Dear Silicon Flatirons Friends and Supporters,
One thing we’ve learned about entrepreneurship in our state is that it is pervasive. While we have previously focused the majority of our attention on the Front Range, Silicon Flatirons is now turning to areas outside of the front range to support entrepreneurs.
This effort – aptly named Startup Colorado – will aim to empower and sustain entrepreneurial communities across the state by amplifying a collaborative support network, making connections to key resources, and helping high-growth companies access trusted, flexible capital. We are working directly with local startup leaders to learn what resources they need and how Startup Colorado can help.
Silicon Flatirons is proudly partnering with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to launch this special effort. Brad Feld of the Foundry Group is generously providing important seed funding to make this happen. The vision for this initiative is for Silicon Flatirons to be the engine that powers it, with our Director of Community Partnerships Dave Camerucci managing Startup Colorado.
You may recognize the Startup Colorado name – it began as an endeavor we helped found several years ago to spur entrepreneurial growth in the Front Range, and this latest evolution continues that mission. A successful byproduct of the initial effort is Startup Summer, a program that Silicon Flatirons continues to run and that connects dozens of college students and Denver/Boulder startup companies for a powerful internship experience and an introduction to entrepreneurship.
We are especially excited to be partnering with the State, our second such collaboration focused on entrepreneurship. Our GELA (Governmental Entrepreneurial Leadership Accelerator) program introduces state employees to innovative thinking through an educational boot camp and gives them an opportunity to try out their skills and provide solutions to real problems facing governments. The City and County of Denver is a strong partner in this initiative as well. This recent article about GELA captures the essence of the “rare culture of openness and creativity on the part of Colorado government.”
We are excited about this new endeavor to support startups throughout our state and help them build startup communities. If you are interested in supporting Startup Colorado through mentoring, investing, or otherwise participating, let me or Dave know.