“We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the Lords of all Creation. As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer…You could argue he’d done it to curry favor with the guards, or maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me? I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.” –Shawshank Redemption. Also, every Barokas PR employee after moving day.
Barokas PR opened its doors nearly 20 years ago in Seattle with a focus on technology and none of the BS. Four years ago, we set out to find our second home in Colorado. We started as a team of one at a shared space in Boulder. Our vision was to offer a strategic PR program to the startup community focused on results. And the community, looking for a PR model that “spoke startup,” welcomed us with open arms. We partnered with entrepreneurs eager to build their brands at companies like RoundPegg, Rapt Media, Mocavo and PivotDesk. Eventually we hired an intern (he’s now an Account Supervisor), and started recruiting from across the country, bringing in talent from Boston, Canada, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.
We felt grown up. Feisty, nimble and ready to tackle the Colorado tech scene with our own brick and mortar space. In 2015, our now team of six moved to LoDo (lower downtown Denver for the unfamiliar), and into our first permanent Colorado address at 1830 Blake St. Seattle came and helped us pack and even went on a Costco run with us so we wouldn’t starve. The space felt huge and exciting. We were ready!
Our team and our client base grew to include more awesome local companies like Ibotta, Craftsy, Rachio, Notion, Vertafore and Techstars to spread the word about Colorado tech. We worked with The New York Times to bring its Look West Denver panel to life, hosted Denver Startup Week panels, brought Denver companies out of beta, through funding, acquisitions and even through IPO. And we single-handedly kept the Starbucks on the 16th Street Mall in business.
But like many of the startups we work with, we grew quickly. It’s hard trying to hire new employees when the ones you have are spilling out into the street. Our client list was growing and our team had more than doubled in size, which meant it was time to move again. So, last week we packed up and moved to our new home in the Elephant Coral at 1444 Wazee Street (Suite 333 if anyone wants to send an Edible Arrangements). It felt like leaving your childhood home. We were ready for our next chapter and yet a little sad to say goodbye to where it all began.
It might just be a few blocks down the street but the impact is significant. We set out four years ago to be the communication partner for Denver tech companies. Not just some of them. All of them. And while we’ve been fortunate to work alongside some of Colorado’s most respected and innovative companies, there are many more we hope to partner with in the near future.
Barokas PR has experienced incredible growth alongside our partners in the three cities we now call home – Denver, Seattle and just this month, Detroit. All known for their cultures of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and supportive startup communities. We are proud to bring these communities our Barokas PR grit with none of the BS.
Our new Denver doors are always open, and we look forward to hosting new and old friends from Colorado and beyond!