Mark is a managing partner at Highway 12 Ventures in Boise, Idaho. He's been a TechStars mentor since 2007. Highway 12 is an investor in several TechStars companies, including Everlater and SendGrid.
I met my wife Pam in a coffee shop in Boston's South End in 1993. Having lived in big cities my whole life (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston), I was smitten with this gal, who grew up in the small town of Boise, Idaho, and had a zest for life like few I've ever met. I asked her to marry me as soon as I had saved enough for a ring. Over the next seven years, we moved from our tiny apartment in the South End to Bunker Hill and then up to Marblehead, where we bought a creaky 150-year-old Victorian near the ocean that needed a ton of work. She was working at a cool startup in the city and I became a partner at a boutique private equity firm. We had a daughter in late 1998 and had another child on the way in early 2000.
Life seemed like a fairy tale. There was only one problem. I'd lie awake at night and dream about living in Idaho. From the time we met, we spent most of our vacation time back in Boise and I quickly fell in love with Idaho. Having lived with concrete under my feet for my first 35 years, I felt like I was in heaven every time we were there and each time I got on a plane back to Boston, I'd think to myself, "If only I could figure ...