High tech glue brings horizontal money to Boulder

A quick look at the profile of Boulder startups has lead me to an initial conclusion that must be obvious to area veterans: The tech scene in Boulder, CO is hardly full of cut-and-paste geeks.

The thematic titling from The Foundry Group’s “Glue” companies might mislead otherwise, however a closer look at the technologies being created by companies such as Gnip and Simple Geo beg a closer, look. Honestly, those not fluent in the speak of cloud computing and data infrastructure have to sprint just to keep up on the company blogs.

What we’re seeing here is not a new kind of VC model – investment companies have been prone to specialize before – rather we’re just seeing it applied to the tech community (a good portion of it in Boulder) in a way that allows said VC firm the ability to make sense of what comes next. With a finger on the pulse of infrastructure companies such as Simple Geo, making educated guesses as to the next big social phenomenon on the Internets might just be within closer reach.

Foundry’s position on web technologies is pretty straight – forward…

We believe that enabling web technologies are going through a similar development cycle as enterprise application integration technology did 10+ years ago. Companies are creating tools, applications and platforms to enable more productive and automated uses of resources that have become ubiquitous parts of the online ecosystem.

For example, geo-tagging (Simple Geo) and powerful filtering technologies and analytics (Next Big Sound) applied to social network data provide some distinct possibilities to make what has otherwise been a flood of usage data into a monetized transaction, where the rest of corporate culture will pay top dollar for the ability to finger its way through data sifted by and funded through the Boulder tech scene.

About the Author:
Andrew leads the TEDxBoulder, Boulder Startup Week and Ignite Boulder efforts and has worked in startups for ten years. He blogs about startups, bootstrapping, events and triathlon at andrewhy.de and you can follow him on twitter here.


  1. Ryan Cook May 25, 2010

    great post andrew – i think in general boulder's tech startups are doing an awesome job opening up their services via APIs. i'm interested to see how business/pricing models around these data-based offerings shake out…

  2. andrewhyde May 25, 2010

    You can add on all the killer bootstrappers we have here. Occipital powered the dailyburn iphone app. Lots of great collaboration.

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