Despite trumpeting his departure from the agency world in 2010,
Mr. Bogusky has reemerged in the ad business in a host of ways. He
spent some time counseling his former CP&B colleagues at Made
Movement, a shop that focuses on marketers who make their products
in the U.S. He jumped into the GMO food fight, dropping $100,000 in
support of a California ballot proposition that would require
special labels for foods containing genetically engineered
ingredients. And he's been behind a global campaign for
According to him, Boomtown is designed to be a way in for
entrepreneurs that have ideas that will reinvent the media
landscape -- and some of them may come from agencies.
"The ad world is fracturing, and people are either leaving
because they want to get out or because they just got fired," Mr.
Bogusky said, adding that he often has conversations with people
who are looking to get out of advertising or marketing and do
something entrepreneurial, but before he did not have the process
to really help them. "A ton of them have great ideas, and they
don't have a way into the next stage of marketing to help shape
what the industry will look like."
Mr. Bogusky also noted that accelerators are beginning to
specialize, and while Boomtown is open to many types of startups,
Boulder has increasingly seen activity in the tech sector with
accelerators like Techstars opening up shop there, along with
Boulder's smaller but close-knit ad community, which he said was
"The Madison Avenue of the West."
Adland has done a lot in recent years to foster startup culture.
Holding companies like Interpublic, WPP and MDC Partners are investing more in
startups. Interpublic invested in Kiip, a mobile startup that lets
marketers offer real-life rewards to gamers and other app users for
reaching certain in-app milestones. WPP has a stake in Buddy Media
and MDC invested in funds managed by outside entities, including
Thrive Capital, the investment firm that took stakes in Instagram
and Fab.com. MDC also set aside funds for individual agencies to
invest once they get corporate approval.
On the media side of the business, Bonnier Corp., which
published Field & Stream and Popular Science, in 2012 launched Bonnier
Innovation Labs, an accelerator for promising early-stage startups
in the media space and accelerate their development.
"Boulder's reputation as a startup capital is already well
known, and much of that success is due to a highly-networked
community of capital, mentors and thought leaders who speed the
growth process," said Mr. Krout in a statement. "We clearly have a
unique opportunity to bring together marketing leaders and
world-class technologists. But we won't limit ourselves, and
ultimately we will select and support startups based on the market
opportunity and the dynamics of the teams."