Springs Startup plans to host its first event, a virtual Pitch Night where entrepreneurs present their business ideas to a panel of judges as a way to refine their pitches to potential investors, on March 18 with plans to hold the event monthly and eventually in person, said Natasha Main, Exponential Impact’s executive director.
The group also hopes to offer a Startup Weekend program this year when in-person events can be held safely, she said; entrepreneurs would gather for two days to write a plan to convert a business idea into an operating company.
“Those who started this group are active in startup programs across the state and saw a gap they have the skills to fill. We saw value in what these programs have to offer and that they were being run by entrepreneurs, so that is what we plan to do,” Main said.
The organizers of Springs Startup include Chris Franz, founder of Peak Startup and local entrepreneur, and Leif Ullman, founder of local startup KidReports and a former Peak Startup board member who will chair the committee running the new organization. As part of her role with Exponential Impact, Main will provide staff support to Springs Startup. She joined Exponential Impact in 2019 after serving in the same role for Peak Startup.
“After speaking with many people in the Colorado Springs entrepreneur community, we feel strongly that our community needs startup-focused events, and in true entrepreneur fashion, we have joined forces to revitalize the events that are key to a startup ecosystem,” Ullman said in a news release.
Peak Startup shut down in January and transferred its remaining assets to the Colorado Institute for Social Impact, which helps entrepreneurs who have started or want to start businesses that have a social or charitable impact. The Peak Startup board decided to shut down after a 13-month planning and evaluation process that began when Main left. The board determined Peak Startup’s resources could “achieve a bigger impact if invested in another organization,” according to a news release.
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