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The Definitive Guide to the Fort Collins Startup Scene

Published by Launch Haus for our guests and fellow entrepreneurs, this is the definitive resource for all those working in the startup ecosystem of Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. Inspired by the Hitchhiker's Guide to Boulder Tech Community and Sam Teller's Guide to LA Startups, Brianne and I have decided to illuminate and connect the world to the amazing resources and players in the NoCo Ecosystem. Future iterations will ensue as we continue our primary research and interface activity.
Version 1.2 Updates (last iteration Feb 2015)
-Added several new resources in the NoCo region from co-working, to capital, to creator spaces and meetup movements. Enjoy and plug in
-Launched the Feedback Survey live link

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The Definitive Guide to the Fort Collins Startup Scene

  1. 1. The Definitive Guide to the Fort Collins, Colorado Startup Scene Chris J Snook & Brianne Snook Co-Founders of Launch Haus Version 1.2 a publication of
  2. 2. Contributors to this guide: 1.  Chris J Snook, Co-Founder/Venture Catalyst; Launch Haus 2.  Brianne Snook, Co-Founder/General Manager; Launch Haus 3.  Doug Johnson, SVP Capital Access; Rocky Mountain Innosphere 4.  Mike Freeman, CEO; Rocky Mountain Innosphere 5.  Charisse Bowen, Launch Director; Galvanize FoCo 6.  Steve Hamaker, Designer & Identity Specialist; Stevaker Design THANK YOU
  3. 3. Guidelines to Amplify Your Results and Adoption into Colorado’s Startup Ecosystems 1.  This state is led by the Entrepreneurs, supported by Feeders, and amplified by Mentors 2.  Promote Fort Collins as an AWESOME place to live, work, and innovate! 3.  Give Generously Before you Expect to Get! 4.  Enjoy the culture, lifestyle, and people! 5.  No Whining…Act and Make a Positive Difference! 6.  When you have a BIG EXIT…Give back to the Ecosystem! 7.  Contribute Something to each interaction 8.  Have an “Open Door” 9.  Be in a constant state of “discovery”. Learn and Connect others to resources they need! 10. Promote our fellow ecosystems and Launch NoCo city nodes Longmont, Greeley and Loveland, and collaborate with Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs and visit often, encouraging them to do likewise! ETIQUETTE
  4. 4. Want to skip around? Here’s what we’re going to cover. OVERVIEW 6. Why Fort Collins? 7. Notable Companies 9. Movements 10. Meetups/Events/Maps 13. CSU Entrepreneurship 14. Capital Access RESOURCES 17. Incubators 23. Prototype labs 27. Venture Capital 30. Office Space 32. Co-Working 34. Finding Talent/Jobs 35. Get Connected 36. Legal/Hr/Dev/Accounting LIFESTYLE & ACTIVITIES 38. “Hop”pening Places 39.  Stay Caffeinated 40.  Trails/Parks 46. Author Profile 48. Rate this Slideshare
  5. 5. The essential understanding that’ll get you up to speed and connected in a hurry! OVERVIEW DISCLAIMER: Last Updated 2/8/15 We’re going to walk you through a snapshot of the most relevant resources, players, and movements to help you insert into, contribute to, and benefit from the Fort Collins Startup Ecosystem. We are continually adding to this as we become aware of new additions and changes in the marketplace. We don’t know it all but this is a great place to start!
  6. 6. #4 Best Places for Business/Life (Forbes) #2 National list of Top Metro Areas for High Tech Startup Density #1 Best Places to Live (Money Magazine) Best Cost of Living index on the Front Range (Affordable Housing, Affordable Talent, Affordable and Ample Office Space, Amazing Schools for your Kids, & Our Outdoor Lifestyle Rocks! WHY FORT COLLINS? 1 2 FUN FACT #1 Fort Collin’s historic downtown was the inspiration for Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A.
  7. 7. SOME (NOT ALL) NOTABLE STARTUPS Open Water Foundation
  8. 8. NOTABLE EMPLOYERS The image cannot be displayed. Your computer may not have enough memory to open the image, or the image may have been corrupted. Restart your computer, and then open the file again. If the red x still appears, you may have to delete the image and then insert it again.
  9. 9. •  Launch NoCo •  Colorado Water Innovation Cluster •  NETZERO Communities •  Social Entrepreneurship/CSU •  Drive Electric Northern Colorado •  Colorado Entrepreneurial By Nature •  Startup Revolution •  1 Million Cups NoCo •  Greeley Unexpected •  Startup Loveland •  Startup Longmont MOVEMENTS
  10. 10. MEETUPS •  NewTech Fort Collins •  Fort Collins Internet Marketing Tools/Techniques •  Fort Collins Talent Trade •  LabWorx •  Fort Collins Digital Gunslingers •  Innovation After Hours •  The Caffienated Business Network •  The Mobile Workforce (Location Neutral) •  Entrepreneurs •  NoCo Real Estate Investors Group •  NoCo Renewable Energy Society •  EntrepreNerds •  SBDC's New Lean Startup Intensive •  LAUNCH NoCO Show Up–Contribute–Receive
  11. 11. EVENTS Mark Your Calendars! • Bohemian Nights/NewWestFest • Venture Adventure Challenge • Fortoberfest • Tour De Fat • Downtown Fort Collins Events • NREL Industry Growth Forum • Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open • Fort Collins Startup Week • Blue Ocean Enterprise Challenge
  12. 12. STARTUP GENOME MAP Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver Over 820 New Tech Companies…You can add your Startup, Event, Association, Accelerator, etc. here:
