It is often said value is created at the intersection of production and development. Galvanize was created with the purpose to enhance both. Located in the heart of Denver in close proximity to several metro Denver area universities, Galvanize is designed as a true “innovation ecosystem1”. The best and brightest local entrepreneurs use its ecosystem to surround themselves with passionate business leaders in efforts to refine and develop business ideas.
So why did Galvanize choose Denver? Denver is currently home to an overwhelming number of technology and other start-ups. It is an attractive place with beautiful weather, active people, along with a beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains drawing in a growing number of people every year. Further, Denver was scored “#5 on Forbes’ 2012 Best places for business and careers list, while Fort Collins came in at #3. USA Today ranks Boulder/Denver as a top 10 city for technology start-ups. Moreover, Colorado, on a per capita basis, is well ahead of other states in the areas of green technology, health care, telecom, energy, aerospace, bioscience, high tech, health food and organics.2”
Production at Galvanize is enhanced through the availability of resources to include anything one could imagine necessary to elevate achievement in an office environment. Galvanize has introduced a roll out of classroom workshops to offer a more practical approach to enhance innovation and start-up value than the typical university style of learning. This company’s business model goes well beyond the concept of “why didn’t I think of that?” Further, this type of environment adds a level of certainty and success to the entrepreneurial world often defined by stress and high rates of failure.
Development is fueled by creativity – Who better to elevate the creativity of entrepreneurs than entrepreneurs themselves? This form of collaboration at Galvanize allows entrepreneurs from currently over 100 local start-ups to come together in an integrated effort to solve problems, and works very well as many small businesses tend to deal with similar organizational issues. Further, when the problems of the day are solved, and a given start-up is growing accordingly, the Galvanize members can retreat to the game room to enjoy a game of foosball or blow off steam in cycling class, emphasizing the “never take yourself too seriously3” persona.
So, Galvanize provides everything an organization needs except the start-up capital? Well, they have the ability to provide capital as well. Galvanize has currently invested in at least six start-up companies to date. Additionally, Venture Capital firms in the local area, such as Cohort Capital, look to partner with Galvanize for opportunities for investments. One such investment both Galvanize and Cohort Capital have made to date is a company named “Active Junky” – a successful locally owned and operated start-up online retailer of fashionable, active gear.
On June 19th, I along with two other members of Cohort Capital had the opportunity to attend an event held at the Galvanize facility featuring Brad Feld and his wife Amy Batchelor in promotion of his/her new book “Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur”. This event was open to the public and provided each attendee with a copy of the hardcopy and digital copy of the book along with a chance to have the book signed by Brad Feld or other members of the promotion cast. The event provided attendees the opportunity to understand how a panel of veteran entrepreneurs keep a healthy relationship despite long work hours. One question from a member of the audience was asked to the panel about how to keep the proverbial work-life balance. Jim Deters, the CEO and Founder of Galvanize answered “there is no such thing. Work and life are one in the same. Work is simply one facet of life just as your personal relationships.”
Galvanize is yet another example of the countless resources provided to entrepreneurs in the Rocky Mountain Region. It provides the resources, ideas, and a collaborative network can and will substantial increase your success as an entrepreneur. I challenge anyone who is in the Denver area and has dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, check out Galvanize at your earliest convenience and join the local Denver area innovation movement. So, why did Galvanize choose Denver? In most ways, Denver actually chose Galvanize.
1, 3 – http://galvanize.it/