I had heard and read a lot about Boulder New Tech Meetup recently but didn’t really know what to expect walking in there. My wife Kathryn and I have been in Boulder for a little over a year and I have been trying to grasp the entrepreneurial culture here and how it differs from that of Denver.
Initially I had trouble finding the auditorium because Apple Maps took me to a location near Boulder High School in a quaint little neighborhood to begin with; but when I finally found the auditorium I was surprised (in a good way) to see people of all ages from 21 to their late 70s standing around with beer getting to know one another. There was a rumble of loud chatting and laughter that gave me a very appealing first impression of the night. Having arrived alone, I made my way to the back section of the presentation area where I would be able to gauge not only the presenting entrepreneurs, but the engagement of the crowd.
Prior to tonight, and on the surface it had seemed to me that Boulder’s culture was one that was built on openness and collaboration. I was immediately pleased to see that the community in the audience was offering constructive input while asking challenging questions to the entrepreneurs. It seemed that there was a true desire of the audience members to help hone the skills/pitch of the presenting entrepreneurs.
The audience members (myself included) benefitted by learning about what local entrepreneurs were passionate about. Some presenters did better than others, and it was clear to see that a couple of the projects presented were still in the rough beginning stages. That being said, I was inspired by the community support offered to the presenters and it made me even more excited that I had chosen Boulder as my home and the birthplace of my startup. I have already submitted my RSVP to attend the meetup in April.