When I moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2014 I was immediately struck by the warmth of the tech community here. It’s not the biggest tech scene in the country, it doesn’t have the most exits or a dozen top tier Universities to brag about, but the coders, founders and community organizers in Boulder have built a welcoming community here unlike any other I’ve experienced.
I attended my first Boulder Startup Week in 2015 and loved it. So much to learn, so many people volunteering their time to improve their community. It basically felt like Spring Break for Startups. The next year during BSW 2016, I kept thinking that a Robotics Track would be a great fit. The Robotics Community in Boulder was growing quickly with upstarts like Sphero, Canvas, and AMP. A newly revived Boulder is for Robots, thanks to Dan Grollman and Brent Rosato, was bringing people together every month. I loved Boulder, I loved Robots and I wanted to see the two become more closely associated.
So I add a Todoist item, due in 8 months to “Contact BSW Organizers about a Robotics Track”. A friendly intro that January to the BSW Organizing team and the Robotics Track was born. Taking part in the organization of BSW has been so inspiring - it’s a master class in running a volunteer-driven event and in decentralized decision making. The team is just amazing and I feel so lucky to be able to do my part connecting roboticists from around the area.
The 2018 Robotics Track is finally here! Boulder’s rapidly expanding robotics portfolio is putting in so much time to put on events encouraging even more community growth. We’ve got a dozen founders volunteering to take rapid fire community questions, speakers sharing their knowledge on topics like Product Engineering, Prototyping, Computer Vision and Robotic Simulation, a panel on the state of robotics here in Colorado, and a Happy Hour at the Post!
Last year I finally read Brad Feld’s 2012 book, Startup Communities, which publicized the Boulder (and Techstars) ethos of “Give First”. The BSW organizers exemplify that. 200+ events over 5 days, all for the benefit of the community and all run by volunteers. #GiveFirst is much more than just a great hashtag - it’s the current tying the Boulder startup community together and its greatest asset. I’m proud to do my part to put this event on.