We are asked repeatedly why we decided to open the IssuWorks headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and not New York, where I’m located.
First, as I was meeting with Wall Street firms (IssuWorks broadens and improves Wall Street's institutional equity distribution), a number of well-regarded firms expressed an interest in having us come to work for them, or in buying IssuWorks outright. We were just starting up and we didn't want to risk having our talent poached. So, we decided to go where Wall Street wasn't.
So, (Second) , we started to search for great start-up environments that were cost-effective, had an attractive lifestyle and had a culture of innovation. We consistently found Colorado cities cited broadly as desirable locations. Notably, one article ranked four Colorado cities in its top 10, with Boulder ranked #1 (see "The 25 Best U.S. Cities for Tech Startups").
Third – My first job out of business school was in the equity syndicate department of Boettcher & Company at 17th & Champa in Denver, Colorado. Boettcher & Company was the Grand Dame of Colorado investment banks before it was sold to Kemper which was a shame since Boettcher was a key part of the history of Colorado - Boettcher floated the municipal bond financing for the Eisenhower Tunnel (which ski buffs will understand is the enormous tunnel that you drive through on your way from Denver to Vail and any number of other well-known ski resorts from A-Basin to Copper Mountain to Breckenridge to Beaver Creek).
Fourth - I had been on the board of a company in Andover, Massachusetts called Helium.com that did crowdsourcing of content over the internet. That company was sold to RR Donnelley in New York, and their VP Product (now ours) Brian VanKonynenburg had fallen in love with Colorado and moved to Longmont in 2012 to watch his kids grow up there while he and his wife stayed young. Since our COO Edward Kim --co-author of all of the written work that we’ve done (see "Thought Leadership" at www.IssuWorks.com) that led to the JOBS Act -- could commute easily to Colorado, the die was cast.
Fifth - Boulder, Colorado is a College town with a business school (Leeds School of Business) and the costs in Boulder seem to be about 60% of what they are in the New York Metropolitan area. While New York has a big start-up community, it is less concentrated because New York is so big.
So, we chose to put ourselves in the #1 ranked environment for start-ups in the United States: Boulder, Colorado. IssuWorks is building the systems that will get capital into the hands of more scientists and engineers who in turn will help solve the problems of the next generation - be they Global Warming, Renewable Energy, and finding Cures to Cancer. The community is very socially conscious. So are we. You can see from our work that led to such things as the new "Emerging Growth Company" designation under the JOBS Act and crowdfunding of securities to accredited investors (among other things) that we don't just "Talk the Talk" - We "Walk the Talk."
We're excited to be part of the Boulder community.
Founder & CEO