Boulder Startup Week Draws Top Talent to Colorado

posted May 15, 2014, 12:39 PM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated May 15, 2014, 3:28 PM ]

This week Boulder hosts its 5th annual Startup Week, an exciting 5-day event that celebrates and stimulates entrepreneurship. The event demonstrates what makes Boulder, Colorado so special: the abundance of talented people who live and work here, and the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem they create. 

Startups, businesses, hotels, coworking spaces, startup accelerators, and campus classrooms across Boulder open their doors to the public to host renowned speakers discussing all aspects of entrepreneurship, from coding to community. 

The event draws talent from across the country to Colorado and even acts as a job fair where out-of-state residents can network, get a behind-the-scenes look at some of Boulder’s many thriving startups, and interview for a job all in one week. Each year, the sponsors of Boulder Startup Week pay to fly in 30 out-of-state attendees to participate, interview, and hopefully take root in Boulder! 

Throughout the week, attendees are introduced to some of Boulder’s reputable startup accelerators like Techstars and Boomtown which provide expert mentors, seed money, and a bounty of other perks like legal and banking services to promising startups. The supportive startup network that exists in Boulder and throughout the state often entices out-of-state BSW visitors to make a permanent move to Colorado to increase the likelihood of their entrepreneurial success. 

Tyesha Snow, founder and CPO of WüF, admits the connections she has made in Boulder during her company’s stint with Boomtown might be enough to warrant a permanent move from her hometown of Portland, Oregon. 

Although Portland is another startup and technology hotspot, Tyesha values that Boulder is not an urban center. “The smaller size of Boulder compared to a major city has many advantages: Community, better focus, is easier to get around, easier to decompress, and is a better fit for my family, who came with me during my time with Boomtown.” 

For a full schedule of BSW events, which are most often free, visit


Entrepreneurial Spotlight: New Belgium Brewery

posted Feb 6, 2014, 10:09 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 10:20 AM ]

  • The Company: New Belgium Brewing
  • The Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • The Story: One of Colorado’s most beloved breweries, recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year round beers; Ranger IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Rampant Imperial IPA, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

Why is New Belgium Brewing based in Colorado?

New Belgium Brewing is based in Ft. Collins, Colorado because that is where its founders lived when they began operations in the basement of their home. New Belgium believes the culture, beauty and ethos of Colorado supports and enhances the company’s founding principles. Living, working and playing in Colorado offers the ability to sit in the sunshine, enjoy a delicious beer and ride bikes pretty much any day of the year.

Connect with New Belgiun Brewing online via:

Website -
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Aaron Kennedy Speaks at B2B Rising Conference (Video)

posted Feb 6, 2014, 10:06 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 10:20 AM ]

Noodles & Company founder and Chief Marketing Officer for the state of Colorado, Aaron Kennedy, discusses the state's brand project at the B2B Rising conference hosted by the Colorado Chapter of the Business Marketing Association.

Colorado - An Industry Leader

posted Feb 6, 2014, 10:00 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 10:00 AM ]

There are so many reasons why we are proud to live in and represent the great state of Colorado. Year after year Colorado continuously ranks top in the nation for livability, business climate, and technology. How exactly does Colorado measure up? See below.

How Colorado Measures-Up Against the Nation
  • 3rd highest concentration of high-tech workers (TechAmerica Foundation)
  • 4th for Early-Stage Venture Capital Investment in ‘12 (MoneyTree)
  • 3rd best American city for startups in ‘12 (Venturebeat)
  • 2nd for entrepreneurship and innovation (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
  • 2nd for total business locations that are high-tech (Ntl Science Foundation)
  • Home to nearly 1/3 of the 100 best places to work (Outside magazine)
  • 6th for creative class population and 5th for concentration of artists (Atlantic Cities)
  • 2nd largest aerospace industry after CA (Metro Denver EDC)
  • Home to the largest city park system (City of Denver)
  • 5th busiest airport nationally and 10th globally (DIA)
  • 2nd largest performing arts center (DCPA)
Rankings By Industry

Data provided by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)

