Published: Oct. 3, 2011

BOULDER— The Boulder Chamber recently announced that Colorado Law Clinical Professor Brad Bernthal will receive the 2011 Robert Planchard Award at the 27th Annual Esprit Entrepreneur Awards event on Thursday, November 3 at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield.

“This award reflects that, above all, people matter,” said Bernthal. “No one goes it alone. I am lucky to work with many of the Front Range’s most creative, effective, and generous individuals.  

“There is no way that the Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurship Initiative would succeed without the commitment and belief of the amazing people who are the soul of the startup community.  I’m delighted to receive the Robert Planchard award.  It reinforces my conviction that a world-class start up scene should be backed by a top research university, and that CU-Boulder and Silicon Flatirons are taking important steps in the right direction,” said Bernthal.

Bernthal teaches the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic, and serves as the Director of the Silicon Flatirons Center’s Entrepreneurship Initiative at CU-Boulder. He also teaches doctrinal courses in the areas of venture capital, telecom policy and spectrum management.  He has a B.A. from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from the University of Colorado.

Over the past three years, Silicon Flatirons’ Entrepreneurship Initiative (E.I.) has grown to be a vital link between Colorado Law and the startup community.  It serves as host to several important events such as the New Tech Meetup, the Crash Course Series for Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurs Unplugged and Roundtable discussions concerning innovation policy.  In the last year,  E.I. sponsored over 40 entrepreneurial events with more than 6,000 total attendees, launched an on-line Startup Resource Center, co-hosted the White House's Startup America event and provided legal guidance to 15 start-up companies at Colorado Law's Entrepreneurial Law Clinic.  

The Robert Planchard Award, now in its seventh year, is given each year to someone who demonstrates the characteristics and spirit of Robert W. Planchard, a transactional attorney widely known in Boulder’s entrepreneurial community who died in 2004 at the age of 44.  These characteristics include high levels of integrity, ethics, enthusiasm, intensity, energy, drive, heart and enjoyment of work and people. The award is voted on by chamber peers and reflects how they feel about the recipient.

Other awardees of the Esprit Entrepreneur event are: Tim Enwall and Adrian Tuck (Entrepreneurs of the Year); Phil Anson, Julian Farrior and Dale Thomas (Entrepreneurs of Distinction); and, Gnip and Next Big Sound (Big Ideas Awards).

About University of Colorado Law School

Established in 1892, the University of Colorado Law School ( is a top 25 public law school located at the base of the inspiring Rocky Mountains. Colorado Law’s 500 students, selected from among the statistically best applicants in the nation, represent 100 undergraduate institutions and diverse backgrounds. The school has dual degree programs in business, environmental studies, telecommunications, and public affairs. With a low faculty-to-student ratio, its highly published faculty is dedicated to interacting with students inside and outside the classroom. The school’s 8 clinics and 4 centers focus on areas of strength, including natural resources and environmental, American Indian, juvenile and family, telecommunications policy, and sustainable energy law. Colorado Law’s graduates are leaders in their profession and committed to public interest work.


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