Boulder has proved itself to be a city at the forefront of technology in Colorado, and may well be the center for pushing through entrepreneurial start-up companies that eventually make it big in the technological field. While Silicon Valley is, of course, the primary technological city in the United States, Boulder is the place that many of the industry’s greatest innovators initially pass through at one time or another. Once a gathering place for hippies during the 1960’s, the city of Boulder changed dramatically in a short period of time, as it wasn’t long until the city was churning out some of the brightest minds in the country. While the technological aspects of this nation have been expanding at an exorbitant rate, the tech leaders in Boulder have not contented themselves to be followers of this new age, but confident leaders, always ready and willing in their approach to innovation and technological advancements.
Boulder Hasn’t Always Been This Way
Boulder is currently the top city for tech start-ups in the United States, but it hasn’t always been this way. In fact, the history of the city hardly incorporated technological advancements into their economy until the last few decades. The first signs of how much technology would play a role in the development of this city began in the early 1950’s, with the founding of the National Bureau of Standards-Atomic Energy Commission. Once this happened, the schools around the area, namely the University of Colorado, started to adopt tech and computer studies. Since then, the city has amassed well over 150 start-up companies, due to a welcoming atmosphere and bonded community.
Boulder Making A Name for Itself
For the past few decades, a plethora of cities have attempted to follow in the footsteps of Silicon Valley, but none have actually succeeded in the way that Boulder has. A little known fact that best demonstrates this is that, in the years between 2007 and 2009, venture capitalists from around the nation have invested more than $1.9 billion in over 250 start-ups throughout Colorado. The $1.9 billion invested marks a significant increase in funding from the previous three years. As the city has a relatively small population of just under 100,000, it fosters a smaller community where forming start-up companies is an easier process than in most cities around the U.S.
The sophisticated education system in the city allows colleges to send their tech graduates out into the field immediately after school, which makes way for an ever-expanding industry within the city. This is one of the primary reasons investors have been attracted to Boulder and is why the tech industry is thriving in this particular city. The continuous support by investors allows those within the industry to be more confident and take more chances, which is why we are seeing more online start-ups now than ever before. It’s a cycle that shows no signs of slowing down.
Some of Boulder’s Major Players
The technological community is stronger than ever these days. For example, New Tech is the largest community of technologists in Colorado, with nearly 10,000 members in the cities of Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins (not to mention our very own Inbound Boulder Meetup group). There have been numerous successful start-ups in the past decade, such as Copyblogger, Startup Weekend, MX Logic, Service Metrix, and Rally Software, among a wealth of others.
Many of these start-ups have eventually been acquired by larger companies, such as Google, Microsoft, McAfee, and AOL, which does well to ensure the continued success of Boulder as a haven for professional and technological minds. The successful entrepreneur Brad Feld also started the popular mentor-ship program called TechStars, which has paved the way for many of today’s brightest start-ups.
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