Movers & Shakers: Boulder Startup CEOs

Boulder is for startups” is the outcry of the Denver city’s tech boom. And they aren’t lying! Boulder has been named “America’s Best Town for Startups” by BusinessWeek. The city’s nearby talent pool from University of Colorado and “lifestyle bait” of a “backyard of mountains” have elevated it to second in percentage of workers employed in tech, only behind Silicon Valley. (In case you missed our previous entries, check out some of our favorite startup CEOs in Boston & Seattle.) For now, many eyes are on the flourishing tech scene in Boulder, so we want to recognize some big names that have emerged from the city.

Below are some of the most newsworthy startup CEOs in Boulder:

David Cohen - The name “David Cohen” is almost synonymous with Boulder’s tech scene. David is the CEO and Co-Founder of the well-known startup accelerator TechStars, with mentors including Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley, Tumblr’s David Karp, and other heavy hitters. TechStars alumni include Lore,, SendGrid, and several other rising stars. To learn from one of the best, check out this video of David’s advice for startup community leaders.

Jim Franklin - Jim is the CEO of SendGrid, a cloud email infrastructure alumnus of TechStars. SendGrid is growing fast, hitting 60,000 users a few months ago; so fast that they have grown too big for the Boulder office, prompting the opening of a satellite in Denver. On a personal note, we use SendGrid to send email alerts to our users, letting them know when their friends make the news; SendGrid is highly recommended.

Jud Valeski - Jud’s company, Gnip, is “the largest provider of social media data to the enterprise.” They slice and dice data like one the best, recently adding the ability to sort Twitter streams based on country codes, locations of users, time zone, language, number of followers, and other data points. (And congrats to Jud for being named a finalist in Ernst & Young’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.)

Laura Marriott - Laura, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, is placing her bets on QR codes and mobile barcodes. And if the company’s Q2 stats are any indication of the growing market, NeoMedia is well-poised to remain an industry leader as mobile barcodes continue to increase in popularity worldwide. Laura is ready for the challenge, always expanding on her business model; Just last month, NeoMedia licensed their portfolio of over 74 patents to Microsoft.

Niel Robertson - Niel is the CEO of Trada, self-described as “the world’s first and only crowdsourced online advertising services marketplace.” As the company grows, it has been adding key hires to its marketing & sales teams in an effort to focus on the mid-market segment of paid search. Niel is also a Co-Founder of tenXer, a personal productivity solution, which announced $3 million in series B funding last month.

Who are your favorite CEOs in Boulder?

5 thoughts on “Movers & Shakers: Boulder Startup CEOs

  1. NeoMedia is not a start-up. It was founded in 1995, been commercialized for over a decade, and has $50 million in debt.

    • Hey David – thanks for your comment. I gathered all the CEOs I featured from various sites listing “top startups in Boulder” with a recent publishing date. I can’t remember specifically which site I saw NeoMedia on, but it came from one of those lists.

      Either way, we think that Laura is worthy of being highlighted based on her notoriety and success.

      • Maybe you should look at Laura’s achievements and so called success since becoming CEO and how she is running her company and bankrupting NeoMedia’s (NEOM) and their shareholders. Since becoming CEO and even after her deal with Microsoft, NEOM shares are trading at an all time low. Lets not forget her toxic financing deals with YA and an Outstanding share count of over 1.3 Billion and rising. Lets not forget if she can’t pay YA their 50 million thats owed to them by July 31st, 2013 NeoMedia is over and done with.

  2. In my opinion NEOM is a company without any success. You can see the success of a company in the balance sheet and the income statement, in their income statement and the balance sheet I can’t see any success.
    They produce one news after another news (Licensed to Microsoft), but IMO they don’t produce something with sustainable worth for the customers and the shareholders. Maybe NEOM is a Newspaper or a stock printing and selling machine.
    NEOM and the CEO Laurra is not worth to be in a list with the other CEOs in your list.
    That reflects only my opinion.

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