Friday, October 18, 2013
Editor's note: Colorado has enticed all sorts of pioneers since its Wild West beginnings. Over the next few weeks, we'll highlight a handful of these trailblazers - the intrepid entrepreneurs, aspiring micro-brewers and ambitious thought leaders - who have helped create the adventurous and innovative culture the Centennial State is known for.
I was raised in the cornfields of Illinois, but I call the foothills of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado my home. I've lived here with my family for the last 15 years and can't imagine being anywhere else - I can't think of another place that combines my love of the outdoors with a culture of innovation and technology. And it doesn't hurt that it all happens with a set of gorgeous snow-capped peaks right outside the window.
California’s Silicon Valley and New York’s Silicon Alley may be the two hubs that come to mind when thinking about innovation hotspots, but it’s actually Boulder that is home to the highest number of tech startups per capita. Colorado has a unique ecosystem that fuels and funds innovation. Promising startups don’t have to look far to find people and organizations willing to provide mentorship and funding. Techstars, one of the world's leading accelerators, was born in Boulder in 2006, and has nurtured a strong community of graduates in the area that supports each other in their entrepreneurial endeavors, along with an equally strong network of local mentors.
The fact that innovation touches nearly every industry here isn’t a coincidence. The state of Colorado itself leads by example. Last year, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology announced it had gone Google to better align with its priorities: customer success, innovation, information security, people, service excellence, and trusted partnerships. The shift to Google Apps for Government is helping state workers communicate and collaborate more effectively while keeping Colorado at the forefront of innovation.
Over the next month, we’ll be highlighting some of the people and businesses that make Colorado an inspiring place to live. We’ll also show how local leaders are embracing cool technology - like Google Apps - to make it all happen. Because it’s pioneers like them whose work behind the scenes (and desks) help drive the culture and innovation across the state that people like me are so proud to call home.