Kasa Japanese Grill review: Delicious excess has its placeAmy and I had dinner at Kasa tonight with our friends Tim Enwall and Hillary Hall and the place was packed.  It was fun to watch Mimi run from table to table, making sure everyone was having a great time as her staff did the same.

I’m a Kasa regular and hope to be for a long time.  I’m psyched they are getting the recognition they’ve been working hard for.  The next time you think of sushi in Boulder, give them a try.

Andrew Hyde has decided to organize another Boulder Startup Week on May 4 – 8, 2010.  Tons of folks are already committed to host events including Trada, Pivotal Labs, Everlater, QuickLeft, TechStars, Napkin Labs, and SurveyGizmo.  The Boulder New Tech Meetup and Ignite Boulder is also happening that week.

It’s free – register now and mark it on Plancast.

The Boulder Fiber Forever project to bring Google’s 1 Gbps fiber network to Boulder is having a flash mob at the Walnut Brewery (1123 Walnut Street) today (Sunday) from 3pm – 6pm.  Come join us, but first go to and add your support for the effort.  Then, head over the the Walnut Brewery between 3pm and 6pm, mention Boulderfiber, and get pints of some of the best beer in Boulder for $2.25.

I’m running to town from Eldo today and should be there around 5pm.  I’ll see you there.

If you live in Boulder, it’s time to help bring the Google Fiber experiment to our awesome city.  A bunch of folks from all over Boulder are working on the Boulder Fiber project to help us become one of the cities for the Google Fiber for Communities project. 

Boulder is a perfect city for this.  When I moved here in 1995 I didn’t expect to engage in much business as I was spending most of my time in Boston, NY, and San Francisco.  However, I discovered an incredibly smart community that was extremely computer and Internet savvy.  As the commercial Internet started to take off in the mid-1990’s, Boulder was a hotbed for Internet usage and innovation as we rapidly became an incredibly wired city.  I attributed this to the convergence of (a) a smart, well-educated population, (b) a university at the core of the city, (c) a bunch of national labs, (d) a solid legacy of tech startups, especially around storage, cable, and telecom, and (e) a strong culture of independence which was well suited to all things Internet.

What I didn’t realize at the time were two important metrics that underscore both the technology and the entrepreneurial energy in Boulder.  The two metrics are that on a per-capita basis, Boulder has the highest percentage of computer scientists and the highest percentage of Ph.D.’s in the US.  When combined with a vibrant entrepreneurial community that has deep software and Internet expertise, magic things happen.

We’ve seen a lot of this magic in Boulder in the past five years.  I’m proud of how the city I call home has arisen as one of the most important entrepreneurial communities in the US with much more activity, visibility, and influence than a city with a population of 150,000 typically has.  More importantly, the amount of innovation coming out of Boulder is extraordinary.

Google has put out a challenge to find communities that are willing to be a test bed for an experimental ultra-high speed broadband network to see what kind of innovation will emerge.  If you are a member of the Boulder community, even if you aren’t in the high tech or entrepreneurial sector, help us tell Google why Boulder is the best city in the US for this experiment.

If you are game to help, do the following things:

  1. Go to the Boulder Fiber site and follow the directions – it’ll take five minutes.
  2. Follow the Boulder Fiber project on Twitter
  3. Fan Bring Google Fiber to the City of Boulder on Facebook.

I’m doing another Beers with Brad – this time in Boulder on next Thursday, February 18th from 6pm to 8pm at Twisted Pine Brewery (3201 Walnut Street).  Lest you think this will be one of those boring events where a bunch of smart, interesting people stand around and drink beer and talk for a few hours, I promise I’ll spice this one up. 

I’m going to tell three entrepreneurial stories I haven’t told in public before in Boulder.  I haven’t decided which ones yet but they’ll be doozies.  I promise a mix of success and failure to go with some very good beer.  All in support of a good cause and some fun. 

There might even be an after party.

When I wrote my post titled An Angel Investor Group Move That Makes Me Vomit I expected to write my little rant and be done with it.  A month or so later Jason Calacanis picked up the mantle and started a Jihad against the idea of angel groups charging entrepreneurs to pitch to them.

The result is the Open Angel Forum.  I participated in the second event last week in Boulder.  I thought it was spectacular and the twitter stream from #OAFCO reflected this sentiment.  About 20 active (at least four investments in the past year) early stage investors (angels and seed stage VCs) attended.  Six entrepreneurs presented their companies in short seven minute pitches.  Five sponsors underwrote the food and drink at the event.  There was plenty of networking before and after.  That was it – small, intimate, and highly relevant to all.

Most of the presenters wrote blog posts about the event which will give you a great feel for what they experienced.

