CHAPTER NINEUNIVERSITY INVOLVEMENT

Universities are a useful and important part of a startup community. They are feeders that, at a minimum, generate a steady stream of new young people into the startup community. However, there are many additional things a university can do to enhance the startup community.

An unexpected part of campus catalyzed broader university engagement at CU Boulder. When I tell people that the law school helped kick‐start a high‐tech entrepreneurship heartbeat at CU Boulder, the typical reaction is, “Huh?” CU Boulder is one of the strongest state schools in the United States, and it is the crown jewel of the CU system. How is it possible that the law school, instead of another location on the campus, became a focal point for entrepreneurial activity? The first section of this chapter chronicles how this happened.

Over the past decade, entrepreneurial energy at CU Boulder has cascaded well outside of the law school. The second part of this chapter describes how CU Boulder organizes the entrepreneurial activities that now proliferate across campus. It also highlights some initiatives that impact the startup community, such as a summer accelerator led by the engineering school, and the business school's “end the gap” initiative, which bolsters the percentage of women in its program and helps address the startup scene's gender disparity and other diversity challenges. These illustrate ways that a university can fulfill its core mission while, at the same ...

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