Breaking Barriers: A Conversation with Keynote Speaker Lu Cordova

Lu CordovaToday, we have an interview with Lu Cordova, the head of Techstars Foundation. Lu will be keynoting the 2018 Techstars Startup Week Fort Collins Wednesday, Feb 28th at 9am at the Basecamp @ The Carnegie Center for Creativity. She will be talking about what it’s like leading a global nonprofit fostering diversity in entrepreneurship. In the midst of a packed travel schedule, going to over 60 countries, Lu takes a moment to share with us her views on Fort Collins, Startup Week and the Techstars culture.

What do you hope people will get out of attending Techstars Startup Week Fort Collins?
If you come to Startup Week, you should get a sense of community, welcoming you into the vast ecosystem of entrepreneurship. The Techstars Foundation is about making that community a diverse one, where everyone feels included. The only barrier to entrepreneurship should be dreaming something worthy.

Lu, what is your top ‘lesson learned’ from your vast professional career?
My top lesson learned is yet to come as I learn what diversity means in a global sense and what it takes to break down barriers to access in different cultures.

Can you share your vision for the future of Fort Collins?
The Techstars Foundation has global initiatives because technology has made us global. Fort Collins is a place that nurtures entrepreneurs who might stay here, or might leave, but bolstered and strengthened by the city that embraced them.

Is there anyone you’d like to recognize for their hard work in NoCO?
Thank you for the opportunity to finally, publicly thank Pat Stryker, but this is not about all the amazing philanthropic work she’s done, or about a very circuitous way that Stryker was a cause of me winding up in this position, but for something she did almost 20 years ago that has an impact today. My daughter was in a bilingual school at the time in my effort to make her culturally diverse so she could become a global citizen. Pat saved bilingual education in Colorado and now my daughter is in Tunisia as we speak. Honduras earlier and Kenya before that, working around the world to help governments be more transparent in what they do. I hope to meet Pat some day and thank her in person for doing what so many of us aspire to do, which is make the world a better place.

For those who are unfamiliar with Techstars, how would you describe the culture of the organization?
The Techstars credo is “give first” and what an amazing effect that has on everything you do and how it brings out the very best in others.

You can listen to Lu Cordova’s interview segment in episode 02 of the upcoming StartupFoCo Podcast. Sign up for our email list, and keep an eye out for the podcast when it goes live!

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