Brad Feld kinda breaks the stereotype of a venture capitalist. He’s been a tech entrepreneur, angel investor, and an accomplished author. His blog is required reading for any entrepreneur living through the roller coaster of building a business. As a partner at Foundry Group, he’s helped cofound the startup accelerator, TechStars, and has a deep passion for giving back to individuals and building startup communities.
To that end, he also has some interesting life goals. Like running a marathon in all 50 states. When Missoula’s marathon came up on his list here in early July, Rob jumped at the chance to get him to speak at a Montana Programmers event. Ever gracious, Brad obliged and we had a stellar turnout despite it being a gorgeous Friday night in Montana with plenty of people driving from Helena and Bozeman to hear his thoughts.
What follows are a few key points he believes are necessary for startup communities to take root and grow. And he should know – he’s participated firsthand and watched Boulder’s entrepreneur network spring up to international fame over the last fifteen years.
Here’s what Brad has observed on Building Successful Startup Communities (paraphrased from his talk):
NOTE: Stay tuned for a date this fall for Montana’s first Startup Weekend, Bobby Clay of StartupMontana was the first to throw his hat in the ring so we’re going to join forces and run it over there. For all that are interested, we’d love to have help, we’re going to attend the StartUp Weekend in Spokane to get our feet wet and learn…
Curious to learn more?
Brad has a book slated for release this fall called Startup Communities and a website to support it. Missoula Community Access Television will be showing the event on August 13th at 7:00 pm and August 17th at 7:30 pm. We’ll be sure to post the link when it’s live.
In the meantime, here’s Brad’s talk from Stanford Technology Ventures Program eCorner: