Entrepreneurship Means Collaboration

Dear Silicon Flatirons Friends and Supporters,

Collaboration is a cornerstone of the entrepreneurial world. Behind any successful startup, there is inevitably a roster of people who contribute in ways formal and informal, visible and hidden, direct and indirect. My experience in the startup community led me to write a recent article that studies the surprising ways in which collaboration occurs. No one goes it alone.

In this spirit, this Silicon Flatirons’ Entrepreneurship Initiative update highlights notable collaborations at CU Boulder. Three merit special mention.

First, as announced recently, Phil Weiser is back from Down Under and has assumed a new leadership role as Faculty Director for the campus’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative. (Don’t worry – he’ll still remain at the helm of Silicon Flatirons and as a professor at Colorado Law.) Phil has been a champion for campus collaboration. Phil’s remarkable energy and capabilities will accelerate the campus-wide efforts. Phil joins the Research and Innovation Office (RIO), led by Vice Chancellor Terri Fiez, and teams with others who are passionate about making CU Boulder the leading public university for entrepreneurship, including directors Sarabeth Berk and George Deriso. George’s perspective about the campus’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative is captured in this recent piece.

Second, we are excited to collaborate with Sharon Matusik and the Leeds School of Business for the upcoming CU Boulder Entrepreneurship and Collaboration Conference. Dean Matusik is helping draw top scholars to CU Boulder for this event. On February 16, Silicon Flatirons will co-host a public panel discussion that analyzes the institutionalization of collaboration through accelerators. Please join us for what promises to be a high quality conversation with area entrepreneurs David Cohen (Techstars), Paul Berberian (Sphero), a leading scholar on accelerators (Susan Cohen, Richmond), and Front Range community development leader Clif Herald (Boulder Economic Council).

Third, April means the New Venture Challenge Championships. The Championships are a long-held tradition that showcases innovation. Over the past decade, the NVC has served as the campus’ most powerful mechanism to convene innovators from every corner of CU Boulder and propel entrepreneurs forward. This year’s participants promise a dynamic and fun evening. Mark your calendar for the 9th Annual Championships on April 6.

Finally, Silicon Flatirons’ spring lineup features several events designed to support and enable entrepreneurship in the geek startup community. This spring we offer Crash Courses on Building Great Boards and Creating a Great Company Culture – two essentials for startup founders (and, really, leaders of any company) to grasp. Chris White, co-founder and CEO of Shinesty, will join us at a March 16 Entrepreneurs Unplugged. Chris’s appearance will be special. The last time Chris was on our stage he was collecting his JD and MBA sheepskins a few years ago at a graduation ceremony.

For me, I look forward to the good work conducted by our student attorneys through the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and working with you through Silicon Flatirons.  I encourage you to come get involved with us this spring!

Brad Bernthal
Entrepreneurship Initiative Director
Silicon Flatirons

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