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TechStars Event and Boulder startups

Gidday,

I have just come back from a great run/hike in the foothills here in Boulder. It’s so inspiring and at some point along the way I always have to stop and admire the view. It’s amazing to think that you can be only 10minutes up the hills and feel like you are in the middle of the great Colorado Rockies!

But the other reason I really love Boulder is because we have available to us a great group of entrepreneurs, startup companies and opportunities right here in town. Everyone here has an idea or is thinking one up! I have a number of friends who have successful businesses in Boulder and most of them started out in their garages.

We attended the Techstars open event last night run by David Cohen, Funding Your startup. David is a great supporter of local Colorado businesses and he put together a group of experienced successful people for the event. Thanks David!

It was particularly enlightening to listen to the contrast in experiences from some of the panel , I was especially intrigued by Brad Feld from a venture Capital firm in Boulder and Kimbal Musk from a great local restaurant called The Kitchen which we love and eat at all the time. A fellow New Zealander works for Kimbal, Bryce Brown. Bryce also runs a great Boulder non-profit called Our Love of Children Foundation to promote kids healthy eating in schools. Kimbal also has another new venture, Medium which is a software company here in Boulder.

I found particularly interesting the observations made about whether to actually go for Venture capital or fund yourself. The panel did point out that most companies are predominantly successful on their own rather than using Angels, seed money or Venture capital.

If you do decide to go for the money I took away the following laundry list of what a venture capitalist is looking for in an interview:

1. You must believe in your idea and sell it in the first 15 mins
2. The VC must like you and want to work with you
3. Be yourself, was brilliant from Lisa Rutherford
4. Never look at a turn down as a negative, always take away something to improve upon for the next meeting
5. Practice, practice, practice!! Sound advice from Kimbal.

I think I walked away from the presentation with 2 very important items. Fund yourself if you can and in any way that you can. Don’t sell your company to just any Angle or venture capitalist, find someone who believes in you and your idea from the get go.

Thanks Again David,
Cheerio
Margot

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