The events continue with Open Angel Forum San Francisco on March 4th and Open Angel Forum New York City on April 8th.  If you are an entrepreneur or an angel investor in either city, check them out.

Next week is the first annual entrepreneurship week at CU Boulder.  There is a full schedule of great events for anyone interested in entrepreneurship.

Monday 4/13: 11:30am – 2:00pm: Starting Companies at CU: Technology Entrepreneurship Luncheon @ University Memorial Center

Tuesday 4/14: 10:00am – 11:30am: Panel Discussion on Social Entrepreneurship @ University Memorial Center Room 247

Tuesday 4/14: 5:30pm – 8:30pm: Silicon Flatirons Center’s Entrepreneurial Mash-Up @ Dairy Center for the Arts

Wednesday, 4/15: 5:00pm: Feld-Weiser One-on-One: The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem @ Wittemeyer Courtroom, Wolf Law Building

Wednesday, 4/15: 6:00pm: Entrepreneurs Unplugged featuring Glenn Jones @ Wittemeyer Courtroom, Wolf Law Building

Thursday, 4/16: 3:00pm – 8:00pm: Putting The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Perspective @ Wittemeyer Courtroom, Wolf Law Building

Friday, 4/17: 9:00am – noon: CU New Venture Challenge Semifinals @ Atlas

Friday, 4/17: 2:00pm – 5:00pm: CU New Venture Challenge Finals and Post-Challenge Reception @ University Memorial Center

Also, if you are in Boulder for lunch on Tuesday, come by Spud Bros at the Corner of 10th and Pearl behind Pasta Jay’s between noon and 2:00pm.  I’ll be the “guest chef” (more like “guest spud slinger”); 50% of proceeds will go to The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.

I find trail running to be a magical experience.  I live behind Eldorado Canyon State Park just outside of Boulder and have a plethora of trail runs that I can start and finish at my house such as Eldorado Canyon Trail, Walker Ranch, Rattlesnake Gulch, Fowler Trail, Dowdy Draw, Mesa Trail (and all the branches), and South Boulder Creek Trail.

I’ve run them all – many times – in many different permutations.  Since Amy and I own a lot of property that is adjacent to Colorado State Park land and Boulder Open Space, I’m very respectful of staying on the trails as it makes me crazy whenever someone comes off of the Eldorado Canyon Trail or Rattlesnake onto our land.

So – it was with great pleasure that I discovered that Goshawk Ridge Trail is now open.  I ran it today from the Fowler Trail direction.

I have a standard 60 minute out and back run on Fowler trail.  I used to be able to stretch it to 90 minutes if I ran on Denver Water Board land up to the private property boundary.  With the opening of Goshawk Ridge I now have a great new 90 minute loop.  In addition, the trail system now connects up with the Spring Brook Loop and all the Dowdy Draw improvements.  I think I just got another 15 or so miles of trails to play around with, along with links to other trails that I previously had to run on the road to get to!

One of my favorite things about trail running is the serenity.  After about five minutes on the trail, I don’t even notice that the world – outside me and the trail – exists.  No cars, few people (I saw more deer today than I saw people), occasional wildlife (including – er, eek! – snakes), and periodic magical and mystical surprise moments.

I also don’t ever care about my time or pace on the trail run.  I just run.  I’ve never met a hill I couldn’t run up, but I’ve met some that I had to walk down because of my “racehorse ankles” (Amy loves to chide me about my thin ankles).  I don’t look at my watch – I just pay attention to my breathing and heart rate.

I’ve had a hard time getting in a consistent gear since running the Huntsville Marathon.  I had some great runs at the end of 2008, but then twisted my ankle hard in mid January and have been struggling to get in a groove for the last few weeks.   After the last few runs, I’ve found that groove.  And – I’ve found some great new trails.  Thanks Boulder Open Space!

My partner Jason Mendelson – who is also my co-conspirator in writing the blog AsktheVC – is having an open session called Crash Course – Raising Venture CapitalIt’s part of the Silicon Flatirons program and is happening on February 24th from 5:15pm to 6:45pm in Room 204 at the Wolf Law Building.  Jason says he’s going to cover:

Everything from what makes VCs tick, who are our bosses, what are things that you can do to improve your chances of receiving funding and things that many VCs don’t want to talk about.  No question is off limits and I hope that it will be a very interactive forum.  Consider this to be a live version of Ask The VC.

Of course, beer goes really well with stuff like this.  So BioBeers is hosting a Startup Drinks event at The Foundry starting at 6:30.  This isn’t at our office, although we are always amused when “The Foundry” gets confused with “Foundry Group”.  Rather, it’s across the street at The Foundry, 1109 Walnut Street.  Hoist a few for me as I’ll be in Seattle (more on that in a minute.)