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Update - June 2021

Colorado's Thriving Tech Ecosystem

The recent news of discontinuing the original Techstars Boulder accelerator location and Foundry planning to stop making new investments after its current fund has rippled through the Colorado tech community. While the changes happening with these key players may evoke a sense of nostalgia and sadness, it's important to acknowledge their immense contributions to shaping Colorado’s tech landscape during their 15+ years in our ecosystem and highlight the strength of our startup environment.

Me and Nate Abbott as participants in the 2009 Techstars Boulder program

A Heartfelt Thank You

The Techstars Boulder Accelerator and Foundry have been cornerstones of the Colorado tech ecosystem, playing pivotal roles in its growth and development. Their efforts in supporting founders, nurturing talent, attracting capital, and spotlighting our region on the global stage have been nothing short of transformative. 

Both have played a huge part in my journey as an entrepreneur and investor. Techstars Boulder and the Foundry partners took a bet on me in 2009, and going through the Techstars Boulder program became the most important advantage I had as a founder. I came back and ran the accelerator from 2015-2020 where I learned how to be an investor from the world’s best mentors and founders, the most important advantage I had as an up-and-coming investor. I’m grateful to have benefited from their generosity and support for over 15 years. When they say “Techstars is for Life”, it’s true. I wouldn’t be here without them. 

As their roles within our community morph, I want to thank them for being the most important networks, communities, opportunities, and friends in my entrepreneurial journey. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for what they contributed and built and the legacy they leave behind.

The Strength of Colorado’s Startup and Tech Ecosystem

Despite these changes, the Colorado tech ecosystem stands stronger than ever, constantly one of the top in the country in terms of startup creation, funding and value creation. The startup scene is vibrant, with a surge in new ventures, increased funding accessibility, and a rich tapestry of resources available to founders. The entrance of major tech companies like Google, Slack, Palantir, and Amazon to name a few, into the area is a clear indicator of our ecosystem's health and potential for further growth. This influx brings new opportunities and solidifies our reputation as a tech hub.

I’ve been asked if the changes are bad for the ecosystem. My answer? Yes and no. We’ll deeply miss their involvement in these forms, but the ecosystem has grown and is very strong with many new (and enduring) resources and opportunities available to founders and investors focused in and on the state of Colorado.

Colorado’s Extensive Resources and Opportunities for Founders

Since the inception of Techstars Boulder and Foundry in Colorado, the tech ecosystem has evolved dynamically. What used to be a small community, is now an extensive tech hub with numerous resources, providing founders with unprecedented support:

What's next?

As we bid farewell to the Techstars Boulder Accelerator and to Foundry making new investments after this fund (although they’ll be actively working with their portfolio here for another decade), it is with a mix of sadness and optimism. We embrace the opportunity to continue building upon the strong foundation they've helped establish. The Colorado tech ecosystem is in an excellent position, brimming with resources, talent, and opportunities. While we will undoubtedly miss the presence of Techstars Boulder and Foundry in their original forms, we are excited about the future and the next generation of resources, tools, founders, investors, service providers, and awareness that will drive our ecosystem forward.

Let us also not forget that Techstars still has a big presence in the state with a significant office of 50+ employees in Denver and an active Accelerator in Denver. And, we have one more Techstars Boulder class which will be in town this spring. I hope and expect the community will show up in a huge way to celebrate these founders and the community Techstars fostered here in Colorado. Stay tuned for ways to get involved.

Thank you, Techstars Boulder and Foundry, for your invaluable contributions. Your legacies will continue to inspire and shape the future of Colorado's tech ecosystem.

A few last notes

Since these announcements, I’ve been inundated with community members asking to help start something new. Thank you. Yes, we’re working on something new and novel. Stay tuned. 😉

Also, please read this great post from Nicole Glaros wishing Techstars well in 2.0

Natty Zola
February 26, 2024