I'm Moving to Boulder, CO for Q1 2007

On January 2nd I’ll be moving to Boulder for three months to work for the Boulder-based gang of Mobius Venture Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund which invests in leading technology companies.

If you’ve been following the blizzard news, you’re probably saying to yourself, "Ben, you must have balls the size of coconuts to be moving to Colorado now." The answer is: I do.

How did this all come to be? My first "real" business meeting several years ago was with Greg Prow, then COO & Managing Director at Mobius, now CEO of Planitax. I didn’t quite realize my good fortune: my first business meeting would take place in the plush offices of a billion dollar fund in Silicon Valley! My meeting with Greg was surreal and his parting words enduring ("If anyone tells you to stop on your journey, don’t listen to them").

Later, Greg introduced me to his partner Brad Feld who ran Mobius’ Boulder office. Greg told me Brad was "just like me." Among other things, he started his first company in high school.

After I met with Brad for the first time in 2003, Greg said, "You should try to get to know Brad. I mean it. It won’t be easy with him in Colorado, but really try." I remember nodding and then writing at the top of my notebook: "Feld".

And it wasn’t easy. Brad generously introduced me to a bunch of interesting Bay Area people, but I still didn’t get to know him. Several times we planned one-on-one meetings when he was in the Bay Area, and he always canceled on me last minute.

It was only when we both started blogging around June 2004 that we could really get to know each other. Over the course of the next few years, through emails, occasional dinners, and lots of blogging, we’ve formed a nice friendship and he’s become a wonderful mentor and inspiration for me. I came to know some of his CEOs, his partner Seth, his wife Amy, and still other members of his seemingly infinite circle of influence.

I stopped in Boulder on my way back from Chicago last spring and I crashed at his place. We talked about my gap year. I told him that in addition to my active board directorship at Comcate, international travel, and writing, I wanted to do "something different". He invited me to hang in Boulder for a few months and help the Mobius gang, see a lot of companies and people, lay soft roots in Boulder, and learn a bit about the VC side of the business (I’ve only been an in-the-trenches entrepreneur). I gave it some thought while I trekked through Europe. It didn’t take long to figure out it’d be an amazing opportunity culturally (a city other than San Francisco), professionally (smart entrepreneurs and VCs looking to create cool companies), and personally (live on my own / wash clothes / cook).

So what will I be doing in Boulder? I guess the most accurate role description would be "entrepreneur-at-large" — I’ll be tackling a bunch of odds and ends related to Mobius portfolio companies and internal projects. I’ll also engage in broader Colorado entrepreneurial life. I will be full-time with them, although I will still have my hand in a variety of side projects.

I’m a big believer in the idea, "Surround yourself with high quality people and through osmosis their excellence will rub off on you." After Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer, I couldn’t think of a better gang to hang around. Brad, Jason, Seth, Ryan, and Chris — I look forward to the next quarter! Here’s to staying warm!

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