Posts tagged David Cohen
First of all we are not exactly a start up. We are more an old school OG Boulder entrepreneurial company. That is to say Brad Feld and David Cohen didn’t invent the entrepreneurial movement here in Boulder. They joined it in the 90s and capitalized on it. Yes they are modern day Gurus, but Boulder has 100′s of gurus. Boulder’s entreperurship started in the late 1800s during the Colorado Gold rush and it never stopped.
So old timer tech entrepreneurs look at Feld , Cohen and Polis with some bemusement. They’ve seen it all before. This new hippy feel good neo communist business start up scene was really started by Moe Segal and the natural foods biz heads of the 1960s and 70′s. One CU business professor scoffed at the notion of Start Ups. ” Most of it is junk” he said. ” One or 2 out of 100 will be swallowed up by the VCs and make it to market but the other 98 will fail. So this is nothing new and Brad Feld is not that special.” he said.
And this is where I’d like to pick up. So what did we at Boulder Channel 1 do during this years Boulder Start Up Week. ?
We kept working that’s what we did. Part of our work was to send out sales reps to various event s to see where there was an opportunity to make some money by selling our services. What?? yep. We were looking for advertising clients, We were not looking for funding an angel or a VC. But we were looking to deal. We were selling. Overtly and not so overtly. We were looking for one $20,000 client for a year. One advertiser who needed banner ads, video, sm, pr, design, a show series, a web site and who wanted consumers from Boulder to buy their goods. We were on the hunt. We set a goal and went after it. That’s what start Up Week Boulder meant to us. No bullshit. No drinking. No fucking around. No chasing millionaires. Just hard work. Sales.
Did we land anyone. Yep we did. Two. we made $40,000 bucks this week off of Boulder Start Up week from two companies who wanted our services….. who needed our service… and who did not want to be dicked around by a bunch of drunks who are playing at business.
There is a lesson here for those of you who want to be serious business people. ( We have been successfully in business since 1975 here in Boulder. Like everyone else who digs this city, it only keeps getting better) We live in Utopia and we don’t take it for granted. We are truly blessed
What do we do to give back to Boulder?? We have been here for a long long time. We are established and have roots. we give cash to 30 different Boulder charities who help feed and clothe people. We produce videos for free for any non profit. We don’t charge non profits. We mentor homeless techies who need a hand up. We mentor kids of impoverished families.
Jann Scott is the CEO of Channel 1 Networks
The Resort at Pikes Peak was never going to open. According to the state of Colorado John C. Ball tried to sell securities illegally. They put a stop to him on the Pikes Peak Deal.
In his previous most recent deal gone bad, Ball also managed to skim all of the money out of Eller Industries, a Boulder based broadband company according to two of it’s main stock holders. That company was a pink sheet penny stock company which never produced anything, yet took investors for millions according to sources close to that company. Ball came in to help raise money for a second round, but sunk Eller further in debt. “He got paid, we lost everything” they said.
Pink Sheet stocks are notorious shells used to defraud investors. Companies like Eller were made famous in the movie Bolder room.
There are also questions about John Balls credentials not only as a businessman but as an engineer. Local media have covered this story with a lot of high hopes failing to see that the Pikes Peak Ski resort is just another stock scam.
There have been anonymous posts put up about Ball concerning another Ball company called Running Eagle. According to Scam Book Ball has taken loans out for this company and not repaid them.
Some Eller Industry Boulder stock holders who wished to remain anonymous told Boulder Channel 1 news on Friday that ” John Ball is a fake”. Much of Balls Linked in information could not be verified either.
Boulder Police, District attorney and Colorado Attorney General refused to comment on their investigations into John Ball fraud allegations, but one assistant AG did say “Our office gives theses kinds of cases the highest priority. It is the Lions share of our work. You would be amazed at the number of shady investment deals our office see.”
Actually, we wouldn’t. Boulder has been notorious for scams since Horace Greeley pitched a handful of bad investments concerning railroads in the 19th century. Boulder has seen its share of Gold and coal mine investments go bust too. We’ve had Oil well dusters for over 100 years. The Penny Stock scams of the 1980′s saw companies like NBI go bust. We had huge banking scandals in the 90s. The 2000′s saw Dot bomb busts such as Jared Polis billion dollar loser Blue Mountain Arts on line. It was sold to EXcite but 1000′s of small investors lost millions to Polis in the Excite stock deal. Polis walked away clean, even a hero, but Excite stock holders were ruined.
