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New Event Shines Light on Variety of Boulder’s Innovative Firms

Xconomy Boulder/Denver — 

It will still be chilly next week in Colorado, but a few dozen leading startups and tech companies in Boulder plan to give more than 700 people a warm welcome.

On Tuesday, 42 companies including Google, Zayo Group, and Rally Software will host open houses as part of NewCo Boulder. Joining them will be startups including Simple Energy and PivotDesk, along with Techstars.

NewCo is “a networking event turned inside out” in the words of its founders. That means instead of being an event in a single location where people only get a cursory view of companies, NewCo hosts get a chance to give potential employees or interested community members a peak behind the scenes.

NewCo Boulder organizer Rich Maloy said that over about an hour, host companies will get a chance to tell their stories, explain how they’re innovating, and talk about their plans for the future. Plus, they get to show off their swanky offices.

There also is a community-building component, Maloy said.

“We want to build bridges between companies across geographic and industry boundaries.”

While the geographic component is limited to Boulder for now, a wide range of industries are represented. In addition to software and hardware, a number of craft breweries, natural foods companies, and restaurants are hosting events. They include well-known names like Upslope Brewing and The Kitchen Community, an initiative started by Kimbal Musk.

There’s variety among the tech companies, too. They include Boulder-based publicly traded companies Rally Software (NYSE: RALY) and Zayo (NYSE: ZAYO), firmly established companies such as SolidFire and Sovrn Holdings, and startups and software consulting firms Pivotal Labs and QuickLeft.

There’s even one biotech company, SomaLogic, and Google is opening the doors of its Boulder outpost.

The common thread is the companies are successful innovators with compelling stories to tell, Maloy said.

The events are free, but attendees must register. At this stage, many of the events are sold out. As of midday Friday, more than 20 companies had spots open.

Tuesday’s daylong event is one of a number of “festivals” NewCo is organizing in eight cities around the world. With its inaugural event, Boulder joins the ranks of Silicon Valley, San Francisco, London, and Amsterdam.

NewCo was founded in 2012 by John Battelle and Brian Monahan. Battelle has a connection to Boulder as the executive chairman of Sovrn, an adtech company. Sovrn is the descendant of Lijit Networks, which Battelle’s Federated Media bought in 2011 for a reported $100 million.