BOULDER — NewCo Boulder, an annual peek inside some of the city’s most innovative startups, this year figures to shine a particular light on the way Boulder entrepreneurs are perking up people’s taste buds.
The “non-ballroom” conference model started in 2012 in San Francisco by entrepreneurs John Battelle and Brian Monahan allows founders and entrepreneurs in individual cities to give attendees a glance inside their businesses and what makes them tick. One-day NewCo festivals are held in 16 cities around the world, including places such as San Francisco, New York, London and Barcelona. This is the third year for NewCo Boulder.
Tim O’Shea — cofounder of Engage Colorado, which produces NewCo Boulder — said Wednesday that a major focus of the event the past two years has been to shine a light not just on Boulder’s tech scene but other industries where the entrepreneurial spirit is thriving in town.
The roughly 50 companies opening their doors for hour-long sessions on Nov. 17 this year include everything from tech to outdoors to manufacturing. And the food and beverage world will be strongly represented, with companies such as T/aco, Yellowbelly Chicken, Organic Sandwich Company, Rowdy Mermaid, Sanitas Brewing and Geek Spirits, among others, hosting events.
“I think we’ve continued to explore beyond the boundaries of our tech startup scene and lean into other areas that define the Boulder startup scene,” O’Shea said.
NewCo Boulder runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 17. The day is set up with six hour-long blocks — with a half hour in between each to account for travel and networking — so that attendees can visit multiple startups during the day. Sessions can range from behind-the-scenes tours to founders’ unique strategies and approaches to business and their companies’ cultures.
The day is bookended by a kickoff dinner on the evening of Nov. 16 and a happy hour session at Shine Restaurant on the evening of Nov. 17.
Tickets can be purchased online. They range from free for admission to a single session to $35 passes that allow access to all sessions to a $125 VIP pass that allows access to all sessions as well as the kickoff and closing events.
“You can really hear some stories as founders share their experiences,” O’Shea said. “I think it’s also a good opportunity to cross-pollinate different industries.”