On October 12 and 13th The CU Leeds School came to Telluride and Mountain Village to present the program Demystifying Entrepreneurship.
This last weekend was not one for the un-inspired! Friday night at Startup Weekend Telluride kicked off with a packed room in the Ah Haa School for the Arts. Sixty Participants came together from Denver, Grand Junction, Delta, Gunnison, Durango and Telluride to take their idea's from thought to reality.
You might wonder what bike pedals, baby toys, and organic toothpaste have in common? These products, as well as three others, will be the focus of this years' 2018 cohort at the Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA).
Having trouble finding that perfect gift for mom, grandma, dad, your girlfriend, second cousin? The alumni from Telluride Venture Accelerator has you covered! From stocking stuffers to gifts that keep giving all year round - we are confident we have just the perfect gift for that hard to shop for loved one.
Since graduating from TVA this last July, Frank.ai is ready take the US Market by storm. After spending three and a half months in Telluride and traveling around the US they were able to put their original "assumptions" to the test.
Structure: each town was asked to mention a few companies, initiatives, and funders from their community that are a good example of how to get things done from a mountain town.
The towns: Telluride, Mammoth, Teton Range, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe, Ketchum, Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Gunnison Crested Butte, Durango, Big Sky/Bozeman, Bend, and Whistler.
Recreational Technology (RecTech)
Teton Range, WY
Central Wyoming College > Startup intensive
Angel mentor group
USDA > rural business development grants
Fifty fifty brewing
Arts and culture
Alpenglow Mountain Festival
Bid 2% tax
Tahoe Silicon Mountain
Town of Truckee
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Outdoor Gear Lab
Code 4 America
Big Life Magazine
Ketchum Innovation Center
SVB of Angels
City of Ketchum
Crazy Mountain Brew
High Country Kombucha
VCBA Innovation Series
Ideas 2 Action/CU
Aspen Brewing Co.
BLK MKT (Roam)
Create mentorship program
Aspen Next Gen
City of Wellbeing
Elevate + Evo3
Rockies Venture Club
Gunnison Crested Butte, CO
Fed $ (EDA)
Rocky Mountain Chocolate
La Plata Economic Development Association
Entrepreneurs of the Southwest
SW Women's Leadership Conference
Wild Women's Project
Regional Economic Development
Animas Venture Group
Big Sky/Bozeman, MT
MSU Innovation Center
Prospera Business Center
Launchpad (MSU Incubator)
Bend Outdoor Worx
Oregon Outdoor Alliance
KIA Cluster Groups
Venture Out Festival
Private Business Oregon
Whistler, B.C., Canada
Origin DesignCost Mountain Brewery
Community Foundation of Whistler
Whistler Housing Authority
Residence Housing Task Force
Every town has their success stories, but from one town to the next we don't always know who they are. Let's change that. This page has an initial set of success stories from mountain towns across the US, each offered by town residents in attendance at the Mountain Ventures Summit: The Future of Work on Feb 2–4, 2017.
We're excited to announce the eight companies that have been accepted into Telluride Venture Accelerators's 2017 program! This is the 5th year of the program, and building on the success of the past four years, we're especially excited to introduce our largest, most international, and latest stage group of companies yet.
The teams will be on-site in Telluride starting the first week of March and culminating on June 30th with a Demo Day and community showcase. Throughout the program, the teams will have access to our network of almost one hundred mentors and they will get to work directly with some well known experts in their fields to dive deep into many aspects of their business. See a high level overview of the curriculum that the teams will be experiencing here.
Without further ado, please join us in welcoming the entrepreneurs joining TVA's 2017 cohort!
Thimble.io - Thimble teaches beginners a basic understanding of building electronics through a monthly kit with carefully curated and easy to follow instructions. These kits that allow you to create, learn and explore by combining hands on hardware and sometimes a little software accompanied by video tutorials. Examples of some of our first projects include a wifi-robot, LED cube, robotic arm, alarm clock, weather station, quadcopter, etc. Every month it's a new project! Oscar and David will be joining us from New York!
