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Opportunities for entrepreneurs

SUN Columnist

There have been opportunities created on the statewide and regional levels to rejuvenate the entrepreneurial spirit.

Two efforts have been getting some press and we want to make sure the information is passed on to Pagosa Springs entrepreneurs.

The first program is through the state and an organization created by Gov. Hickenlooper: The Colorado Innovation Network (COIN). The program is called, “The Glorious Failure: In Search of Success” Innovation Challenge. The challenge began in May and ends July 3. Up to five finalists will be chosen via an online voting system and a selection committee, with the winner chosen Aug. 29 as part of the two-day COIN Summit.

The purpose is to reward entrepreneurs, generate new jobs and support Colorado’s economy. The categories in which you can enter a business project are: Information and Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Energy and Natural Resources, Infrastructure Engineering, Bioscience and Electronics. There are several eligibility restrictions associated with the project, including that, if you are an existing company, your company must currently have revenues under $1,000,000, the work must be your original work and you have researched and confirmed that your project does not infringe on copyright, patent (and the like) rights.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Innovation Challenge, you can find the entry requirements at www.coloradoinnovationnetwork.com/programs-initiatives/. You could be the recipient of a grand prize of $50,000 in cash and thousands of dollars in in-kind services and other awards.

The other business incentive is promoted through a new southwestern region group of investors called SCAPE: The Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs. This program is accepting applications until June 28 for startup businesses. CAPE is promoting business development in Southwest Colorado. The goal is to “graduate” at least eight companies a year, with each company creating at least six jobs in the first two years. There will be two accelerator programs conducted each year.

While any business will be considered, the group of investors will focus on businesses that will sell their products or services outside the region. Each venture chosen will be provided up to $30,000 in funding, typically in the form of an equity investment disbursed over a four-month period. The ventures will be housed together in SCAPE-provided offices. The monies awarded are to be used for corporation formation, patent filing, website development, product development and professional services such as market research or accounting. Each venture chosen will have certain goals to accomplish during the four-month process and will have mentoring support.

If you are interested in finding out more about the SCAPE program, visit www.goscape.org and review the requirements and details of the program. With creative entrepreneurs in the region, SCAPE intends to assist businesses over the hurdles of setting up a business and posturing them for success. Some of the areas SCAPE will focus on align with the State of Colorado’s key strategic industries: Food and Agriculture, Advanced Manufacturing, Health and Wellness, and Technology and Information.

Pagosa is home to many creative people and business owners. If you have been working on a concept and potential business plan, now is the time to bring your idea forward and have a chance to receive some business start-up funding and support. We hope your business will be based in Archuleta County. If you would like more information about either of these initiatives, contact Mary Jo at the Chamber or visit the respective websites.

Upcoming events

There are numerous activities planned for upcoming weeks. The Chamber will again put together a list of activities being held in the community over the Fourth of July holiday. This information will be placed in The PREVIEW as a clip-and-save calendar on June 27 and July 3. We will also have smaller versions to be handed out at the Visitor Center to our guests. We will also provide a community map with locations of several of the events.

Two important deadlines are fast approaching.

Turn in your Fourth of July parade applications by Friday, June 28. This application process gives you a position in the parade lineup. If you do not turn your application in by this date, you can still enter the parade, but you will be positioned at the end of the parade and there are no guarantees you will not be next to an entry that may be problematic, i.e. animals in front of loud machines. You can pick up a parade application at the Chamber, we can fax one to you, or download one at The SUN website, pagosasun.com.

The other deadline is for members of the creative community — for the Pagosa MAKERS Expo and Tour to be held Oct. 12-13. The application deadline is Sunday, June 30. This event is a hybrid between a site tour and an expo, which will include a wide variety of exhibits, demonstrations and displays.

There are a number of categories that involve a MAKER, including fine art, jewelry, manufacture of soaps and lotions, art cars, needlepoint, knitting or crocheting, clothing and fiber arts, unusual machines, brewing and spirit-making, inventions, manufacture of industrial and recreational equipment, and more.

If you would like to enter the Edible Arts category, you need to make sure you comply with the Colorado state laws regarding food preparation. To find out more about the application process and what goods qualify, visit www.pagosaacp.org/Makers. You can drop your completed application off at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts on Bastille Drive or scan and send it to Leanne Goebel at leanne.goebel@gmail.com. This inaugural event promises to be an exciting event highlighting creative talent from Pagosa Springs.

Membership 

Don’t forget to fill out your Ride the Rockies economic impact survey. Surveys are due Wednesday, June 26. Surveys were sent out to lodging, restaurant, and retail businesses via an e-mail blast. It is important we know what the real economic impact is to our community. You can access the survey through the Chamber website as well as the direct e-mail request with the appropriate link. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete, and we would appreciate the input and your time.

We have a few new businesses to welcome as new members this week.

We start off with Angela’s Flowers, located on Put Hill at 2035 Eagle Drive. Angela’s specializes in flowers and plants and strives to produce not only a flower arrangement but a work of art. They also carry Colorado-grown flowers and support American farms. Support local and give a unique arrangement by calling Jenny Hall at 731-1183.

Eagle Mountain Business Center with Elmer Schettler and Anne Kautzky offers office space, meeting room space, and a convenient work environment for the home-based business needing a temporary space or a visiting business person needing a temporary office. The conference room also has a 42-inch monitor and the facility has the fastest high-speed Internet service around. The facility is available on an hourly or daily basis. For more information about the Business Center, give them a call at (970) 459-4059.

Our individual associate joining this week is Paul Nobles.

We also have a few renewals to welcome back: Alpine Inn of Pagosa Springs; Enterprise Rent-a-Car; Let It Fly fishing shop; Pagosa Springs Medical Center; and the Pagosa Mountain Morning Rotary Club.

We also want to remind interested Chamber members of the Maximizing Your Membership class that will be held Monday, June 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A free lunch is provided along with mountains of information about being a part of the Chamber. Call 264-2360 to register for the class.

One more big thank you to all who worked on the Ride the Rockies tour on June 11, including Pagosa Springs High School, the various departments at the Town of Pagosa Springs, all the non-profit organizations, the Youth Center, the San Juan Mounted Patrol, the San Juan Outdoor Club and, of course, all of the businesses that provided great service and hospitality to all of the riders and their support teams. Our thoughts were with Ride the Rockies participants as they battled the effects of the fire in the Royal Gorge area and were tasked with tremendous last-minute re-routing and logistical challenges. We hope everyone had a great ride and we’ll welcome another bike tour, hopefully in 2014.

This story was posted on June 20, 2013.