Colorado: Entrepreneurial Hotbed

Colorado Middle Range

As a Colorado based business attorney, my attention is often focused on the innovative activity happening in the Rocky Mountain region. Colorado LLCs, S Corps and C Corps are being fostered and formed all over the front range.

One great regional example is Boulder. Amongst other creative nicknames for this colorful city, “Silicon Flatirons” stands out as a beacon to creative entrepreneurial minds. This isn’t just by chance, many successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have worked hard to build Boulder as a center for idea exchange. Here a few examples of the activities around Boulder:

  • Boulder Open Coffee Club, which is part of a network of OpenCoffee Club’s being created worldwide, sets up shop every other Tuesday AM in the Atlas purveyors coffee shop. The purpose is for anyone to stop by to talk technology, business, and startups. It was founded by Foundry Group’s Jason Mendelson.
  • TechStars founder David Cohen just closed a $28 million fund for early-stage companies, called Bullet Time Ventures II. He’ll make investments ranging from $50,000 to $200,000, and will pump at least half of the fund into companies that emerge from TechStars.
  • The Unreasonable Institute each year gathers together 25 entrepreneurs from around the world to live under the same roof for six weeks in Boulder. These entrepreneurs receive training and build long-term relationships with 50 world-class mentors. The entrepreneurs build their businesses with 20 investment funds, receive legal advice & design consulting, and pitch to hundreds of potential investors and partners.

Denver Gets in on the Act

Denver has also started to create venues for the exchange of fresh business ideas between Colorado entrepreneurs, or existing LLCs, S Corps and C Corps.

  • Colorado Small Business Chamber of Commerce hosts the free Denver IDEA Cafe Startup Workshop every Friday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, 13th and Grant streets in Denver. The founder, John Wren, is also working on, a free online business directory that would list every one of Colorado’s 400,000 or so businesses, as well as create an almanac to market information about state industries.
  • Not to be outdone, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade are to create, by 2014, an electronic database of Colorado businesses, thanks to Senate Bill 143.

This is all good news for Colorado small business. Other regions that are inspiring innovation include Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and I heard that Grand Junction has started some programs as well. I’ll be keeping an eye on these opportunities.

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“Colorado Middle Range” under CC license by rjones856