By S. Harris

Cartoon by S. Harris

Boulder is bursting with startups; from restaurants to big data and tech companies, we all know someone who is involved in a fledgling business. When it comes to startups though the question asked so often is, why Boulder?

Its obvious why Boulder is a great place to live: its home to a well-respected university, sits below unique natural surroundings, and carries plenty of cultural clout. What isn’t clear is why it’s a haven for entrepreneurs. Out of all the mighty hubs of capitalism in the U.S. why is a relatively small, extremely liberal city the center of lucrative capitalistic ventures?

Many articles have been written explaining the origin of Boulder’s startup community through demographic statistics, high percentages of PhDs and software engineering degrees, and proximity to the University of Colorado. All these figures inform a meaningful explanation, however they seem to gloss over the spirit of the people that exist behind these stats.

Boulder is the place where, individuality reigns and you’re encouraged to roam free with your freak flag aloft. This mentality mixed with the memory of the hard work it took to bring Boulder from its humble beginnings as a supply depot for miners to a beautified city has created an interesting dichotomy of identities. On the one hand, Boulder is a haven for the eccentric, the educated, the nature-loving ultra-marathoners. On the other, it is as capitalistic as any other city in America (though with better recycling habits), abound with hardworking, success-seeking women and men. A culture with a historically progressive and diligent mindset comes together with a highly educated and motivated population. It is this complex co-existence of seemingly juxtaposed ideals that makes Boulder Startup Capital, USA.

So after reviewing Boulder’s historical background while taking into account the personality of our city, rather than its statistics, the answer to ‘why Boulder?’ turns out to be quite simple. The people. Not just their degrees or business credentials, but the people themselves. A city chalked full of academics, businessmen, and businesswomen with the room to create, achieve, and innovative ideas is why Boulder is king (or queen) of the startup mountain.