Posts tagged Boulder Chamber
As I previewed the schedule on line in Plancast, Speed Bootstrapping at the Boulder Chamber seemed like the best option for me for several reasons. I am a busy executive and my time is limited. The event was being hosted by a law firm who specializes in Startups, security laws and presumably they had been to the show. Joyce Colson from Colson Quinn emceed the event and she kept everybody on a timer. Thank God! ( seriously, it works best) The event was being held at the Chamber which is neutral ground so I wouldn’t be hassled by BSW organizers for being “press” which happened last year. Also, I am a Chamber member and I knew I could count on Angelique for access. There was also no alcohol being served so this was was going to be a sober nuts and bolts workshop where I could learn something It was not going to be the constant college party scene which consumes much of the Boulder Startup scene.
I was not disappointed. Speed Bootstrapping 101 was a series of check-ins by 7 business organization experts. Matt Fargo from Kurtz Fargo a cpa firm which specializes in tech corps gave a blistering litany of dos and don’ts for business financials. The most memorable being use quick books and outsource your book keeping to a specialist so that it gets done right. This way investors will understand what the hell you have when the time comes. Thank God we did both at Channel 1 networks.
Then the lawyers spoke. Rob Quinn almost had a pained look when he spoke of some basic mistakes startups make which hurt them badly down the road. This was another way for me to check to see if we did our preliminary work correctly. Protection of intellectual property ? check. Signed sub-contractor agreements? check. Signed no compete non disclosure statements? check. Set up LLC cause it is simplest? check Pay people cash and not in stock so company is not diffused? check. Paying in stock are big mistakes made by early startups.
Of course I have been in business for over 20 years, grew up in a business family so I can thank my father and family for some of my business ac cumin In 2006 I had the guidance of Bob Greenley and atty Amelia Tantilla early on in Channel 1 Networks, so I avoided big mistakes. Ray Skibitsky told me not to take venture capital since we were already making money.
Then a commercial real estate broker talked about complicated leases and who to trust and who not to. Very valuable. We will need a broker when we move, that’s for sure. Liz Ryan talked about how to hire good employees. Ideas I had never heard before. The Chamber talked about all of the SBA loans available. Did you know that there are loans available that will pay for 90% of commercial real estate? Why lease when you can own for the same money??
Also, there was a banker another accountant and another lawyer who spoke. They covered all of the bases.
So How did I do? I hate to be smug. But I scored 100%. Not one pitfall in the area of big stupid business mistakes. I feel more ready than ever to move on and sell our company to Google. One thing is for sure, I need to hire this team assembled at Bootstrapping 101 to help sell my company. For this I have to hand it to Boulder Startup Week, there was a gem among the beer cups. lol ( an a good time was had by all)
The event was well attended by serious minded business people and I feel fortunate to have been there. If this event was repeated monthly at the chamber it could only help all Boulder business’s succeed.
From the Startup Capitol of America
The conference I attend was on immigration. (Boulder Chamber event, Global Business Networking: Accessing High Tech Talent Live at 5:30 tonight, Nov 10, 2011) Specifically why the American government make it is so hard to hire foreign engineers for technology firms. The USA has a shortage of high quality engineers. Tech firms have to look elsewhere to find them but the government won’t allow American companies to hire foreign engineers. Some Boulder companies survival depend upon it. Some have gone broke.
In a nutshell when you have a highly competent foreign engineer working for a tech firm, you can build a division around him and thereby hire a whole slew of less competent American engineers to do the production. So it is a job creator. The problem is that the Bush administration screwed us and congress is too stupid to figure out that we have fallen behind.. They think every immigrant wanting to work here is either a Saudi terrorist or an unskilled illiterate.
To make matters worse we’ll give out education visas like candy but once we graduate a Korean engineer, we won’t let him back in the country to work for us, so he goes to China and works for them helping to build their economy. How dumb is that?
Anyway we televised this conference and you will be able to see it on my 22BOOM Show next week. If you want to see a crappy video stream version of it you can see that on Justin TV Boulder Channel One .
Now, I like going to business events but the business community is divided here in Boulder. The Boulder Chamber is big and old school. But they are very inviting and open too. They will let any community member play. They are the most equal community oriented business group. Downtown Boulder is more selective, elitist and discriminating. They hurt themselves and local business’s continually….. I have beaten them up pretty hard here too for it. They whole Boulder Start Up community headed by Start-Up Boulder and their ilk is by far the most elitist, censoring, divisive, discriminating business group in Boulder. Of course they don’t think so. Most of them are 21 to 32 and they think they invented business and everyone else is stupid.
“This is both a problem and part of Boulders nature” a Chamber Economic Vitality staffer told me. ”It is also what makes Boulder a successful business community”. Maybe so, but I hate snot nosed elitist kid know it alls and they make terrible employees.
I did have fun at this event though. It had a mix of old farts ( my people and young punks..them)
Jared Polis was there to speak about how stupid the American congress is. Jason Mendelson was there to help Jared uphold the the “super rich” end. Actually I dunno how much money he has. It’s millions and millions. Jared of course is a billionaire.
I put the tap on them both to help me sell channel One Networks to Google or Face book. A 30 second pitch was too long. I needed a ten second one for Jared. He was like, What can I do? I dunno anybody.” Mendelson was a little more targeted… “Why should I”? he asked. Good Question. Because Jason, C1N is designed to have ad, print, TV offices in every city and is self sustaining. It is a multi billion dollar company and you can make millions right now off of it. It works.
But they ran away from me. I’ll keep you posted on my pitches. But this is the year.. actually 2012 is the year we have large capitalization and plan to plan to open a 2500 person facility in Boulder.