  • Colorado ranks second in the nation for private-sector aerospace employment 
  • In 2010, NASA awarded contracts totaling more than $1.5 billion to Colorado aerospace companies, earning the state a fourth-place ranking nationally
  • Jones Lang LaSalle’s “Life Science Cluster Report” (2012) lists Denver as No. 5 for the number of life sciences establishments
  • Colorado is among the fastest-growing bioscience clusters. Ernst & Young reported that the number of Colorado public bioscience companies had increased by 14 percent over the prior year, the highest rate among the 15 regions listed in the report. (Source: Ernst & Young, “Beyond Borders: Global Technology Report 2012.”)
  • Colorado ranks No. 3 in Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants and No. 4 in the amount of early-stage venture capital invested in 2011 (Source: Colorado Bioscience Association)
Creative Industries
  • Colorado is the sixth-leading state for creative class population and ranks fifth among all states for its concentration of artists.
Transportation & Logistics
  • Denver International Airport is the nation’s fifth-busiest airport and the world’s 11th busiest.
  • Colorado ranks second nationally in its share of total business locations that are high-tech. The state has nearly a 60 percent higher than average concentration of high-tech jobs when compared to the rest of the nation.
  • According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Colorado ranks second for entrepreneurship and innovation. This is a result of the state’s proportion of high-tech businesses (No. 2), birth rate of business establishments (No. 3), concentration of STEM jobs (No. 5), and entrepreneurial activity as ranked by the Kauffman Foundation Index (No. 4). (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Enterprising States,” 2012)
Food & Agriculture
  • Colorado is the Number 1 millet producer
  • Colorado is the nation’s highest volume producer of beer, with nearly 150 breweries statewide
  • Colorado ranks No. 3 in total number of craft brewers
Health & Wellness
  • Denver has the nation's largest city park system
  • Colorado has the third-highest percentage of state land devoted to the National Forest System, with more than 40 state parks and 56 national parks and wilderness areas
Infrastructure Engineering
  • Colorado is ranked eighth in science and engineering doctorate holders as a percentage of the workforce (Source: National Science Foundation)
  • In 2010, NASA awarded contracts totaling more than $1.5 billion to Colorado aerospace companies, earning the state a fourth-place ranking nationally.
Technology & Information
  • Colorado has the nation’s third-highest concentration of high-tech workers
  • In 2012, the state ranked No. 4 for Early-Stage Venture Capital Investment (MoneyTree)
  • In 2012, Denver was the third-best American city for startups (Venturebeat)
  • IT in Colorado ranks 4th in the nation (Miliken Institute’s State Technology & Science Index)

Making Colorado Youth Ambassador Awarded Her Own Day

posted Feb 6, 2014, 9:56 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 9:56 AM ]

“Kelsey Laughlin Day” was proclaimed in Pueblo County on September 18th, 2013 in honor of Kelsey Laughlin for her work as one of 64 Youth Ambassadors who participated in the Making Colorado Youth Ambassador Program.

Governor Hickenlooper and his staff initiated the Making Colorado program to capture the spirit, innovation, and beauty of Colorado and utilize these attributes to unite statewide programs, stimulate the economy, and showcase all that Colorado has to offer to the rest of the world. From these efforts, a new unified brand for Colorado was unveiled, brandCOLORADO. 
As part of her eight-week internship with Making Colorado, Kelsey created a Tumbler blog where she highlighted people and places of Pueblo County using pictures, statistics, and stories to paint a cohesive portrait displaying Pueblo County's unique, vibrant energy. The Board of Pueblo County Commissioners awarded her “Best representation of a County” for these efforts.

Kelsey states, “I am very thankful I had the opportunity to participate as a youth ambassador and assist in the branding Colorado effort. I learned about marketing strategies from some of the best in the business. I also feel very honored to have had this day proclaimed after me and receive this recognition from our elected officials of Pueblo County! I have learned many life-long lessons through this internship that I will take with me in future years.”

Crocs Makes Colorado Proud

posted Feb 6, 2014, 9:53 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 9:53 AM ]

Company Name:
Company Location: Niwot, CO – Founded in 2002
Company Story: Crocs, Inc. was founded in Colorado in 2002 as an innovative casual footwear company for men, women and children. Crocs offers several distinct shoe collections with more than 300 four-season footwear styles. All Crocs™ shoes feature Croslite™ material, a proprietary, revolutionary technology that gives each pair of shoes the soft, comfortable, lightweight and odor-resistant qualities that Crocs fans know and love. That “Crocs Comfort” is inside every pair of shoes, from the iconic clog to new sneakers, sandals, boots and heels.

Tell us about Crocs.
At Crocs, we focus on creating comfortable and stylish shoes for work and play. After being founded in Boulder back in 2002, Crocs has continued to develop new and creative footwear with a talented team based out of our Niwot headquarters. Today, Crocs has grown to become a $1 billion brand, selling products in more than 90 countries globally. Crocs employs 455 people in Colorado – representing roughly 20 percent of the company’s North America employees. Colorado Crocs employees work both at Crocs headquarters in Niwot and at Crocs retail locations in Boulder, Lone Tree, Silverthorne and Broomfield.

Why is Crocs based in Colorado?
Crocs was founded in Colorado, and we’ve been proud to call it home for the past 11 years. Colorado is a natural fit to foster our creativity and provide inspiration. The combination of art, culture and outdoor activities throughout the state make it a great place for our employees to work and play.