Some Boulder Billionaires scoff at Polis stock deals including Bob Greenlee former city council member and investor of numerous successful media ventures. Greenlee started the famous KBCO 97.3 in the 1980s. He sold it and then started other Radio stations, bought and sold media properties as well as restaurants and casinos. He has made a lot of people rich and has few losses in his portfolio. He happens to be a conservative Republican compared to Polis radical leftist leanings. Does this suggest that all leftists are crooks and republicans are ethical ?? Not by boulders standards. Leftists can do no wrong in Boulder. Alls fair in Startups and Stock scams There seems to be an ethics difference between those who run successful thriving companies Like Greenlee and Boulderites who create bad stock deals from the beginning.
Jo Pezzillo lost investors money in Go GaGa an ill conceived internet radio station. Pezzillo still prances around Boulder like a God, but he’s another guy with a losing track record with other peoples money. In his case he took some of Greenlees money as well as other VC money, but Go Ga Ga was a dud from the beginning. It is when the public is duped that scammy investments hurt most. Pezzillo still pushes himself in social media as a successful entrepreneur, but his records show a list of Start up failures including Metafly. Pezzillo represents hundreds of scammers who hustle money in Boulders coffee shops
VC’s can weather losses. But not everyone with money should be a VC. Current Start Ups pushed by Tech Stars have had their share of dry holes too. It is always the investors, the little guy, the husband and wife who put their hard earned money in these companies with hope of riches only to lose it that makes us wonder about Boulders start up craze.. Right now Brad Feld and David Cohen are Boulder darlings in the tech startup world. They are worth millions, but their high risk startups are funded by investors. Investors that Feld and Cohen have groomed into becoming Venture Capitalists. It is all a bit quirky. Will Tech Stars blow up too leaving investors burned?? The odds are in that favor.But Boulder always loves a good financial scandal and we never learn from them.
Our advise is watch your wallet and open investment accounts only with the most conservative of houses. Most of Boulders rich use Well Fargo Brokerage at the main branch on the Pearl Street mall. They have been in business there since the gold rush days and they don’t make wild investments.
In the end John Ball is in good company here in Boulder. He is just less skilled at conning investors.
The Weekly Update – October 26, 2011
for Boulder Chamber Members
Did You Know?
Did you know ballots must be in the hands of the Clerk & Recorder by 7pm on Tuesday, November 1st? Be sure to mail your voted, signed ballot before Friday, October 28th OR drop it off in person after that.
There are no polling places for this election, but the Clerk & Recorder will offer drop-off stations from 7am until 7pm on Election Day, November 1, at the following locations:
DRIVE-BY: Clerk & Recorder’s Office at 1750 33rd St.
WALK-IN: County Courthouse at 1325 Pearl St.
For more drop-off locations & times, visit the Clerk & Recorder’s Service Locations web page.
Featured Opportunity: Tech Alliance
Breakfast – Esprit Week
Esprit Week is more than just seven days; it’s an entrepreneurial movement that inspires, connects & fuels entrepreneurs alike.
The week highlights homegrown success stories & showcases to innovators the support that is available all year round. The Tech Alliance Breakfast is always a favorite in the Esprit line-up as it features some of the latest & greatest in the tech world.
Special thanks to our Esprit sponsors.
Tech Alliance Breakfast
Tues., Nov. 1 | 8-11am | Discovery Learning Center
*Breakfast included in admission price
Breakfast + Lunch Series:
Breakfast with Tim Enwall, Tendril
Fri., Oct. 28 | 8-9:30am | Jill’s Rest., 900 Walnut
Breakfast with Phil Anson, EVOL Foods
Mon., Oct. 31 | 8-9:30am |Turley’s, 2805 Pearl St.
Lunch with J. Brad Bernthal, Silicon Flatirons
Mon., Oct. 31 | 12-1:30pm | Centro, 950 Pearl St.
Breakfast with David Cohen, TechStars
Wed., Nov. 2 | 8-9:30am | Millennium, 1345 28th St.
Esprit Annual Dinner
Thurs., Nov. 3 | 5:30-8:30pm | Omni Resort, 500 Interlocken | Register Now
*Almost sold out
Snapshot: BCinteriors Unwrap New Location @ Business After Hours
Photo Courtesy of Rachael Malone, Boulder Chamber
“The Chamber events are an excellent way to meet new people & connect with friends. They can be a great way to generate business, too!” – Peter Braun, UBS
Events Up Next
You-Name-It Business Efficiencies Breakfast
Thurs., Oct. 27, 7:30-9am
Chamber Center, 2440 Pearl St.
