Big ideas got their start early in the Colorado Springs area, when Zebulon Pike first summited his namesake peak. Small business is a community driver, while entrepreneurship in Colorado Springs ventures into new frontiers. Quantum Metric is Colorado Springs’ first unicorn, securing its status and $200 million in VC in 2021. Startups and small business in Colorado Springs gain intense support from mentors, higher education, the Chamber & EDC, and accelerators, including one focused on defense and aerospace. No matter your stage, Colorado Springs can help take your business ideas to their peak.
Ideas reach their summit faster in the Colorado Springs startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Military stage their “second acts” in a region teeming with veteran resources and assets. Bluestaq, an enterprise software firm provides services to U.S. defense agencies, started within Catalyst Campus. Red Leg Brewing got its start in Colorado Springs and now takes in $1 million in annual revenue from locations in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Technology is the at the core of many Colorado Springs startups.
In 2021, Quantum Metric was announced as Colorado Springs’ first unicorn, gaining both $200 million in VC and a $1 billion valuation. In recent years, Cherwell Software secured $222 million total in two VC investments. Supporting new tech ventures is Exponential Impact, which provides resources, expertise, and mentorship for growth through a three-tiered program.
At Springs Startup, Colorado Springs entrepreneurs bring their ideas and transform them into innovation. Programs, events, mentorship and peer groups are divided into three parts: the exploratory phase, idea stage, and early-stage companies.
Small business beats loudly in the heartbeat of Colorado Springs. Sector diversity reigns, with food trucks, professional services, home repair, art galleries, and others included in the mix. Collaboration fuels small business owners, who share a spirit built on shared success for all.
The Small Business Advisory Council provides advocacy and support to small business Chamber & EDC members. Education, policy input, and best practices, make up roundtable discussions.
COS Open For Biz is a step-by-step guide designed to assist entrepreneurs from great idea to grand opening. This Chamber & EDC resource, developed in partnership with the City of Colorado Springs and business partners, provides key points of contact, permitting details, and roadmaps for getting started.
With a team of business experts at its fingertips, the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center helps existing and new businesses by providing free, confidential consulting and no- or low-cost training programs.
Downtown Colorado Springs alone boasts hundreds of unique retailers, restaurants, galleries, speakeasies, coffee shops, and breweries. Growth in the city center is fueled by enormous financial support – $1.46 billion to date.
In 2019, Kinship Landing, an 80-bed boutique hotel geared toward adventuresome travelers, broke ground in downtown’s new south end. The Hilton Garden Inn and a Marriott also joined the hospitality ranks.
With one eatery already open, Top Chef contestant Brother Luck opened his second establishment, Lucky Dumpling. Further down, a suite of restaurants has claimed its stake in the local food scene, all within walking distance of the new U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and urban living. Places include a farm-to-table kitchen, rooftop brewpubs, and a dining hall.
Galleries and retail in downtown Colorado Springs share a side that showcases local creativity. Consignment, clothiers, books, and a working letterpress shop spark something new. Shopping trips turn into culture tours, with downtown galleries and art on the streets.