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?