This past week, Spark Boulder celebrated their grand opening. Spark is an awesome new coworking and accelerator space designed and built by students, for students. It's located on the Hill, and it's already home to some pretty cool student-run companies. Spark was started as a way to bridge the gap between students and Boulder's startup scene, offering a student-friendly place to work on projects or house your already-established startup. Members also have access to legal services and mentorship.
Spark is an awesome example of students breaking their way into the startup scene. I definitely wish I had access to something like that when I was a student. Getting started in the startup world can be challenging for students who aren't already working at a popular company or who aren't hell-bent on starting their own. But resources like Spark Boulder are helping students make their way in the community. Here are a few more ways to get started:
Much of the Boulder startup world is centered around tech, but there's also a huge amount of small creative agencies. Caffeinated Mornings gives creatives (and creative-friendly people) a lil' somethin' somethin' in the startup world. The monthly speaker series features all sorts of creative people, from designers to copywriters and ad execs. Held at Scrib on the first Friday of every month, there's also coffee (hence the name) and conversation. It's a great way to meet new people and learn about what's happening in the creative world.
Meetup.com is crawling with startup- and tech-focused groups. There's Analyze Boulder, which has a data-driven focus, Girl Develop It, a group for women who want to learn how to code, SheSays Boulder, another creative-focused group ... and that's just a few of them. Meetup has a solid directory and will even email you with suggestions of events and groups based off the interests you select.
I often say that most of the good things in my life came from Twitter, but I'm only sort of joking. Twitter's good for posting selfies or throwing shade, but it can also be used to launch meaningful relationships, learn about what's going on around you and share things you're passionate about. Twitter helped me learn about the startup scene back as a wee high schooler (wow, has it really been that long?) who had only been to Boulder on tours of the University of Colorado. Need help finding people to follow? A lot of Boulder-area startup nerds (myself included) have curated Twitter lists of users who work in startups or who go to a lot of the startup-centered events listed above. You can "subscribe" to Twitter lists, or just read through the newest Tweets — and Tweeps — to see who you find most interesting.
Jess Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. Follow her at twitter.com/JessicaLRyan