Steamboat Rise hopes to fuel entrepreneurs, small businesses in Steamboat Springs |

Steamboat Rise hopes to fuel local entrepreneurs, small businesses


STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The idea behind the upcoming Steamboat Rise Showcase is to fuel some of Steamboat Springs’ most innovative personalities by educating local small business owners and entrepreneurs about the resources available to help them get their ideas off the ground.

“It’s really open for business owners who are looking to expand their business or entrepreneurs that are getting ready to start a business or that are interested in exploring,” said John Bristol, economic development director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber. “It’s kind of a one-stop shop, so people can listen and soak in what’s out there, and if there is something that stands out, they can follow up with them (the presenters) individually or attend office hours the next day, which will be at Library Hall.”

The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Allbright Family Auditorium at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs, and it will feature a series speakers as well as light appetizers and refreshments.

The evening will include a short introduction by Bristol followed by a presentation from Jimmy Capra, of Click Medical, who will talk about building a successful company in Steamboat Springs.

Officials from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs will discuss business support available from the state of Colorado, and representatives from Startup Colorado, the Northwest Loan Fund, Greater Colorado Venture Fund and Northwest Colorado SBDC will address the topic of the surrounding Western Colorado Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

The evening will close with representatives from Four Points Funding, Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center and the Chamber talking about Steamboat’s business momentum.

“With the unfortunate news that VF (Corp.) will move Smartwool to Denver, there is a desire to provide support to those employees that may have a vision to start a business in the Steamboat community and to stay in the community,” said Randy Rudasics, who is also helping organize the event in his role as manager of CMC’s Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center. “While we are doing it, we also want to advance other businesses that seek to grow and can perhaps add a few of these employees to their payroll if they are in a position for growth.”

On Thursday, Feb. 14, those attending the showcase will have an opportunity to meet with many of the presenters during open office hours from 9 a.m. until noon at Library Hall. Business owners and entrepreneurs can get free business consulting and more information about available resources. Those taking part are also encouraged to attend Steamboat Launch where four businesses will pitch their business plans at 1 p.m. that day.

“Steamboat is based on a bunch of generally small businesses. We don’t have a lot of corporate businesses here — other than a few franchises and the ski area perhaps — so we are trying to help any small business that wants to grow,” Rudasics said. “The path to growing our economy is through entrepreneurship and the growth of local businesses, and these people are bringing a lot of talent and resources to bare that many of us don’t know that much about.”

The events are free, thanks to Startup Colorado and the Colorado Office of Economic Development an International Trade, but those attending are asked to RSVP at

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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