How can folks connect with you online?
Facebook -
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byCOLORADO Program Early Adopter: NestFresh

posted Feb 6, 2014, 9:49 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 10:19 AM ]

We wanted to highlight an early adopter of the byCOLORADO state brand licensing program, so we got in touch with Brandy Gamoning of NestFresh, a Colorado family-owned cage-free organic egg company, to learn why they are participating in the byCOLORADO program.

Why are you and NestFresh excited about byCOLORADO?

We are so excited to have a logo that shows that we are a Colorado company who produces our 100% cage free eggs in Colorado. We are very proud to have been founded in Colorado, so this new logo is really a badge of honor for us and a way for us to show our pride in our business and our state. Since our founding over 20 years ago, we have been proud to supply specialty eggs to Colorado retailers and shoppers looking for a more sustainable and humane egg. The Colorado community has responded by continuing to support us with loyalty and enthusiasm. This new program will help us show how much we appreciate this support and show our commitment to continuing to be a part of Colorado agriculture, business, and civic communities.

What will do the byCOLORADO program do for your company?

The byCOLORADO program will show that we love Colorado, we love Coloradans, and that we are proud to be a Colorado company. We would not have had the success that we do without the support of the Colorado community. It will help us educate our fellow Coloradans about our past history in the state as well as our future commitment to growing our business in Colorado.

Why does NestFresh prefer to be located in Colorado?

As a producer of cage free, non-GMO, organic, and pasture raised eggs, we know that the people of Colorado care about where there food comes from and how it is produced. We are an egg company with a conscience and it helps us to be surrounded by people who understand the importance of doing things the right way.

If you were a business thinking of moving, why might you select Colorado?

Colorado is the perfect environment for sustainable, innovative, and humane companies, just like NestFresh!

Why do your employees love working in Colorado?

The whole team at NestFresh loves Colorado’s natural beauty, the spirit of community that causes people to support and be engaged with their local businesses, as well as the endless opportunities for outdoor, civic, and cultural events.

byCOLORADO State Brand Licensing Program

posted Feb 6, 2014, 9:48 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Aug 7, 2014, 3:10 PM ]

The byCOLORADO state brand licensing program is designed to give Colorado companies the opportunity to tap into the Colorado cachet to strengthen their brands and increase sales. Importantly, doing so will help build and strengthen Colorado’s reputation in the world.

Available Icons
A collection of graphic icons has been created to convey that your products or services are Colorado Made, Designed, Grown or simply that the firm is a Colorado Company. The "It's Our Nature" icon is appropriate for those who would like to use the logo for events such as trade shows.

Using the byCOLORADO licensing program is easy! Just follow these steps to sign up:
  1. Go to
  2. Click on “USE THE BRAND” from the home page.
  3. Click on “Apply to use the brand here” at the top of the following page
  4. Fill out the application and submit the form
Once received, we’ll forward you a royalty-free licensing agreement and logo files to be proudly displayed on your website, advertising, packaging, and other marketing materials.

byCOLORADO Encourages People to Buy Colorado!
Colorado enjoys brand preferences throughout the world, but even within the state, 92% of state residents say they would buy more Colorado products if they were identified as being from Colorado. This program further helps those consumers choose the local option. That identification also allows companies to leverage the Colorado cachet and simultaneously helps build our state's reputation as a creative, maker-culture.

Get on Board
Companies from across the state are joining the program and using the brand. As the momentum builds, our voice grows and the collective impression we make on the world expands. Please join us in building Colorado’s reputation as a maker community, not just a great place to recreate.

An ancient parable professes … one will go much further if one shouts from the mountaintops than whispers into the well. We are uniquely positioned to shout.

Join today!

Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Boulder Brands

posted Feb 6, 2014, 9:41 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 10:18 AM ]

Company Name:
Boulder Brands
Company Location: Founded as Boulder Specialty Brands in 2005 in Niwot, CO. In 2013, changed name to Boulder Brands, Inc and corporate headquarters moved to downtown Boulder.
Company Story: Boulder Brands is a natural foods company committed to identifying meaningful food lifestyles and transforming them into long-term solutions that can improve the lives of our consumers.

Tell us about Boulder Brands.

Currently, the Boulder Brands health and wellness platform consists of Udi’s Gluten Free and Glutino for gluten free lifestyles, Earth Balance for plant-based diet, Level Life™ for diabetic diets and Smart Balance for heart healthier diets. Our founder and CEO, Steve Hughes has a vision to help change the way America eats, one product and one brand at a time. This mission inspired the creation of Boulder Brands and the acquisition of the brands currently in our portfolio, all of which fit into this platform. Boulder Brands has already made a significant impact in the food industry by eliminating hydrogenated oils from processed foods and increasing gluten free lifestyle adoption. Boulder Brands is continually looking forward to identify additional food movements to support the needs of consumers and maintain our position as a leader in the natural foods industry.

