2013 Entrepreneurial Trek (I ♥ NY)

14 Jan

UPDATE: Event Followup

Another GEA Entrepreneurial Trek is in the bag, and once again it was a huge success! This year the GEA traveled to New York City to meet with five great
companies. Other than a few minor hotel hiccups, the trip was seamless. Attending the Trek this year were Scott Moore (MBA ’13), Ben Buie (MBA ’13), Beha Al-Hawwaj (MBA ’14), Adam Block (MBA ’14), Doug Lorenz (Evening MBA ’13), and Andy Evans (JD ’14).

IMAG1098We had a smaller group (6 people) this year (2013) than last year, but the meetings turned out to be than much more personal. We received great insights about the highs and lows of company formation from Rustin Banks, Founder and CEO of Boulder-based TapInfluence (f.k.a. BlogFrog). We met with Alex White, Founder and CEO of music analytics company NextBigSound (a TechStars Boulder alum, relocated to New York City in 2012), and heard their incredible story from inception to signing partnership deals with all three major record companies.

In addition, we had a great chat with the CEO of market research firm eMarketer (co-founded by CU Boulder alum Sam Alfstad). Then our group took a tour of Quirky, a fascinating startup that has completely revolutionized the new product development process using community members and crowdsourcing. Needless to say Quirky was quite the exciting visit! Our last meeting on the trip was with 3D printing pioneer MakerBot, backed by local venture capital firm Foundry Group. All in all we had an incredible time, ate some great food, did a bit of sightseeing, and had some thought-provoking and engaging discussions with entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing their industries!

Attention all Entrepreneurially-Minded Graduate Students: 

The time has again come for the annual GEA Entrepreneurial Trek, to be held over Spring Break (March 25 – 28).  As in previous years, the goal of the trip is to visit a collection of organizations that operate in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of various applicable topics, as well as to provide unique networking opportunities.  In past years students have enjoyed visits with organizations such as Google, Salesforce, Zynga, Path, Scan, and Silicon Valley Bank.

Past topics have included:

  • Unique challenges facing entrepreneurs in the current environment
  • Lifestyle of working at a startup
  • Financing and capital structure options for entrepreneurial organizations
  • Current trends and opportunities in the market

This year we will be switching it up a bit and heading to New York City to check out its thriving startup community.  New York’s startup scene is a bit unique from most others (Silicon Valley, Boston, etc) in that it shares real estate with the media and financial capitals of the world, helping give birth to some very unique and interesting startups that merge the worlds of technology, finance, media, and lifestyle/consumer products.  We are still in the process of finalizing which companies we’ll be visiting, but a short list of possibilities includes:  TechStars NYC, Quirky, Warby Parker,  Foursquare, Etsy, Makerbot, SecondMarket, and Union Square Ventures.  Once we get our roster finalized, we’ll be locking down company visits with input from students going on the trip.

Trip details are as follows: 

  • Arrival:  Monday, March 25, 2013
  • Departure:  Thursday, March 28, 2013


We’ll be filling in the below information as it becomes available.

  • Monday, March 25:
    • Arrive in New York City at your convenience;  This day will be used for travel and sightseeing at your discretion.
  •  Tuesday, March 26:
  • Wednesday, March 27:
    • 11:00 – 12:00pm – Quirky
    • 12:00 am – 1:30 pm – Lunch
  • Thursday, March 28:
    • 10:00 – 11:00am – Makerbot
    • 3:00 pm – Departure

Travel Details:

  • Flight Info: Delta Airlines Flights 1956 (Departure leg) and 1312 (Returning leg)
    • Departs Denver for JFK on Monday, March 25 at 10:40 am.
    • Departs JFK for Denver on Thursday, March 28 at 4:00 pm.
    • Price:  $300
  • Hotel Info:  King and Grove Hotel
    • 29 E 29th St, New York, NY (Flatiron District/Murray Hill)
    • Rates:  $227.27/night, including taxes and fees
    • Cost for Stay:  $681.81/room (double occupancy = $340.91/person)
  • City Transportation:  7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard – $29
  • Total Cost per Person:  $669.91

You Must Apply To Come!

The GEA will subsidize a small portion of the trip (we’re hoping to be able to cover everyone’s hotel costs, as we did last year). This subsidy will be awarded to 8 students. The trip will be limited to 10 students.

This is a fantastic opportunity to have a fun, educational trip over Spring Break that has gotten rave reviews from past students.  The trip will undoubtedly provide some new insights into entrepreneurial organizations, whether you’re looking to start your own, work for an established firm, or get involved on the financing side of the equation.

To apply: 

You must apply to both the GEA and to UGGS. If you win both grants, your trip expenses should will almost be covered (GEA for the hotel and UGGS for the flight).

  • Apply to the UGGS travel grant by February 1st, 2013 (see this for details)
    • Fill out this form
    • The form asks for a conference name (the GEA’s Entrepreneurial Trek) and link. Use a link to this blog post.
    • The form asks for a faculty advisor and whether it has been approved by him/her. The answer is yes and the advisor is Paul Jerde.
    • The form also asks for a 500 word essay which you’ll submit to the GEA as well. Write about why this trip is important to your education and career, and how it will benefit the University.
  • Email your 500 word essay by February 1st, 2013 to Scott Moore (scott.moore-2@colorado.edu)

All students interested in going on the trip NEED to apply for the UGGS Grant   (http://www.colorado.edu/uggs/grants), which could provide up to $300 in funding to help cover airfare, lodging, and transportation expenses. Although the due date for the grant is February 6, students should apply by February 1, 2013. 

We’re looking forward to another great trip this year, and hope to have you join us!  If you have any questions about the trip or the application process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Scott Moore (scott.moore-2@colorado.edu).


One Response to “2013 Entrepreneurial Trek (I ♥ NY)”


  1. TapInfluence is our newest sponsor! | Spark - October 5, 2013

    […] students. He even took me and a group of GEA students to breakfast while in New York on our annual Entrepreneurial Trek. I can’t say enough about both Rustin and Holly’s contributions to CU students and the […]

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