SBDC: Leading Edge Growth Venture Series
Fri., Oct. 28, 8:30-11:30am, Chamber Center, 2440 Pearl St.
New Member Orientation
Thurs., Nov. 1, 8-9am, Chamber Center, 2440 Pearl St.
Boulder 2140 – Young Professionals – Fall PD Leadership Bash
Wed., Nov. 9, 6-9pm, St. Julien, 900 Walnut St.
Global Business Networking: Accessing High Tech Talent Locally & Globally
Thurs., Nov. 10, 5:30-7pm, Chamber Center, 2440 Pearl St.
9-10am @ The Carillon
View event calendar.
Participate in our new referral program and receive a $25 gift card to a Boulder Chamber member restaurant when your referral joins. Learn more.
“Crazy Horse has a saying: “Without legends there would be no dreams. Without dreams there would be no greatness.” It is that phrase that captures the essence of my path as an entrepreneur – the dreams behind the companies I’ve had the great fortune to sprawn were built on the legends of those entrepreneurs who came before me. And by the unparalleled work of an amazing group of colleagues,” Tim Enwall, Tendril (2011 Esprit Honoree)
Many Thanks to our Annual Sponsors
On Monday, I had the pleasure of travelling to Boulder, CO, to participate, along with a number of other Administration officials, in the seventh of eight stops that are a part of the Startup America Roadshow. The local newspaper captured some of the high points in this article. Before touching on my observations from the event, let me first answer the question, “Why Boulder?”
Fifteen years ago, Boulder was considered a sleepy college town known mostly for its great rock-climbing. Today, Boulder is home to one of the strongest entrepreneurial communities in the country, with close to 200 fledgling tech companies and a city campaign that proclaims “Boulder is for startups.” In fact, last year BusinessWeek named Boulder America’s best town for startups, and it was featured in The New York Times for its entrepreneurial scene. Part of its success rests on the fact that Boulder has the highest U.S. concentration of software engineers and PhDs per capita. It is second only to Silicon Valley in percentage of workers employed in the technology sector.
In discussing the success of Boulder as an entrepreneurial success story, I speak from personal experience, having worked at the University of Colorado Law School and run the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship from 1999 until joining the Obama Administration in 2009. The success of Boulder as an entrepreneurial ecosystem is not merely attracting smart people—it’s really about the community. Notably, in Boulder and the surrounding areas, there is an amazing willingness of successful entrepreneurs to help the up-and-comers.
The rabbi of the Boulder entrepreneurial ecosystem—and someone who has done more than anyone to set this tone—is my good friend Brad Feld, who along with his co-founders of the Foundry Group have given enormous time and energy to building an entrepreneurial community. Brad also brought a number of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to the White House last summer to talk about what could be done to celebrate, support, and spur entrepreneurship. Along with input from many others, that discussion helped shape the Startup America initiative.
One of the great success stories in Boulder is the rise of TechStars, which is now the top startup accelerator in the world and a key partner of Startup America. Since TechStars was founded in Boulder by Brad, Jared Polis (now our representative in Congress), and David Cohen, it has since expanded to four other cities, with offices in Boston, Seattle, and New York City. The program accepts applications from early-stage startups and provides them with seed funding and mentorship opportunities from some of the best and brightest minds in tech. Boulder TechStars alums include Brightkite, which was acquired for $1.5 million; Ignighter, which has received $4.2 million in funding; and, Graphic.ly, which also now has received $4.2 million in funding.
Later next week, Boulder will hold its second annual Startup Week. Startup Week Boulder is five spring days full of events and stars from inside and outside the Boulder tech community. From May 18-22, the city’s startups will be rolling out the red carpet for talented developers, designers, marketers, and general startup enthusiasts.
Many entrepreneurial communities ask how they can be the next Silicon Valley? As Brad has often explained, that’s the wrong question. The right question is how any entrepreneurial community—whether Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Phoenix, or Portland—can be the best it can be. Each community has its own particular attributes and leaders. Working together and supporting each other, as Boulder leaders have done, is a core part of building a more successful ecosystem.
Monday’s discussion reflected the level of engagement and thoughtfulness that I have come to expect from the Boulder entrepreneurial community. We touched on a series of topics, ranging from access to capital to attracting great employees to reforming regulation to enabling better technology transfer from government labs. As the Roadshow effort comes to a close, I know that these ideas will inform a number of ongoing policy development and implementation initiatives, including the Commerce Department’s upcoming report on innovation and competitiveness.
Phil Weiser is Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director