Boulder Startup Week 2011

26 May 2011

Last week was chaos, also referred around these parts as Boulder Startup Week. For those of you that don’t know what ‘startups’ are, or for that matter where Boulder is, it is where a whole bunch of tech gurus, nerds and all around good people flock to this town where I live in Colorado and do some awesome things. There were over 55 different events covering everything from marketing ideas to beer tastings.

It was a week of many first for me. It was my first time getting up in front of 1400 people and talking at Ignite Boulder. It was my first time launching a startup company, Chance of Weather. It was my first time getting to take a lot of photos with a fisheye lens on the Boulder Photowalk. And it was my first time hanging out with dozens of people in this amazing community in Boulder.

Ignite Boulder was probably the high point for the entire week for me, entirely because I was speaking at it. Ignite is a presentation format where there are 12 speakers, each one gets 20 powerpoint slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, limiting your presentation to exactly five minutes. For me it was not the nerves of getting up in front of 1400 people on stage, but wanting to be both humorous and educational at the same time (while have the crowd is drinking). It was by far one of the largest adrenaline rushes of my life – ever. And while I might not remember most of it, I am still not sure I will watch the video of it when it is uploaded to YouTube later this month.

The next morning I decided to take off work to be able to attend some of the day events, and my only complaint of any of them was capacity issues. There were so many people that attended events that even going to Boulder Open Coffee Club and getting in the door (albeit I was not 30-minute early) was a challenge. That next night was tech jeopardy where once again I was in the front of the room competing. I am going to leave it at I unfairly lost, but it was a great idea that needs to be done more often.

Saturday I spent in the sun walking around with my camera and a borrowed lens as part of the Boulder Photowalk. Not only did I get some awesome shots that made me want to buy a wide-angle lens for my camera, but I got a decent sunburn on my neck and arms. It was finally nice to see summer was here after a few days of solid rain. That night was the closing party in which I attempted my best ping pong skills, winning two games before getting destroyed by the ping pong master in the quarterfinals. I was content enough with the abundance of free kegs and pizza.

That night sitting on the roof of the bar across the street, I could finally put my feet up for a moment. The past three weeks for me have been complete chaos, from school work to traveling to jobs to friends to life. And while many of those projects are still ongoing (thankfully not school anymore), I at least feel like my life is getting back into order somewhat. That is, at least, until I book another trip to head away next weekend.

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