Five Veteran-Owned Businesses in Colorado Springs that are Breaking Barriers
An invaluable source of entrepreneurial talent thrives in Colorado Springs. More than 80,000 veterans currently live in the city, comprising 17% of the city’s population, and home to five military installations and two Air Force Bases. WalletHub also ranked Colorado Springs the 11th Best Place for Veterans to Live, with job opportunities in fields perfect for those with military backgrounds — including space, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and manufacturing.
In addition to the active veteran business community, a new facility is currently under construction in Colorado Springs – the Veterans Victory Housing and Small Business Center (VVSBC). Once complete, the VVSBC will encompass a 15-acre community including 240 ADA-accessible, green multi-family apartments, 15 business offices, mental health and physical therapy services, hiking trails, and more.
Veteran-owned businesses flourish in the Pikes Peak region. Here are five examples where former servicemembers are breaking barriers across industries.
Firma IT Solutions
A powerhouse, a pillar of the community, and a force for diversity and inclusion, Firma IT Solutions has a wide scope of services including workstations, servers, and wireless networks to create data integrity and system security for small businesses. The company was started by community leader and U.S. Air Force veteran Rodney Gullatte, Jr., who developed the company to bring enterprise technology solutions to clients that range from law firms to museums to doctors’ offices.
Delta Solutions & Strategies
Military training product and modeling simulations provider Delta Solutions & Strategies is a VA-certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SSDVOSB) that provides advisory services, technical training, and testing support to government and Department of Defense (DOD) customers. The company recently won a five-year, $187 million contract, making them a primary contractor for U.S. Space Command. The contract will enable Delta to hire 150 new contractors, doubling the company’s workforce to over 300 employees and will secure plans for an additional 10,000 square feet of office space at the company’s Colorado Springs hub.
While notable, Delta is not an anomaly for flourishing Colorado Springs startups with direct ties to the DOD and its lucrative contracts. Bluestaq is a specialist in secure data management that delivers advanced software systems to the DOD and Intelligence Community (IC). The company was recently voted Best Place to work by Inc. Magazine and has stockpiled $330 million in contracts — with an eye on a potential $1 billion within five years. Air Force veteran Rebecca Decker is the COO along with Colorado Springs veterans.
Wounded Warrior World Champion Melissa Stockwell and her husband opened Tolsma/Stockwell Prosthetics after the couple moved to Colorado Springs so Melissa could train for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. Formerly commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s transportation corps, Melissa lost a leg while deployed in Iraq in 2002. In 2008 she became the first veteran to make Team USA, swimming at the Beijing Paralympics. Beyond training for Tokyo 2020 and running her own company in Colorado Springs that serves everyone from pediatric patients to elite-level athletes, Melissa is also a mom to two small children.
Red Leg Brewery
Todd Baldwin, a veteran U.S. Army artillery officer for the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq, founded Red Leg Brewery with his wife in 2012. In mid-2021 Red Leg expanded into a new 15,000 square feet facility — a building three times as big as its previous location. Todd also started mentoring entrepreneurs who want to start restaurants, sunglasses companies, IT firms, even other breweries while customers enjoyed a beer at Red Leg Brewery. For a while, he was also giving out loans. In 2014, he started informal networking events for transitioning veterans to meet other business owners.
The Pikes Peak region’s community of veterans are supported by an active ecosystem of entrepreneurs, business counseling and advice services, and the Military Affairs Council. Read about the organizations that assist former servicemembers and contact us to learn how to start your veteran-owned business in Colorado Springs.