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Consider Colorado Springs for Launching Your Sports Startup

A panel at the Springs Startup Week makes a case for bringing sports biz to the city


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Boasting more than 50 events and 85 guest speakers, Colorado Springs Startup Week gave the 1,000 or so attendees plenty of opportunities to learn, network and even see firsthand some of the city’s most promising local enterprises.

The fifth annual event, held Sept. 9-13 and billed as a celebration of innovation, entrepreneurism and creative spaces, included scheduled social hours, tours of local startups, pitch competitions and presentations from entrepreneurs ranging from local to international in a variety of industries.

“Colorado Springs and El Paso County are really a brilliant startup community, and it’s really about empowering innovation,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis as the event kicked off. “You know today’s garage startup could be tomorrow’s thousand-person company.”

One attraction, the VIP Startup Crawl, enabled attendees to tour three companies making an impact on the local business scene; guests were transported by yet another local startup, LocalMotive. The crawl’s first stop was to Exponential Impact, then off to Milestones for Growth and finally, Titan Robotics.

Another highlight was the panel, “Why Sports Startups Will Thrive in Colorado Springs,” featuring Andy Jackson, VIVOBAREFOOT angel investor; Scott Schnitzspahn, VP of elite athletics at USA Cycling; Gloria Winters, YMCA chief medical officer; and Suzanne Crespo, an attorney at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and member of the firm’s sports and entertainment group. The hour-long session was moderated by Rachel Beisel, chief marketing officer and senior VP at CableLabs and the founder of the Colorado Women’s Cycling Project.

The panelists described Colorado Springs as the perfect place to launch a sports startup, listing the quality of life as a big attraction for athletes and entrepreneurs alike. They also cited the advantages of high-altitude for training, the area’s trail system, favorable demographics, focus on health, and supportive and inclusive startup ecosystem.

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