SnowCookie - Smart doesn’t begin to cover it. Snowcookie is a mind-altering ski system. Snap it to your gear to get realtime feedback on your technique and eye-opening measurements of your runs. If that’s not enough - Snowcookie will tell you when your muscles need a break (before your bones will), and connect you to the skiing community. Whether you’re after a performance booster, skill sharpener or fun amplifier — Snow cookie has your covered. Martin and Marcin join us from Poland.
Frank. - Frank is a web-based programmatic media buying platform to help small and medium size enterprises launch cross-channel online advertising campaigns with lower cost and faster delivery. We combine artificial intelligence technology with simple user interface to bring complex technology to mass markets. Thanks to our platform, companies can now save money and time on doing online advertising campaigns. It only takes 5 minutes to launch the campaign and the rest (media planning & buying, campaign real-time optimization, reporting) is done by technology. Karla, Henry, Jan, and Ivar join us from Estonia.
ShedWool - ShedWool empowers companies of all sizes to schedule their staffs online, in the cloud, for free. Managers can control labor, monitor compliance, communicate with their staff through our messaging platform, and review and approve (or deny) shift swaps, time off requests, and much more from their smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops without any of the cost previously associated with this service. Cory joins us from Chicago, IL.
RxCBD - RxCBD creates, manufactures, and markets industrial hemp CBD-infused products for pets and their people. We sell online to all 50 states and also through retail locations and veterinarian practices. Debbie joins us from Ridgeway, CO.
Bramble Outdoors - Bramble creates essential outdoor gear that helps protect our wild places. Each of our products is rooted in an iconic American landscape, and a portion of every sale goes to protect that region. Trevor joins us from San Francisco, CA.
RightClick.io - Our vision at RightClick.io is to transform the way you look at the web designing industry. We are trying to help users utilize their time better. By saving them from the tedium of manually handling and building a website, we free up their time to spend more on what they do best. We have developed an AI-powered chatbot that is truly different than other website builders (AI or human) you’ve worked with before. RC bot efficiently combines the conversational intelligence and social etiquette of a website designer with high levels of accuracy expected from a machine. Haseeb will be joining us from Los Angeles, CA with the rest of his team from Pakistan.
VanJet - Most everyone has heard of the #vanlife movement now, and well, VanJet takes it to the next level! We take Mercedes Metris vans and convert them into hotel rooms on wheels. These vans serve as a customers rental car and accommodations while they travel. All Vanjets are also equipped with GPS trackers and remote unlocking functionality. The mobile apps allow for adding credit cards as well as driver information like insurance and drivers license information. Anyone can buy a Vanjet and rent it out via the platform to earn extra income. Clint will be joining us from San Francisco, CA.
We'll be welcoming the teams in March with an open community event on March 8th in town. We will also be hosting a series of workshops and speakers throughout the program that will be open to the community! Follow our Facebook page to keep track of TVA events and opportunities to get involved!
This weekend, we’re hosting Startup Weekend Telluride, and we couldn't be more excited.
Startup Weekend is a 3-day meals-included exercise of forming a business + growth plan.
It doesn't matter your background, if you're a student, if you're a FT500 exec, or if you have an idea or not. The Startup Weekend model has proven itself literally thousands of times around the world as one of the most powerful tools for building entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Each person contributes their unique background to each team, working together to finalize their idea and plan.
We've got 5 folks from the Techstars team driving out from Boulder, two co-founders of Startup Weekend (Clint and Marc), 10 students from Ft. Lewis, 5 students from Durango plus a bunch of local folks like Basit, Tristan, Jim, Alley, Norbert, Tom, Thea, Aaron Silverman, Len, Jack, Mark Rikkers, Ryan, Jack, Dennis, etc.
Entrepreneurship, like any sport, requires practice and training...
Grab someone you'd enjoy working on a weekend project with and come roll up your sleeves and let's build something together!
Len Metheny is a key part of Telluride's mentor network. Get to know the man behind the name in this mentor interview.
How did you come to Telluride?
What started out as a one month stay in the summer 6 years ago turned into an entire summer, which turned into a year.
Six years later our kids are in school and and we are quite settled and happy with mountain-town life.
