What’s in a Name?

07/07/2009

Leading up to the internet bubble of 2001, over 50 states, regions, and communities attempted to brand themselves with IT-sounding monikers designed to indicate each area was a technology player. Some of the more obscure included Silicon Sandbar (Cape Cod), Silicon Swamp (Washington DC), and Silicon Snowbank (Minneapolis).

Few of these names are remembered today, let alone in use. But these failings don’t mean that geographic branding is without merit, merely that a community – or entrepreneurial ecosystem – needs to exist first to justify the name. Our state possesses the infrastructure and talent pool to make such a claim.

Colorado is currently in a position where a collective tech identity could come in handy, given that Governor Ritter and high profile members of our community are making the case to IT businesses outside the state to consider relocating within our industry-friendly borders. Yet until now style has woefully trailed substance: On a recent trip to California our industry was referred to as the “Colorado information and communications technology (ICT) sector.” While accurate, the words hardly roll of the tongue. We’d like to elicit your suggestions in determining an identity for the Boulder/Denver/Front Range ecosystem. Of course there is no guarantee that the wisdom of the crowd will do better, but given the existing competition it is unlikely to do worse.

Good names tend to attach to an image: California has its Wine Country, Boston boasts Route 128, while Chicago touts its Magnificent Mile. We’re looking for a collection of names that reflect Colorado’s startup scene, projecting our reality of industry and life style, sweat equity and sunshine to those outside the state. The name we are looking for should describe our tech ecosystem; it should be easy to use, inclusive, and intuitive. Some suggestions have included Corridor 36 and BoulderDenverTech. We’d like to see what else the community can come up with.

Please let us know your suggestion. Once gathered, this collection will be put forth to the community. Name submissions can be offered on Twitter at #nameCO.