Why is your company based in Colorado?

This year, the company was re-named to be Boulder Brands, Inc., and will be moving its headquarters to 1600 Pearl Street in downtown Boulder this fall. The decision to change the corporate name to Boulder Brands, Inc. completes the company’s evolution, from when the company was founded as Boulder Specialty Brands in 2005 to a company located in the epicenter of the natural foods industry. This change also demonstrates the company’s commitment to the Boulder community and the natural foods industry, and Boulder Brands looks forward to supporting the continued growth of the industry in Boulder.

How can folks connect with you online?
Facebook - Earth Balance, Glutino, Udi's Gluten Free Foods, Smart Balance
Twitter - @Earth_Balance; @GlutinoFoods; @udisglutenfree, @SmartBalance
Instagram - @GlutinoFoods, @udisglutenfree, @SmartBalance
Pinterest - Earth Balance, Glutino, Udi’s Gluten Free, Smart Balance

The Stanley Hotel: A Legendary Colorado Haunt

posted Feb 6, 2014, 9:38 AM by Brand Colorado - OIT   [ updated Feb 6, 2014, 10:18 AM ]

  • The Company: The Stanley Hotel 
  • The Location: Estes Park, Colorado (est. 1909)
  • The Story: A Historic Grand Heritage Hotel. Consistently rated among the most famous haunted hotels in the world. Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after a stay in the historic property.
We're highlighting the Stanley Hotel because it is a proud historic Colorado landmark as well as a thriving tourism business.

The Stanley Hotel, managed by Grand Heritage Hotel Group, is a property of grandeur with stories steeped in history, the paranormal, pop culture, and even environmentalism. Having recently marked its 100-year anniversary, the hotel offers four unique lodging options, is located minutes away from Rocky Mountain National Park and embraces its rich history as it continues to look to the future.

The Stanley Hotel was founded by F.O. Stanley, a wealthy businessman forced to move west for health reasons. He found himself in Estes Park, Colo., and in order to boost the economy, began building a hotel. The main building, one of 11 originally built on 160 acres, was completed in 1909. While the expansive property boasts amazing architecture, a magnificent setting and spectacular views, it may forever be best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s spine-tingling novel “The Shining.”

King reportedly was a guest in Room 217 of a near-deserted Stanley in late 1974 before it was due to close for the winter. Though the entire property, from the concert hall and ballrooms to underground tunnel, is said to experience paranormal occurrences, Room 217 is said to be the most visited by living and spectral guests, alike.

A myriad of tours allow guests to experience the stories of The Stanley. Excursions include history and ghost story tours, as well as actual ghost hunts. For the easily spooked and young at heart, there are fire engine tours where kids of all ages don firefighting gear and ride an open-air antique fire engine through Estes Park.

Guests can explore the surrounding mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park’s 350 miles of hiking trails throughout the year. F.O. Stanley established an undying partnership with the surrounding area. He helped shape the tourism of Estes Park by creating the hotel and building a road from Lyons, from where he brought visitors via a Stanley Steamer, marking the first time automobiles, rather than trains, were used to transport people to a resort area. F.O. also was instrumental in helping restore wildlife to the area, promoting the establishment of the national park and Estes Park’s fairgrounds called Stanley Park.

For those wanting to soak in the history and charm of The Stanley, there are 155 guest rooms among four different settings. The main building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of the Historic Hotels of America, has undergone multiple renovations through the years, retaining its historic character and grandeur. The property offers a variety of rooms and suites, including Haunted Rooms, which have a higher propensity for inexplicable and eerie happenings and also are The Stanley’s most requested rooms.

The newly-renovated Lodge at The Stanley is a 40-room boutique hotel located adjacent to the main building and was originally used for housing bachelors in the early 1900s. In addition to a design and amenities fit for the refined traveler, the lodge is ideal for corporate groups, with the library accommodating up to 75 people for a private banquet. Breakfast is included when staying at The Lodge and the Innkeeper Midge Knerr personally attends to all guests.

The Presidential Cottage is located just steps from the main hotel and features three bedrooms, kitchenette, dining and living room areas and a private deck. Two garden-level units can be opened to the main cottage, creating the option of a five-bedroom suite.

The Overlook Condos combine luxury living with Mother Nature’s most magnificent landscape and are located just minutes to shopping, dining and entertainment. One, two and three-bedroom townhomes are available, sleeping four to 10 people with dining areas, family rooms, fireplaces and patios or decks.

Guests have a variety of dining experiences to choose from when stay at The Stanley. Cascades is a classic American restaurant and steakhouse serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with distinctive dishes embracing the farm-to-table philosophy. The restaurant offers an extensive wine list as noted by numerous Wine Spectator Awards over the years.

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