Describe your work background.
I left my corporate job when I was 24 to start my entrepreneurial journey.
My first company was creating multi-media marketing presentations for college admissions offices that they would put on CD-ROM and mail to thousands of prospective students.
That business turned into an Internet-based admissions and enrollment service in the mid 90’s called ApplyYourself.
We raised venture capital, grew the business to serve over 700 college admission offices and I sold that business to a subsidiary of the Daily Mail in London in 2007.
I have been involved with Internet technology start-up businesses ever since either as a founder, investor, advisor or for-hire exec.
Which industries are your strengths?
I can add most value to Internet tech businesses because of my 15+ years developing and running my own SaaS business.
At the same time, one thing I’ve learned mentoring the many companies that have come through TVA is that there are many common threads to starting, developing and growing a business no matter the industry.
What attracted you to participate with TVA?
I love the energy and stimulation that comes from working with young, energetic entrepreneurs.
I have had several wonderful mentors throughout my career and now that I’m in a position to provide that kind of help, it’s important to share my lessons and experience to pay it forward.
How long have you participated with TVA?
I have been involved with TVA since its inception, seeing it get better and better each and every year.
Tell me about a highlight of your experience with TVA.
I have many highlights but to sum it up, they are almost all centered around seeing entrepreneurs get their first checks from investors.
There is just something about those first checks that becomes so validating, and creates such hope and opportunity for the future.
What are you excited about for the coming year?
There have been some major changes going into this year with Thea Chase taking over regional activity and Marc Nager heading up the Accelerator.
Anytime people take on new roles, there is so much opportunity. Fresh look, outside ideas and new networks.
I think the region as a whole is going to benefit greatly from these new opportunities.
What do you see for TVA in the next five years?
There is no shortage of accelerator programs these days, but what I really like about TVA is the unique positioning that it has.
As millennials continue to learn that places like Telluride are viable alternatives to the traditional urban startup hubs, I think the brand will just get stronger and continue to attract even more top-notch companies.
What are your personal goals in your involvement with TVA?
Simply to help facilitate the continued success of the program.
What should new TVA teams ask you for help with?
It’s one thing to conceive a product idea; it is an entirely different thing to grow a company.
That’s where I try to add value for startups.
Whether it’s determining the market fit, how to capitalize a company, or how to find and hire the best talent, I (and all the mentors) am here to help entrepreneurs get started down a successful path to grow their companies.
People might be wary to bring their business to a small town like Telluride. What would you say to them?
If you are the kind of person that gets energy from the outdoors, then there is no better place to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit.
There is a strong entrepreneurial element to this community with access to incredibly experienced and connected people.
How does Telluride compare with other startup scenes you have experienced or been a part of?
Obviously we are smaller than those that I have been part of in the past (London, Washington DC, Bay Area) but not that is not necessarily a bad thing.
In those larger urban environments, startups relied on other startups for help. Here, you have an entire community behind you as an entrepreneur.
The level and breadth of experience that the people have of Telluride is amazing. This is not your normal mountain town, for sure.
The Southwest Innovation Corridor (SWIC), A Telluride Foundation initiative, is ramping up to catalyze momentum in rural southwest Colorado to build the innovation-based economy. Funded through an i6 challenge grant from the Economic Development Commission, an Advanced Industries infrastructure grant from the State of Colorado and a family foundation, SWIC primarily works in the 8 county area from Delta to Cortez, the Utah border to Ouray. Leveraging the success of the Telluride Venture Accelerator, SWIC is building on the vast mentor network and active investor community in order to jump start the eco-systems in the larger region to support the launch and growth of innovation-based companies. SWIC seeks to inspire ideas, encourage networking and collaboration and support creation and growth of companies.
Early projects include teasing out ideas by delivering entrepreneurship curriculum to senior engineering students at Ft. Lewis College, encouraging networking through the start of the Entrepreneurs of the Southwest meetup group and Startup Weekend Telluride in December, support for regional co-working facilities and development of the SWIC Innovation Internship program launching in spring 2018. For more info on SWIC -- program description or contact Thea Chase, Director firstname.lastname@example.org.