Entrepreneur of 2023 Finalist — Rob Eggebrecht
Eggebrecht is the co-founder and CEO of Cloudrise, based in Grand Junction.
Eggebrecht, 52, “rode the telecom wave” with Qwest and Level 3 in the 1990s before moving into cybersecurity in the early 2000s. A startup, an exit and a consulting stint with Deloitte later, he co-founded Cloudrise in 2019.
The provider of data protection services has since raised $10 million in funding and grown to 55 employees. Eggebrecht forecasts revenue will hit $15 million in 2023.
One investor, the Greater Colorado Venture Fund, convinced Eggebrecht to move his family and the company to Grand Junction as part of the deal in late 2020. “When we first founded Cloudrise, it was going to be based in Denver,” Eggebrecht says. “Of all places, Cloudrise is headquartered in Grand Junction, and I’m really proud of that.”
An avid skier and mountain biker, Eggebrecht says he’s relished the move for access to the outdoors. He’s also gotten involved in community development as industry advisory council chairman for Colorado Mesa University’s cybersecurity and computer science programs.
He sees an opportunity to build a pipeline of talent, with students transitioning to cybersecurity careers via the internal Cloudrise University. “There’s a tremendous opportunity,” Eggebrecht says. “We can provide jobs here in the community that are high-paying and sticky, and if they want to go and expand beyond Grand Junction, we can provide them an avenue to go beyond that. It’s really cool. It’s fun.”
The plan is to expand Cloudrise to similar locations in the West. “In rural communities, we could have a revival with our own tech if we just stop looking outside of the borders,” Eggebrecht says. “Our business plan calls for expansion in rural communities.”
His advice to fellow entrepreneurs: “Plan for the future, operate day by day. A lot of entrepreneurs get way ahead of their skis. You can plan for the future, but every day I just wake up and figure out what I can do for that day.”
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer’s Colorado, Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming, Frommer’s Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver’s Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com