August 5, 2013
The best entrepreneurial communities provide an abundance of opportunities to collaborate, network, and share expertise. Boise, the City of Trees, has a lot to offer upcoming startups, but to take the city to the next level of entrepreneurial activity, this fertile ground needs to be nurtured. That’s why local entrepreneurs are so excited about the growth of StartupBoise, a recently founded grassroots organization that seeks to solidify Boise as a premiere startup city in America.
StartupBoise originated through a meeting between founder Pat Lawless and venture capitalist Brad Feld, one of the key players credited with putting Boulder, Colorado on the map as one of the hottest tech centers in the country. After that meeting, Lawless was inspired to create an organization to support startups, a nonprofit which would apply Feld’s guiding principles in the Boise community.
StartupBoise seeks to provide a stronger mentorship network for entrepreneurs, to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to share ideas and network, and to give a megaphone to new startups trying to attract attention from the business and investor community. StartupBoise also intends to act as a connector for local entrepreneurs to tap into resources from other organizations, such as the Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho SBDC, Idaho Technology Council, and Kickstand.
Each month, StartupBoise hosts its signature networking mixer, Startups and Beers, which allows entrepreneurs to mingle and also learn from a prominent business leader. Since its inception, some of the guest speakers have included Rick LeFaivre, former leader of Apple Computer’s Advanced Technology Group, James Hepworth from Mark Monitor, and Matt Rissell from Tsheets. These events have been well attended and provide a valuable forum for entrepreneurs to network and share best practices.
Boise, Idaho already has several indicators that show its strong potential for entrepreneurial growth. Idaho was ranked as the #1 State for Overall Business Friendliness by the Kauffman Foundation and the #7 Most Entrepreneurial State by CNN Money. If StartupBoise has anything to say about it, this trend will continue, since Pat Lawless advocates that creating a stronger network for startups will increase Idaho’s business competiveness. By seeking to revitalize Boise’s startup ecosystem, StartupBoise will help develop a more vibrant economic future for the entire state of Idaho.
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