Entries in boulder startup week (2)

Boulder Startup Week 2012 - Review

Reviewing anything I do is an inevitably flawed mission. My perspective is skewed not only by knowing waaay too much about what went down, but also by fatigue. Boulder Startup Week 2012 wore me out. If you didn't know, I've served as the five-day event's head organizer for the past two years -- guiding it from a creative, purpose and community standpoint.

It's a sprawling, distributed affair that requires loads of communication across many fronts in order to stay afloat. It concluded a few days ago, and I've laid relatively low in the meantime, gathering my wits with gardening gloves. Despite my current double-vision and hazy gaze, I wanted to jot down a few notes before they slipped from my memory.

What we did right:

  • Started early. According to my email records, we got started planning this business in December 2011. 
  • Added more team members. Last year's BSW consisted largely of myself and Ryan Wanger. This year, we added Elaine Ellis (on PR) and Sarah Jane Griesemer (on scheduling). If I were going to run 2013, I'd add even more folks.
  • Flew in more people. One of the big imperatives of BSW is to drive acquisition of tech talent. There are so many open tech jobs in Boulder that we decided to gather as many sponsor dollars as possible to fly in candidates with the hope that they'd fall in love with Boulder and move here. It's happened before. Last year we flew in 6 folks. This year we flew in twice that number. Shall we double it again next year? Yes.

What could use improvement:

  • Moar shirts. I made quite a few enemies after ordering only 200 shirts this year. Sorry, all.
  • We need to be a little meaner to people to ensure that the event's purpose(s) are kept in mind. Being a pushover is fine if you're hovering above a ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. It's not fine if you're hovering over an alligator pit. Mo' backbone at all times.
  • Better RSVP system. We used Plancast this year and last year. It's easy, but it lacks a few items. I'm sure the team will track down something solid.

I wish I could say that I'll do everything I can to make Boulder Startup Week 2013 even better. I can't. I'm moving to Amsterdam and have left the event in other people's hands. However, I'm absolutely certain they'll bring the flava to your doorstep, drastically increasing the property value of your abode.

If you made it out to Boulder (or out of your house), thank you. If you didn't, circle the month of May on your 2013 calendar. Boulder wants your bones.

Boulder Startup Week Preview

Boulder Startup Week returns for its 3rd year of events, breakdancing and derring-do. As the head organizer of the event, I'm privy to all of the potential shindigs as they're submitted. While I'm probably not supposed to pick favorites, I'm going to do so anyway because I'm leaving town at the end of the month. Jerks.

Ignite Boulder

I'm totally biased, but it's totally the best event of the week. Blend public speaking with public geeking -- that's Ignite Boulder. It's sold out, but if you managed to grab a ticket, please come to the front of the stage and say hello.

BoulderBeta 3.0.7

Easily my second favorite event this year, it's not to be missed. Local startups demoing their newest efforts, an iPad giveaway and lots and lots of geeks. 

The Art and Science of Caffeination

This is hosted by my favorite cafe owner *at* my favorite cafe -- Atlas Purveyors. I'm delighted to have something out of the ordinary during BSW. This will be marvelous and jittery.

Speed Bootstrapping 101

The Boulder Chamber is putting this together, and it's going to be rad. I'm honored to have them involved with the week, even though I wore a hoodie to my first meeting with them. (Sorry, folks!)

Kickoff Party with Trada

Trada throws a fine party, and this is their second year in a row hosting the opener. I might breakdance or float serenely above the din whilst sipping a DRY Soda.

MADE Movement and the American Manufacturing Renaissance

Some former colleagues of mine have started a new agency with a fascinating focus. I confess I don't know much about the state of American manufacturing, but I'm eager to get schooled.

Closing Party: Geek Field Day

Quick Left is one of my favorite local companies. They do amazing, amazing work and so I'm stoked to see what they came up with for BSW's closing party. There is nowhere else you should be on Saturday night.