Why Boulder is for Startups: A Perspective From an Entrepreneurial Virgin
Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Warren Ng and I am one of Boulder’s newest entrepreneurs. Having just begun my entrepreneurial career, you might call me an entrepreneurial virgin. While my education and professional experiences have been peppered with elements of entrepreneurism, Napkin Labs is my first leap into the unknown associated with how to create a successful company. While the idea was very much there, the execution needed help and in the few short months that my business partner and I have dedicated to Napkin Labs, we’ve accomplished a great deal because of the camaraderie and support of the startup community in Boulder.
Immediately, in many of our preliminary conversations to suss out the viability of our business, a few names who have been pivotal to creating the startup community I’m writing about came up which include Brad Feld, Andrew Hyde, and David Cohen to name just a few. Through these contacts, we were quickly welcomed and assimilated into the diverse community of experienced entrepreneurs who approach business in a “pay it forward” sort of attitude. Each of the contacts we met with felt the need to help others as they had been helped early in their growing careers. These sort of interactions happened multiple times a day and has resulted in success at a pace that would have otherwise taken many more months if not years to arrive at had the community not lent the support to Napkin Labs as it has.
For the support received to date, thanks goes out to all! I look forward to the day that I too can pay it forward.
So what does all that mean. If you are considering taking the entrepreneurial plunge or have just done so never hesitate to reach out. Schedule as many meetings as you can to learn from those around you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those you’ve never met. You will quickly find a welcome committee in response to your requests.
No longer should it be difficult to get time with VCs or advisors; remember it is you the entrepreneur that offers upside potential. It’s VCs like Brad Feld who get this and know that with some advising they can help. Thus programs like http://winterinthebunker.com/ where world class advising is offered for free and Entrepreneurs Unplugged where slice of life interviews are open to the public are popping up more and more across the entrepreneurial centers spread throughout the states.
The approach to entrepreneurism has been redefined and the barriers that have once prevented it have now dissolved due to the support of startups. How do you support startups?
More about the author: Warren Ng is the co-founder of Napkin Labs, a product innovation consultancy that utilizes a crowdsourced approach to innovation to enable breakthrough ideas to bubble up at the intersection of diverse thinking as consumers and experts in all fields. For more information about the author or Napkin Labs visit www.napkinlabs.com or follow on Twitter: @warrenng or @napkinlabs.