Utah is one of my highest focus areas. Typically, about half our companies come from the coasts or the Chicago area, and half are from the Rocky Mountain region. In the past, that Rocky Mountain region is mostly coming from Colorado, but we’re starting to see more and more great companies coming from Utah. I think it’s an up-and-coming hotspot for entrepreneurs.
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, December’s Startup Conversation Series has been officially announced for December 2, featuring Royal Street Ventures Managing Director Jeff Stowell, Signal Peak Ventures Managing Director Brandon Tidwell, and Techstars Boulder Managing Director Natty Zola. It’s free, there’s food, and the wisdom obtained within will definitely raise your IQ by at least 10 points. Get on board.
I recently caught up with Zola to talk about Techstars Boulder and their ongoing interest in Utah’s tech and startup community. With application deadlines quickly approaching for their upcoming class (November 18 is the final day to apply, do so here), he was quick to stress that Utah companies are welcome and encouraged to start exploring the options Techstars has to offer.
“Utah has a similar mindset to what we have in Colorado,” he said. “You can build a great business anywhere, there are great people everywhere, and these communities are ripe for innovation and fostering successful entrepreneurs. So I feel a connection to the Utah community and I’m excited to get involved and get to know it better.”
So how does one get involved with a foreign community? I’m glad you asked. Zola will be in town December 2 and is holding open office hours prior to the night’s main event (interested parties can sign up here). If you’re looking to maximize opportunity and catch the ear of somebody fully equipped to get your company off the ground, now’s the time.
“Even if a company is unsure if they want to apply, I’d still love to talk with them, share a little bit about Techstars, and see if it’s a good fit,” Zola said. “We know we’re not a fit for every company, so I’m happy to meet with any company and let them know what we’re about. For our last Techstars class, we looked at a lot of companies from Utah and the quality of those companies was higher on average than any other locale that we looked at.”
If you’re worried about moving to Boulder, don’t be — Zola believes that great companies can be built anywhere. All he wants is a three month commitment to the Techstars Boulder accelerator program, then a transfer of that experience and resources to building a company anywhere on the planet. Even Utah. Especially Utah.
“Utah is one of my highest focus areas,” he said. “Typically, about half our companies come from the coasts or the Chicago area, and half are from the Rocky Mountain region. In the past, that Rocky Mountain region is mostly coming from Colorado, but we’re starting to see more and more great companies coming from Utah. I think it’s an up-and-coming hotspot for entrepreneurs.”