FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 2 | Grand Junction, CO) – Techstars Startup Week West Slope kicks off this Tuesday, July 7, with over 70 free, virtual events throughout the month of July – all geared towards small businesses, startups and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Governor Jared Polis is the opening keynote speaker and will be discussing entrepreneurship, startup communities, ecosystem building and economic growth in rural Colorado. RSVP to join the conversation on July 7 at 10:00 a.m.

Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group and co-founder of the Anchor Point Foundation, and David Brown, co-founder and CEO of Techstars will host a headline event on July 21 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. At this session, Brad Feld, in partnership with Startup Colorado and the Greater Colorado Venture Fund, will award a $10,000 grant to each of the three recipients of the first Anchor Point Foundation’s Startup Champion Awards. Recipients include:

  • Steve Elias, Dean of the Fort Lewis College School of Business
  • Shawn Gardner, director of ENGAGE
  • Mara Hardy, business development manager at the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

Listen to Startup Colorado’s podcast with Brad Feld and Delaney Keating to learn more about these awardees and the importance of ecosystem builders (community champions) for rural startup communities.

Other headline events include:

  • an NPR “How I Built This” style interview with Matt Vincent, co-founder of Durango’s Ska Brewing. Register here:
  • a candid conversation with Aaron DeRose, WBS Coatings, about owning a business. Register here:
  • a panel about why we should invest in women-led businesses, led by Cass Walker Harvey, executive director of the First Southwest Community Fund
  • the Greater Colorado Pitch Series, where eight rural founders will pitch for $275,000 in investment as part of a live broadcast on July 30 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. The Greater Colorado Venture Fund and Colorado Outdoors Pearl Fund are providing the investment funds. Register here:

The regional conference is tailored to the industries and communities on the Western Slope from Steamboat Springs to Durango and Summit County to Grand Junction. Events are organized into themed tracks covering a range of business topics, such as capital, communications, business operations and tech. Presenters from across the state submitted ideas and will be hosting sessions every Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon.

To combat “Zoom fatigue,” organizers have bolstered the FUN! track to include events to foster connections in an unstructured setting, such as the weekly Book Club and Podcast Ponderings, as well as events to connect with others in an informal and fun way, like a comedy show, yoga class, trivia game night and music showcase.

The music event, Rift for Relief, will close out Startup Week on July 30 at 7:30 p.m. It will serve as a platform to highlight the region’s incredible music scene, while raising needed funds for the many artists who have suffered financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The showcase will also serve as a vehicle to introduce a start-up, Grand Junction’s Creative Cooperative.

Energize Colorado is collaborating with West Slope Startup Week to offer one-on-one office hours-style sessions where founders, executives and leadership teams seeking assistance in marketing, finance/funding and business strategy can meet with seasoned mentors and subject matter experts for 30-minute virtual sessions.

“Energize Colorado’s Mentor Initiative is excited for the opportunity to connect with small-business owners. With over 45 mentors from a range of industries and networks, this is an exceptional opportunity to provide support and guidance for the small-businesses of Colorado,” said Thea Chase from Energize Colorado’s Mentor Network. The Mentor Office Hours are offered every Thursday from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Participants must sign up beforehand.

Title Sponsor U.S. Bank is hosting a workshop series throughout the month covering SBA funding, equipment finance, financial planning and economic conditions. This is the second year that Title Sponsor U.S. Bank has partnered to plan the event.

“We support West Slope Startup Week because supporting small business in our communities is vital. Small business is the brick and mortar of our economy,” said Karen Troester, Vice President Western Colorado Commercial Manager for Commercial Banking at US Bank. Other sponsors include: Colorado Lending Source, Greenline Ventures, Kaart, ASAP Accounting & Payroll and SCAPE.

The event is planned by organizers from across the western slope including Mtn. Dog Media, Colorado Mesa University, Startup Colorado, Proximity Space, Greater Colorado Venture Fund, Grand Junction Economic Partnership, Telluride Foundation, MySalesButler, TerraFrame, Energize Colorado, Best Monday Ever, and the GJmakerspace.


Visit or for more information.

Media Contact:
Mara Hardy
Grand Junction Economic Partnership
(970) 245 4332 x3


About Techstars Startup Week

The Techstars Startup Week brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, investors and friends together to build momentum and opportunity around a community’s unique entrepreneurial identity. Startup Weeks are multi-day events packed with presentations, panels, workshops, social events and more – all crafted by the locals – to gather the community to learn from each other and celebrate their comradery.

The program is built around “tracks” (themes) that cover the elements of the entrepreneurial and small business journey and the people you encounter along the way.