From June 5 to June 8, Techstars Startup Week West Slope will be happening on the western slope in Colorado, with the main event in Grand Junction.
I’m doing a Keynote at on Thursday, June 6 from 11:30am – 1:00pm at Colorado Mesa University. I’ll be talking about building startup communities outside Colorado’s front range in a fireside chat / AMA format.
Startup communities in Colorado that are outside the front range (Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins) have become something that my partner Seth Levine and I have been very involved in the past few years. Seth’s providing a lot of on the ground leadership, through his work with Startup Colorado and the Greater Colorado Venture Fund. I try to show up or help remotely whenever I can and Amy and I have been writing plenty of checks from our Anchor Point Foundation to support various initiatives.
We have family in Hotchkiss, a house in Aspen, and have spent a lot of time in Summit County over the past decade when we had a house in Keystone. There are magical things going on all over Colorado, especially on the western slope. I have a strong belief that startup communities should exist everywhere and can have a meaningful impact on cities outside the large urban concentrations that we have in many parts of the U.S.
What’s happening in Colorado’s Western Slope is powerful and an example that can be used through the U.S. and the world. If you are interested, come join us at Techstars Startup Week West Slope to learn more.
Defy Colorado is growing nicely after some overall challenges with the national organization in 2018. Defy Colorado is now a separate 501c(3) and my partner Jason Mendelson and his wife Jenn Mendelson have been playing a huge leadership role with the Defy Colorado team.
Defy is in the business of building restorative communities and that community begins with us. On Wednesday, April 24th at noon at the Dairy Center they are celebrating the graduation of two special EITs who were released before they had the chance to officially graduate from the CEO of Your New Life Program. The afternoon will feature a primer on Defy Colorado and its work in Colorado prisons, a panel discussing transformative change, and the opportunity to hear energizing pitches from our graduates. Don’t miss it – register now.
Defy Colorado also has a business coaching session coming up on May 16th at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Ordway, Colorado. There will be up to 40 volunteers and 40 Entrepreneurs-in-Training at the event for the day. If you are interested in joining, reach out by email to Stacey Putka.
Yeah – there’s more …
Formlabs Digital Factory is for anyone interested in 3D printing. And, if you are already a Formlabs customer, the Formlabs User Summit is the next day, on May 8th, 2019.
EforAll’s mission is to accelerate economic development and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship in emerging communities. They are focused on fostering small business development and entrepreneurial activity amongst under-networked and under-resourced populations in communities that have been traditionally overlooked for economic investment.
The decision to support EforAll was easy for us as they focus on two distinct issues that we care about: building entrepreneurial ecosystems and supporting underserved entrepreneurs. Their metrics speak for themselves as their entrepreneurs have been: 57% unemployed or underemployed (when they started the program); 70% female; 41% immigrant; and/or 55% minority.
They also locate their programs outside, but near, communities that are traditional hubs for entrepreneurship. In Massachusetts (where they are based), they run programs in cities like Lawrence, MA, and Lowell, MA – both recovering factory/mill towns that lost their economic driver years ago when most of the factories closed down. In these two cities, EforAll has launched more than 130 small businesses and startups which have created almost 400 jobs in the community.
While there’s been tremendous growth in Colorado, it has been uneven across the state. We believe the importance of investing in the types of entrepreneurs and communities that EforAll works with is crucial, especially as the wealth inequality gap in our country continues to grow.
I’m particularly excited that EforAll has decided to launch their first Colorado site in Longmont. I’d like to invite you to come to an event on April 17th from 8:00am-9:
If you are interested in getting involved or supporting the effort, email Harris Rollinger who is the Executive Director of EforAll Colorado.
On April 17th and 18th, the “What Is a Feminist Lab?” Symposium will take place at the University of Colorado Boulder.
It is co-organized by Maya Livio, Lori Emerson, and Thea Lindquist. The event will examine the recent proliferation of labs, survey the lab landscape, and explore ways in which intersectional feminist approaches can be integrated into labs and the work they do.