So in my second part in my How to be a TechStar series, I’m going to take a lighter note and deal with one of the most pressing questions for any startup in Boulder - What does my coffee shop say about my company? This is a serious question in these parts and trust me, you’re being watched to see what you choose. Now no one likes to be judged and be oblivious to it so I’ll try to help you and give you the lay of the land here in Boulder. So without further ado, here’s:
What Your Favorite Boulder Coffee Shop Says about Your Company:
The Cup: “We didn’t meet enough new twitter users to follow at the last new tech meetup.” If you’re at the Cup, you’re at the center of social media’s real-world gathering place in Boulder. No where else in the entire Rockies can you find more people who can speak intelligently at a moments notice about Scoble’s latest crusade against Facebook as if data portability was the next cause to be heir to the civil rights movement. Please note that if you don’t have a Mac, you will not be welcome here. Ok, you can kind of make up for it if you pull out your iPhone and talk about how you’re certain to upgrade on July 11 (you have to know the date) when the new iPhone comes out. But if you want to have any hope of making a good impression at the Cup, never ever pull out your HP laptop running the latest fix of Vista.
Laughing Goat: “We go out of our way to get what we could get elsewhere easier.” Let’s be honest — the Laughing Goat is not convenient to anything interesting in downtown Boulder. If The Cup isn’t closer, then Folsom Street Coffee is. The Laughing Goat tries to mimic what Trident and Mountain Sun does for the hippies and Naropa-types but come on — they take credit cards. Sell outs.
Buchanan Coffee Pub: “We’re starting a group dating site and need to convince some hot college girls to use the Internet.” It’s on the Hill and, well, has a certain clientele. Here’s looking at you, Ignighter.
Amante: “If only we could tell Foundry about our idea, we’re sure they’d lead our A round.” Yeah, everyone knows that Foundry Group is right across the street. Don’t think we don’t know that you’re just sitting there drinking overpriced italian replica lattes hoping to “bump into” Brad or one of the other guys. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Brad doesn’t do coffee.
Spruce Confections: “We’re a west coast (well, as close as you can get in Boulder) internet company destined for success.” You’ve got that valley itch don’t you? The closer to the valley, the hotter your startup is right?
Sidneys: “We’re lazy and take the quickest answer to our needs.” Not that Sidneys is bad in any way, but don’t push yourselves, ok? I mean Leslie, Trish, & gang will great you by name and you can have your coffee and be back at your desk in less than 5 mins but you didn’t even walk outside, did you? Where’s the adventure in that? You are an entrepreneur, right?
Folsom Street Coffee: “We like struggling for a position in a crowded market.” Although Folsom Street Coffee was the location of my first ever Kindle sighting, it has never been reliable for actually having space for anything other than awkwardly sharing that small table with the grad student from somewhere in Asia studying a field of advanced physics that you’ve never heard of.
Trident: “Outsource?? Are you crazy? We’re purists — we do it ourselves.” Trident is the centerpiece of everything yoga, wellness, and natural in the boulder lifestyle. The Man is definitely not welcome here.
Starbucks: “Back off, we’re meeting with that VC from Denver — you know the one with the suit.” No where else will you be judged quite as harshly in Boulder as when you walk out of Starbucks holding your Grande Frappuccino. If you’re doing this, I’ll just go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt and assume some out of town VC was involved. For your sake, let’s hope so.
Boulder is definitely one of the best coffee cities in America. So make sure you enjoy your coffee while you’re here.