Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs receives 2014 Innovation Award


By Terry Blair-Burton

Special to The SUN

The Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado (Region 9), will receive a 2014 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation for the regional Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs (SCAPE).

SCAPE supports the creation and development of high-growth, job-creating companies in southwest Colorado by offering an Accelerator Program. The program offers in-depth mentoring, office space and an equity investment to help them enter markets and raise capital. Since beginning in 2013, the program has graduated five business ventures, creating eight jobs and leveraging $385,000 in investment.

According to Ed Morlan, executive director of Region 9, “SCAPE provides another level of services and support for the high growth startups in Southwest Colorado. We are happy to support this program and expect to see some great companies come out of it.”

SCAPE is supported by Region 9, the La Plata Economic Development Alliance, the Southwest Small Business Development Center, and a number of financial institutions and private investors.

The SCAPE program will be recognized at a special reception during NADO’s 2014 Annual Training Conference, to be held Aug. 23-26 in Denver. Southwest Colorado programs have been recognized by NADO in 2009, 2011 and now 2014.

“It is particularly nice to be recognized this year as the annual conference is being held in our home state,” said Morlan.

NADO is a national association that provides advocacy, education, networking and research for regional development organizations. The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes the innovative and strategic programs that strengthen and enhance their regions.

For more information about the award-winning project, go to or contact SCAPE director Elizabeth Marsh at