Entrepreneurs, students, leaders across campus, and legal and business professionals look to Silicon Flatirons as a space to convene with meaningful purpose.
Our hometown, Boulder, was ranked by Forbes in 2015 as the #1 best city to start a business. Described as a rapidly advancing Western hub, Boulder has been dubbed by Richard Florida as “America’s Most Creative City.”
Silicon Flatirons’ role as a nerve center for Boulder and the entire Colorado Front Range entrepreneurship scene was featured prominently in Brad Feld’s book, Startup Communities, which praised Silicon Flatirons for turning the university “inside out” and highlighted its role as an important feeder and convener for the Boulder startup community. Silicon Flatirons’ entrepreneurship work has been highlighted in the New York Times and is mentioned in David Cohen’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Boulder Startup Community.
To support networking and an exchange of ideas, the Center sponsors and supports a wide-range of events, programs, and competitions. In addition to Silicon Flatirons events, check out other entrepreneurship events in Colorado here.
Entrepreneurs Unplugged attracts star entrepreneurs who share candid stories and insights in an engaging and informal setting. The unplugged series serves as a meeting place for campus and community members to gather and learn about entrepreneurship through the experiences of a successful entrepreneur.
Past guests have included James Dimon, Heidi Ganahl, Sam Zell, Charlie Ergen, Kim Jordan and many other serial entrepreneurs.
Each Entrepreneurs Unplugged meeting features food, drink and, most importantly, an experienced entrepreneur who shares his or her startup experiences. The program offers students and faculty an opportunity to learn how a successful startup is created, as well as the chance to ask direct questions to the guest entrepreneur and network with members of the local entrepreneurial community.
Crash Course Series
The Crash Course series examines legal and business topics that entrepreneurs confront when launching new ventures. Attendees gain a working knowledge of specific topics that pertain to navigating the startup world.
Past topics have included pitching to angel investors, planning for M&A, creating boards, and managing intellectual property. Local legal professionals and business leaders teach these courses, which are open to all who are interested.
The annual Entrepreneurship Conference brings members of the Front Range’s regional entrepreneurial ecosystem together with academia and other thought leaders to explore the latest trends, policy, and other factors impacting the startup community.
Led by a team of rural entrepreneurs and community champions, Startup Colorado works throughout the Western Slope and Eastern Plains, supporting initiatives that benefit the long-term resources and success of Colorado’s rural entrepreneurs. Silicon Flatirons is the engine powering and managing the initiative.
Startup Summer helps student interns maximize their summer experience. The 10-week program brings together interns from Colorado Front Range startups and emerging companies and guides them through the startup ideation and creation process, supporting them as they build their own venture and compete in an end-of-summer pitch contest with cash prizes. Learn how your company and interns can get involved.
The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC or the Clinic) provides law students with practical experience in transactional law while offering valuable legal services without charge to local startup businesses lacking access to legal resources.
The Entrepreneurial Policy Academy seeks to educate and encourage rural entrepreneurs on how to engage in and advocate for stronger legislative policies. The academy will empower these entrepreneurs to realize their ability to provide direct input to local, state, federal, and international policymakers and standards-setters.
Students are invited to identify novel solutions to reinvent businesses within industries upended by the COVID-19 pandemic and compete for prize money.
Campus-related Programs and Activities
CU Boulder fosters the growth of startups and the entrepreneurial mindset and skillset needed for innovation and is ranked by Forbes as one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurial public universities. Through the cross-campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to develop their entrepreneurial talents and innovative thinking. As one of the campus leaders of this effort, Silicon Flatirons seeks out new ways of enhancing the entrepreneurial culture on campus, which spans across departments and classifications.
The New Venture Challenge is CU Boulder’s entrepreneurial flight-simulator for students, staff, and faculty to try out entrepreneurship. Silicon Flatirons runs the Information Technology Track, which is geared toward businesses with technology as the primary business driver. Spanning September through April, the NVC blends a network of nearly 100 mentors, a series of workshops, and real-world feedback from judges during quick pitch night and the competition phase. Cash prizes are available for IT Track participants and the IT Track winner will pitch for the grand prize at the NVC Championship. Past NVC participants have used the program to spring-board into programs such as TechStars and the NSF I-Corps program, and compete on the popular TV show Shark Tank.