Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center finds new home inside Honey Stinger HQ
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Despite the cloth mask that covered his mouth and nose, it was easy to imagine the smile on Randy Rudasic’s face as he stepped to the microphone Wednesday during a ribbon-cutting for the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center.
“This wouldn’t have happened without (Honey Stinger CEO) Mike Keown and (Colorado Mountain College President and CEO) Carrie Besnette Hauser,” said Rudasics, the longtime manager of the center, which has long been located on the college’s Steamboat Springs campus. “This collaboration is a direct result of their creative thinking and energy when many other distractions existed in their business and in our school. I am indebted for the long term.”
Keown was also on hand for the announcement that Honey Stinger, the Steamboat company that makes honey-based sports nutrition products, was gifting a loft inside its new office space at the Steamboat Springs Airport to house the entrepreneurship center.
“We’re just thrilled to be here and celebrate this wonderful partnership between Honey Stinger, CMC, the Entrepreneurship Center, and of course, the city all coming together to try to give back to the community,” Keown said.
Hauser was also excited about the new partnership and what that means for the long-running entrepreneurship program at the college.
“Together with this partnership, Honey Stinger and Colorado Mountain College can continue to provide numerous benefits to the Steamboat Springs community and broader mountain resort region,” Hauser said. “We are thrilled that Honey Stinger and CMC’s Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center will now literally work side-by-side to support and stimulate both the local well-being and economy.”
Relocating the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center to Honey Stinger’s new headquarters also frees up valuable space for the college to add a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab at its Steamboat campus, in the former location of the entrepreneurship center. Colorado Mountain College’s Steamboat campus will now offer associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The program, when at capacity, can enroll up to 60 nursing students at a time.
“This is a great gift to the college because it’s a twofer. We will free up space at our campus to build a brand-new, state-of-the-art nursing lab for our new nursing program, and then the entrepreneurship center will live here,” Hauser said. “It expands our opportunity to do health care training in this northwest corner of the Yampa Valley, and it also creates this really remarkable partnership.”
Since it was established in 1999, the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center has offered a broad range of workshops and seminars, provided valuable tools and resources for businesses, facilitated free and confidential counseling with Yampa Valley SCORE counselors, promoted and assisted with community networking and engagement and more.
“We could not be more excited to house CMC’s Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center here in our new headquarters and expand our partnership with Colorado Mountain College,” Keown said. “The mission of the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center and the opportunities it provides for entrepreneurs make it an ideal fit to share our space and to promote a collaborative culture as we seek to further support the Steamboat community and help bolster local economic development.”
Honey Stinger also announced there will be internships available for Colorado Mountain College students as part of the partnership. The company will also collaborate with several of the college’s academic departments that focus on its core values, business model and future growth.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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