I had the opportunity to spend some time in Boulder, CO yesterday after the Defrag 2011 conference came to an end. I have also had the pleasure to get to know some of the tech startups from that area over the past few years, and I must say I am impressed.
As I walked through the Pearl Street pedestrian mall I saw the diverse and somewhat contradictory elements of Boulder’s culture. There was a group of folks who clearly were stuck in the 1960’s. There were current college students. And there were entrepreneurs and tech company employees who had either already made it big or are working hard to do so.
What all these groups had in common was energy. Not the frantic energy of overworked, stressed-out people that one often sees in big cities like Boston or New York. Instead an energy that drove each person toward whatever goal was important to them.
New Hampshire has a lot of what Boulder has from an entrepreneurial perspective, albeit at a less-developed point in our lifecycle. We have a strong culture of education, including schools like Dartmouth and UNH. We have a great quality of life, with easy access to outdoors and fresh air. We have activists and entrepreneurs. We have easy access to larger cities and major airports. We have innovative tech companies and groups like the Amoskeag Business Incubator that want to help foster that community. We have access to local venture capital and angel investors. We have a culture of support for non-profits through financial resources and time.
Boulder serves as a great model for the New Hampshire entrepreneurial tech community in many ways. Now if only we could get the same high concentration of great restaurants…