Big things come from small communities. Partner @ Greater Colorado Venture Fund + Kokopelli Capital
A distributed workforce, long prophesied by the tech community, has been accelerated by a decade in the last six months.
The COVID-19 global health crisis and subsequent ‘shelter in place’ orders have forced millions to rethink the place they call home. For many, the draw of open spaces and access to recreation has put long-forgotten dreams of small-town living on the immediate roadmap. Rural real estate has already begun to see the effects of this migration.
In parallel to the rural, remote revolution, Hackernoon has been amassing a community of twelve thousand contributors and over four million readers since 2016. Founded by David Smooke in 2013, the Hacker Noon voice and community has become a go-to source for grounded perspectives on all things tech, future, company building, and more. Joined by his wife Linh Dao Smooke in 2017, the duo added another 1,200 shareholders to the Hackernoon journey through a well-publicized equity crowdfunding campaign, largely in response to Medium’s ban on 3rd party ads.
Behind the scenes, David and Linh were living in San Francisco, pondering the place they called home. True to brand, they joined the early-adopters of small-town, location-neutral workers and relocated their life and (then) 2-year-old to Edwards, Colorado (population 10,266).
"Although Hacker Noon started in San Francisco, our traffic increased 8 fold ever since moving to rural Colorado. We owe that to the beautiful Colorado nature, sunshine, little city-like distraction which allows for clarity and focus on our own business," said Linh Smooke.
Prompted by the immutable forces of 2020, the story of Hackernoon and David and Linh will come full circle on July 30th as they join a cohort of six other rural Colorado-based founders to showcase the future of company-building from small towns in the Greater Colorado Pitch Series Finals Broadcast.
After sorting through over one hundred company applications, the Greater Colorado Venture Fund (GCVF), a $17.5M VC fund piloting rural venture capital in Colorado, selected Hackernoon as a finalist in the Greater Colorado Pitch Series. Originally planned to be a nine-event roadshow around the state, the GCVF team pivoted their first-ever flagship event to an online application process and virtual event, to air July 30th, 12–2PM MT.
The July 30th finals broadcast serves as a fitting headline event for the also-virtualized West Slope Startup Week (WSSW). Amongst countless startup week events, WSSW stands out as a primarily rural, region-wide event, with over twelve collaborating organizations and participants from every corner of the state.
In 2019, WSSW brought over 200 people together from across Western Colorado to the small desert city of Grand Junction for entrepreneurial celebration and collaboration. The event became an immediate mainstay in the growing rural Colorado startup community. For 2020, WSSW has pivoted to online success as well, having hosted over 70 creative events with hundreds of participants daily.
While Small Town USA clings to life support, the rural Colorado startup community is taking advantage of years of community building to plot a founder-driven future. On July 30th, Hackernoon will pitch for investment from the Greater Colorado Venture Fund and show the world, yet again, what the future of company building will look like.
Hackernoon will join six other rural Colorado-based companies in pitching for $275,000 in investment and over $10,000 in in-kind awards.
Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.