August 15, 2018

Startup week returns to Colorado Springs, taking entrepreneurs to the next level

Collaboration at Epicentral

Colorado Springs will welcome entrepreneurs from all backgrounds for a celebration of the region’s growing startup scene during the fourth-annual TechStars Startup Week, August 20 –24. Filled with workshops, networking and speaking events, Startup Week is an exciting time for the region’s entrepreneurial community.

More than 300 people are expected to attend sessions throughout the five days, and events will cover the entire life cycle of startups, from development stages through scaling and rapid growth.  A few highlights include the Founders Roundtable on Wednesday, Aug. 22, where attendees will hear from founders of startups at all different stages of the lifecycle, and an Impact Bash on Thursday, Aug. 23, which will feature the well-known Pitch Night Competition and pop-up shops by local social entrepreneurs. Other events will reflect trends within the global startup sector, covering topics such as the “Shark Tank Effect,” social impact startups, diversity in startups, the importance of company culture and much more.

Startup Week is presented by Peak Startup, a Colorado Springs nonprofit that provides support for entrepreneurs in the region, in partnership with TechStars, a global seed accelerator.

Executive director of Peak Startup Natasha Main explained, “Colorado Springs is on the cusp of truly being ‘discovered.’ We have many of the critical components of an entrepreneurial ecosystem – entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, access to talent coming from our school systems, community advocates and accelerators helping connect entrepreneurs and provide support to build their ideas, opportunities to access funding, and innovation spaces where people can co-work, build, and make.”

Events will take place at entrepreneurial spaces throughout the city, such as the Tim Gill Center for Public Media, the new Pikes Peak Market and Epicentral Coworking. Many of the featured speakers are successful entrepreneurs themselves and include:

  • Madeline Pollack, Times Three: As a partner at Times Three – a business consulting company – Madeline helps companies understand diversity and unconscious biases in the workplace. She is a six-time Emmy Award-winning director, producer, writer and team building coach. She has worked extensively across the U.S. with clients such as Visa, PayPal, Dr. Phil, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, US Olympic & Paralympic Committee, Genentech, TedX and many others.
  • Jan Horsfall, Maxletics: Jan connects world-class athletes, including Olympians and Ironman Triathletes, with athletic brands searching for influential athletes to strengthen their branding.
  • Zachary Barker, SÖLU Growth Partners: As a sales and lead generation expert, Zachary spent the past five years leading a startup center and economic development recruiting team in South Louisiana, where they recruited more than 1,500 new jobs. Now residing in Colorado Springs, he serves as the director of growth and education at SÖLU Growth Partners, helping startups and companies expand their sales and marketing capabilities.
  • Leif Ulman, KidReports: Leif is the CEO of KidReports, a startup that was recently acquired by global firm ProCare Software. KidReports helps parents communicate with child care providers through an app that sends daily written updates and pictures of the child’s day. Though now a subsidiary of the Oregon-based ProCare, Leif plans to keep the KidReports offices in Colorado Springs thanks to the abundance of talent and quality of life.

“With high failure rates and limited resources for startups, a supportive community is essential to keeping the energy going in the entire ecosystem,” Main said. “Startups are about investing in people and in their abilities, and it is a personal approach to economic development that requires engagement and relationships.”

Outside of startup week, Colorado Springs’ entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to make exciting gains. Earlier this year, the region saw its largest-ever venture capital investment when local tech company Cherwell Software announced a $172 million investment from KKR, the largest private-equity firm in the world.

For a full list of Startup Week events and further information on speakers and venues, visit the Colorado Springs Startup Week website. Event registration is free and open to the public.

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC is a proud sponsor of Colorado Springs Startup Week.