When most people think of the world's hottest startup scenes, Silicon Valley, New York and Boston are likely to come to mind. So it might seem strange that a new global startup conference, Startup Phenomenon, has chosen Boulder, Colo. as its host city.
Only it shouldn't. According to a recent report by the Kauffman Foundation, Boulder has the greatest density of high-tech startups of any metropolitan area in the United States. That's right even more than Silicon Valley, which comes in at No. 3 on the list.
In a three day conference starting November 13, Startup Phenomenon attendees will discuss alternative funding models, potential collaboration between governments and private businesses and the role of incubators and accelerators in driving entrepreneurship. One set of presentations will be a series of case studies of 10 cities with thriving tech scenes, such as Jerusalem and Nairobi. The audience will be a mix of entrepreneurs and investors.
Rather than focusing on how individuals can achieve success with their own companies, Startup Phenomenon will address how communities might foster entrepreneurship more broadly, says John Bradley, senior vice president of content and strategy for Van Heyst Group, the company producing the conference.
"This is not a conference about Boulder," Bradley says. "It's a conference about all the startup communities all over the world, and how new ones can form. We just happen to be hosting it in Boulder."
Speakers will be coming from as far away as Iceland and New Zealand for the conference, which runs from November 13 to 15.
Separately, on September 3, the people behind Startup Phenomenon are putting on an event about female entrepreneurs at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The women's conference started as a session on the November conference agenda, Bradley says, "but there was so much energy around it that we decided to make it a breakout event."