University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, CO

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Randy Perecman[email protected]

How to Start a Startup at Boulder

Student Groups

CU Startup Club - break into the startup community on campus and gain exposure to entrepreneurs and investors

CU Innovation Action Team - demystifying entrepreneurship on campus

Silicon Flatirons - propels the future of technology policy x innovation through initiatives, events, and publications. An event center and a career development center with many opportunities including an internship program

CU Alpha Kappa Psi - coed professional business fraternity

CU Biotech Club - business, engineering, and life sciences graduate students interested in pursuing business opportunities in the biotechnology industry.

CU Energy Club - undergraduate and graduate multidisciplinary group focused on both education and outreach in the energy sector.

CU Blockchain Club - An online haven for cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts at CU

CU Net Impact - educates students on social and environmental business practices. Members collaborate with a variety of organizations in the local community as well as on campus.

Design for America - uses human-centered design to create local and social impact.

CU Entrepreneurial Solutions - a boutique consulting firm owned and operated by MBA candidates at CU Boulder.

CU Leeds Association for Information Systems (LAIS) - open to all CU students - provides members with networking and professional development opportunities within the technology and information science industries

Women in Business Club - CU has both undergraduate and MBA chapters that work to build an inclusive community that supports and enables women by fostering a network and furthering gender equality. Activities include speaker panels, networking and social events, mentorship, skills workshops and participation in conferences.

Accelerators and Incubators

Techstars - Accelerator with programs all over the world. Headquartered in Boulder where there is also the Techstars Boulder accelerator (many noteworthy companies have come out of the Boulder accelerator).

Boomtown - Striving to be the world's most innovative and effective startup accelerator.

Catalyze CU - Summer-long startup accelerator designed for CU students, faculty and staff

Black Lab Sports - Sports performance laboratory and sports accelerator.

Catalyst Health Tech - Health-tech professionals and businesses quickening the pace of healthcare advancement.

Exponential Impact - Colorado Springs accelerator for tech startups

Fitzsimons Innovation Campus - Opportunities for life science research and development

Innosphere - A high-tech incubator supporting entrepreneurs building high-growth companies in the industries of health innovation, life sciences, software & hardware, and energy & advanced materials.

Madelife - Focuses specifically on individuals looking to launch a career in Graphic Design, Music, Video & Film, Photography, or take the next steps in a creative business.

Hackathons and Competitions

HackCU - Colorado's largest hackathon - participate in various tracks, including General, Best UX/UI, Social Impact, Best Use of Adobe XD and more

New Venture Challenge - Connects the CU Boulder campus with the Boulder community to develop and fund entrepreneurial ideas - up to $100,000 in prizes

Lab Venture Challenge - funds the top innovations showing commercial potential, a clear path to market, and scientific support - up to $125,000 in prizes

Local Hack Day - 12-hour hackathon for CU Boulder students run by HackCU

University Resources

Deming Center for Entrepreneurship - Leeds School of Business' entrepreneurship center producing world-class research. Also home to the undergraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies

ATLAS Center - The ATLAS Center is home to a plethora of creative labs, including the Iron Lab for robotics, BTU Lab, THING Lab, the Superhuman Computing Lab and more

Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering - learn more about the Engineering Entrepreneurship minor for undergraduates and explore a la carte entrepreneurship courses and programming

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative - explore on and off campus programs, courses, competitions, and more

Blackstone Entrepreneurship Network - mentor network that builds valuable relationships and support for Colorado's growth entrepreneurs.

Innovation Station - coworking space at at Williams Village Center with 3D printers, Mac computers with Adobe Suite, coworking tables, and a virtual reality station

Unstable Design Lab - the Unstable Design Lab creates open-source tools and programs that support collaboration across arts and engineering

Blow Things Up Lab - BTU Lab is a hackerspace in the ATLAS building made for experimentation. The community hosts workshops, Open Hack Nights, and communal projects. Projects might be fiber based, electrical, robotic, or a combination of all.

Notable Courses

Demystifying Entrepreneurship Startup Series

Designing Social Innovations SOCY 4160

Writing a Venture Plan ESBM 4100

Philosophy of Entrepreneurship Deals Labs: Venture Capital LAWS 6271

Startup Essentials for Software Entrepreneurship CSCI 4830/7000

Introduction to Entrepreneurship ESBM 3100

Principles of Business for Entrepreneurs ESBM 3200

Writing a Venture Plan ESBM 4100

Introduction to Entrepreneurship for Engineers ESBM 3100-3

Tech and Entrepreneurship in the Developing World EMEN 4830


Contrary - University-focused venture fund investing up to $500K in emerging startups launching from the university scene around the US

Boulder Venture Groups - Venture capital for IT and biotech companies in Colorado and the Mid-Atlantic

Deming Center Venture Fund - Managed by a cross-disciplinary team of CU Boulder graduate students and supports emerging companies in Boulder and surrounding communities.

Get Seed Funding - a micro-funding opportunity for CU Boulder undergrads and grads that provides up to $500 in funding for entrepreneurial ideas in the making. Applications reviewed on a rolling basis by the Innovation Action team.

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