Two great articles in the New York Times Business section today: one on the vibrant tech scene in Boulder and one focusing on our friends at The Foundry Group (featuring a nice little b.leaf mention towards the end).
Boulder is a fantastic place for emerging businesses. A “what if/why not” energy permeates the whole city. As the Times points out, Boulder’s outdoor lifestyle and countercultural past contribute to making the place feel less stultifying and corporate-ish than Rte. 128 and Silicon Valley do. Because of this, people there just seem to think in less restricted and more collaborative ways. That freedom of possibility fuels a large portion of the city’s tech boom.
Foundry fuels the rest. As we tell anyone who will listen, they’re the perfect investors because they believe viscerally in what their portfolio companies are trying to do. When other VC’s tell you that they support you, they basically mean, “I think you will make money, therefore I believe in your mission.” When Foundry says they support you, they’re really saying, “Because I believe in your mission, I think you will make money.” That doesn’t mean they aren’t rigorously analytical (trust me, they are, in spades). But it does mean that they’re willing to go further than other VC’s in helping their portfolio companies to win because winning means more to them.
If you’ve spent time in other VC offices, where everyone is wearing khakis and sky-blue button-down oxfords and sporting pretty much the exact same haircut, and then you walk into Foundry, you know instantly that it’s a different kind of place. Much like the city around them.
For more on how Foundry invests, check out Brad Feld’s blog post on thematic investing here.