One of the bedrocks of the Boulder startup community is University of Colorado Boulder, which churns out more than its share of entrepreneurs into the startup ecosystem in Boulder and beyond. That’s why we at Boulder Startup Week love having CU Boulder as one of our staunch supporters. Thanks CU Boulder for returning as a BSW sponsor!
CU Boulder is thrilled to sponsor BSW18 in order to connect “town and gown.” By getting involved, CU Boulder hopes to engage with the amazing startup community of Boulder, understand what entrepreneurs need, and determine how CU Boulder can be of support to entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem. It’s all about connecting the communities, and BSW welcomes the opportunity.
CU Boulder aims to be a leader in addressing the humanitarian, social, and technological challenges of the twenty-first century. This vision informs the Chancellor’s three strategic imperatives, namely:
- Shape tomorrow’s leaders,
- Be the top university for innovation, and
- Positively impact humanity.
These aims translate to the cross-campus Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, including:
- Collapse the campus,
- Connect the town and the community,
- Create meaningful growth across the ecosystem, and
- Build awareness around opportunities to engage in and gain entrepreneurial experiences.
In the words of Sarabeth Berk, Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative: “We’re building more cross-campus opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community members to engage in entrepreneurial activities. Having an entrepreneurial mindset is vital for the 21st century, and the more we can connect the campus and the community, it’s a win/win for everyone.”
In a way, CU Boulder is like a 150-year old startup. While that may sound funny, the origins of CU Boulder are very entrepreneurial. Citizens had to find space (6 citizens donated 49 acres of land), raise money (the state legislature approved $15,000 for construction of the university as long as the community matched the amount), and get buy-in from the community and would-be customers. In 1875, Colorado citizens laid the cornerstone for the university’s first building, Old Main, and officially founded CU in 1876, the same year Colorado joined the union. The university opened its doors the following year with 44 students, a president, and one instructor. It took grit, innovation, and creativity — the same traits today’s startup entrepreneurs have.
CU’s origin story and continued “scale up” growth continue to fuel our strategic imperatives (mentioned above)–especially to be the top innovation university. With the launch of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative in 2017, CU Boulder is abuzz with more entrepreneurship than ever. There’s a new website that showcases the innovative spirit of CU Boulder, especially highlighting speakers, events, and stories of student and faculty ventures. Additionally, a new campus startup hub opened in January 2018 to help convene and build community around startups.
*We’ll update this post soon with schedule highlights from the University of Colorado.
CU Boulder supports its entrepreneurial students, staff, and faculty, as well as the startup ecosystem into which these entrepreneurs launch their ideas. We appreciate all you do, CU Boulder. Go Buffs!
~Written by Cristin Leimer