Colorado building tech companies from startup to IPO

By: Michael Price Wednesday August 7, 2013 Tags: 10.10.10, Michael Price, Think Ahead Colorado, Tom Higley

Most people know Colorado's tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists work as hard as those on the coasts in spite of the pernicious rumor that Coloradans are all just playing in the hills.

While Colorado's tech community knows the hard-working truth, there remains a false perception. Colorado wants to show off its assets to attract more investments in great companies that will grow and thrive here.

Leading by example is Rally Software, a Boulder-based company that helps large enterprises "perfect the art of agile development." Rally, which was founded in the early 2000s, has recently made headlines for its $84 million IPO and a $70 million follow-on offering.

Rally's success could help advocates for Colorado's startup community build a case that Colorado's time has come.

What keeps the momentum building is a culture of innovation that is shaped and pushed forward by massive demand in the marketplace.

Last year, Denver Startup Week estimated there were 70-plus events, 3,500-plus attendees and 500-plus companies represented. This year's Denver Startup Week event promises to be much larger with a distinct focus on high-quality events.

It doesn't end there. There's also Boulder Startup Week, New Tech, TechStars, Galvanize, Innovation Pavilion, Angel Capital Summit, Rockies Venture Club, and numerous hackathons, to name a few. This ecosystem helps create a foundation and buzz where companies like Rally can be conceived, nurtured and allowed to thrive.

The seeds of Colorado's success started many years ago. Tech leaders, entrepreneurs and advocates have long been committed to Colorado's future. Tom Higley, veteran startup entrepreneur and founder of 10.10.10, is one of those people.

"Colorado is becoming better connected to thought leaders, entrepreneurs and investors throughout the country," Higley said recently. "This is a big part of what helps healthy startup communities develop and grow to their fullest potential."

Tom Higley's concept for 10.10.10 is to invite 10 experienced startup CEOs from around the country to Denver for 10 days to discuss 10 big problems with significant market potential, and 10.10.10 will invest in the viable companies that result. The first of these events will occur early next year. 10.10.10 has opened nominations for the first cohort of CEOs.

As technology use becomes increasingly ubiquitous in the daily lives of most Americans, the opportunities to innovate will expand as quickly as the number of regions recognized as 'Tech Hubs.'

Enter Colorado. We know consumers will do their part, but public officials and industry leaders can collaborate to develop and support policies that promote innovation.

Let's climb this mountain together and help Colorado silence the skeptics.
Michael Price

About the Author: Michael Price

Michael Price is CEO of NewsDesk Ninja, Inc., which builds software for the marketing and communications industries. NewsDesk’s first project is Echovo (, which helps large groups of people to easily work together as a team on social media. Michael is an accomplished-and-results-driven software developer with over a decade of experience in software, design, data analytics and strategic communications.