i3 - March/April 2018 - 42

Policy

By Jeremy Snow

T EC H H U B

Boulder, CO: The Mountainous Town
Great for Growing Companies

 B 

oulder, Colorado is known for its beautiful mountains,
hiking trails and ski resorts, but recently has gotten attention
for something different: its tech community. Home to hundreds of budding startups, as well as accelerators and venture capital
firms, Boulder's growth has steadily made it a healthy alternative to
Silicon Valley. The tech world has taken notice, with both journalists
and professionals praising it as one of the best cities for startups.
also happens to be the highest-density tech
worker county in the U.S.," Enwall says.
"We support each other and work
together when it makes sense."
The Flatiron
Its collaborative tech scene
Business Park
in Boulder, CO
has allowed startups like Sphero
is home to
to find their footing and succeed.
Sphero among
It recently created the BB-8 toy
other high-tech
companies.
robot for Star Wars: The Force
Awakens. Other startups have
also thrived, including Dolby Laboratories,
Occipital, LogRhythm and TeamSnap.
Boulder houses some of the biggest tech
companies as well, like Google, Microsoft,
But one of Boulder's most alluring parts
Salesforce, Qualcomm and IBM.
isn't even the tech world - many up-andLang Mei, CEO and co-founder of
comers are attracted to the area for the
informu, is another startup star in town.
lifestyle. As Silicon Valley becomes pricier
After beginning his business while attendand more crowded, Boulder has carved
ing the University of Colorado Boulder -
its niche as a more affordable and welcomwhere he participated in Catalyze CUing option, perfect for the outdoorsy and
Boulder, the university's accelerator -
laid-back business exec. The boom has
Wei decided to stay. Boulder and its pasmade Boulder and its surrounding areas,
sionate tech community are perfect for
like Denver and Fort Collins, some of the
his five-person team, he says.
fastest growing cities in the U.S., attracting
"It is affordable, and the talent pool
lawyers, professors, engineers, and students
here is already very strong," Mei adds.
for the University of Colorado Boulder.
"A startup can just focus on growing here,
"Boulder offers a great place for our
and even attract employees or customers
employees to live, work and enjoy the outoutside of Colorado."
doors," says Misty Robotics' Tim Enwall.
And informu has done just that.
The artificial intelligence company began
Today, Mei and his company have
as a spin-off of Sphero, one of the most
launched Mu tag, a tiny electronic tag
successful tech companies based in the city.
for mobile phones. They have raised four
Sphero got its start from Techstars,
times their goal on Kickstarter, attended
the city's premiere incubator. Founded
CES 2018 and are looking to expand
in 2007, the popular three-month "mentortheir company. He plans to stay in
ship-driven" accelerator focuses on handsBoulder, too, where he and his coworkers
on learning and expanding your network
sometimes go camping after work.
through the program's resources. "Boulder
42

MARCH/APRIL 2018

THE FINAL
WORD:

How can the tech
industry grow even
larger in Boulder?

TIM ENWALL,
Head of Misty Robotics
"In order to take Boulder/Denver
and startups in general to the
next level, it's important for the
venture capital community to
focus on growing large, healthy
companies. We have had two
significant tech IPOs in the past
12 months - Zayo and Sendgrid
- but we need more public tech
companies to really start to
rival Boston and San Francisco."

LANG MEI,
CEO and Co-founder, informu
"I would like to see Boulder
try to improve the diversity
of its talent pool, that way
we can make sure we can
always find the perfect
employee for our company."
I T I S I N N O VAT I O N


https://www.mistyrobotics.com/ http://www.informu.io/ https://www.mistyrobotics.com/ http://www.informu.io/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - March/April 2018

Contents
i3 - March/April 2018 - Cover1
i3 - March/April 2018 - Cover2
i3 - March/April 2018 - Contents
i3 - March/April 2018 - 2
i3 - March/April 2018 - 3
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