Jessica L. Ryan
Jessica L. Ryan

S omehow it took me a long time (like, literally years) to understand that people in Boulder's startup community LOVE to meet new people. Never mind that I had been chatting with many of them since high school and had started to consider quite a few startup-y types my friends -- I was still scared to go to any of the startup events in town.

And then, natch, I took a startup class and was forced to go as part of my grade. How rude.

But thanks to that prof (hi, Fish), I've now started to go to more startup events and have been astonished and enchanted by how welcoming everyone has been.

If you've been looking to break in to the Boulder startup scene, this is a good week for you.

Today marks the start of Boulder Startup Week, an annual conference of sorts that brings people together from all over the world to talk startups and to meet new people. Over the course of five days, they have events that range from data analysis to beer to a panel discussion about moving to Boulder to be a part of the scene.

This is my first Boulder Startup Week, but I've had many people tell me how absolutely life-changing it's been for them. I've browsed the schedule at and packed my Google Calendar from morning 'til night. I'm especially excited about a few events in particular:

Ignite Boulder


This event is so kickass, it always sells out. A night of presentations that advance automatically, Ignite Boulder is fast-paced, eclectic, inspiring and fun. If you missed the boat on grabbing tickets like I did, watching the live stream is just as good.


Getting outside and off your ass (hence, GOYA) is a big part of Boulder life in general. Wake up early and join in on a hike at Mt. Sanitas while meeting new people who are into the active lifestyle.

Change through Comedy

Peter McGraw of CU's Humor Research Lab has been doing some pretty awesome work with comedy and laughter. His presentation will address how to tackle changes like major strategy pivots through the use of comedy. Peter is a funny guy (one would hope, right?) but is also incredibly brilliant -- I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

Boulder Beta

Beta is part demo night, part networking event. Startups set up around the room, and you can visit and chat with them as you'd like. Some pretty cool companies are presenting this time around, including Choozle, which provides a new way for giving/taking surveys.

In addition to all the awesome learning that'll be taking place, Boulder Startup Week is for meeting people and participating in the community. So keep an eye out for me bopping around and feel free to say hi!

Jessica Ryan is a brand-new CU grad going into community management and PR. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.