  13. 13. COLORADO STATE Entrepreneurship The Venture Accelerator provides entrepreneurship training, advising, and mentoring for student run ventures. Select entrepreneurs are incubated for a 12 month period to develop the idea and to better position it for a successful launch. The Accelerator program consists of two stages: the Immersion Lab which runs for four months and the Start-Up Spring Board which runs for eight months. The Immersion Lab is a 16-week intensive track program that engages up to twelve student entrepreneurs and their teams in a hands-on, execution style training opportunity that is focused on launching their new ventures. During the Immersion Lab, participants will work with a mentor and multiple advisors who guide them as the venture teams deliver measurable outcomes in a time sensitive manner. The Start-Up Spring Board is the second -stage of the accelerator program. VISIT:
  14. 14. CAPITAL ACCESS Thanks to the tremendous innovative thinking of the leadership at Rocky Mountain Innosphere, Fort Collins has one of the most efficient and equitable Access to Capital ecosystems in the country Funding Vehicles Include: • Donor Pool for Seed Stage • Debt Fund • Community Development Venture Capital Fund • Program and Entrepreneur Sponsorship Grants/Debt/Angels/VCs Learn More at: Rocky Mountain Innosphere Capital Access Tax Credit Example for Innosphere Donors Innosphere Contribution Amount $100,000 Assumed 35% Federal Tax Rate -$35,000 4.63% Colorado Tax Rate -$4,630 Colorado EZ Tax Credit -$25,000 Adjusted “Cost” To The Contributor $35,370 (35.37% of Total Contribution)
  15. 15. CROWDFUND One of Fort Collins own new tech startups with a successful Seed round is ready to make sure your new idea gets off the ground With an innovative solution set for crowdfunding. • Offer Rewards and In-Kind • Offer Equity • Non-Profit Donations • White labeled Enterprise platform for brands • Community Funded Marketplace • And more
  16. 16. The Places and People You Need to Meet and Visit in Fort Collins and the Front Range Ecosystems. RESOURCES
  17. 17. INCUBATORS Mentorship-Access to Capital-Acceleration!
  18. 18. THE INNOSPHERE Innosphere has an Expanded Cleantech Program! A great resource for cleantech entrepreneurs: The recently launched “Innosphere at CREED” office is located at the Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED). CREED is co- located with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO — the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Visit Accelerating Job Creation & Entrepreneurship
  19. 19. THE CSU HATCHERY CSU incubates its own startup companies—these three student entrepreneurial companies were chosen to accommodate space at Innosphere and have full access as clients. The current three hatchery companies include: Cam-Keeper1 Stuff’N Mallows2 Wild Fit Gyms3
  20. 20. GALVANIZEGalvanize FoCo provides members three working environments (Seat, Desk, Suite) along with specific perks for individuals, startup teams, and funded/larger startups. The co-working space is the hub of tech energy in Fort Collins and also houses the G-School and serves as a meeting and drop in hub for Galvanize Ventures and other Angel Groups and Venture Capital firms. Contact Launch Manager Charisse Bowen Galvanize FoCo Co-Working (Opening Summer 2015)1 G-School/GalvanizeU2 Galvanize Ventures3
  21. 21. ACCELERATORS NEARBY ImagineH2O - The Leading Path-to-Market Resource for Promising Water Entrepreneurs1 CleanTech Open - The World’s largest Clean Tech Accelerator2 Founders Institute - World's Largest Startup Accelerator, with a mission to "Globalize Silicon Valley"3 TechStars - provides seed funding from over 75 top venture capital firms and angel investors who are vested in the success of your startup4
  22. 22. ACCELERATORS NEARBY Boomtown Boulder – Tech Accelerator focused on the intersection of Big Data, Media, and Design5 MergeLane- Broadening the On-Ramp for women-run-companies6 4
  24. 24. CSU IDEA2PRODUCT LAB Facilities at the Idea to Product lab include five 3D printing platforms, with two more scheduled to arrive in the near future to take the total up to seven, and meet the anticipated increased demand from this community. The 3D printers are capable of processing up to 18 different materials and therefore offer wide scope for new innovation in developing product ideas. A nominal fee is required to use the facilities provided in order to cover costs of materials and maintenance.
  25. 25. FORT COLLINS CREATOR HUB 406 N College Avenue Fort Collins CO The makerspace in Downtown Fort Collins CO
  26. 26. CSU VENTURES • Discover I.P. & Co-Founders • License, R&D, Incubate, and Commercialize New Solutions • Access Capital, New Tech & World Class Research Technology Transfer
  27. 27. LOVELAND CREATOR SPACE The Loveland Creator Space is a non-profit, members funded and operated cooperative “makerspace” for engineers, artists, musicians, and tinkerers of all sorts to come together and… CREATE! Like a traditional “hackerspace”, the primary objective of LCS is to provide a community- driven work shop that offers its members access to tools, machinery, and classes to help promote creative engineering in Loveland and Northern Colorado. Learn more and come check it out
  28. 28. TINKERMILL (LONGMONT) TINKERMILL is a place where like-minded people interested in art, technology, science and business can collaborate on creative projects; share tools; learn; teach; make things; prototype new ideas, products and services; start ventures; meet new people; and share knowledge. Our facility prides itself in a variety of resources including, but not limited to 3D printers, CNC Millers, 40 watt lasercutter, machine shop, woodworking shop, auto bay, video/audio studio, art studio, sewing station, meeting rooms, data center, robotics lab, vacuum chamber, and we’re continuously expanding our resources. Learn more and come check it out
  30. 30. • Vista Ventures • Bohemian Companies LLC • Foundry Group • Access Venture Partners • High Country Ventures • Aravaipa Ventures • Galvanize Ventures • Rockies Venture Club • Tallwave Capital LOCAL FRONT RANGE VCs
  31. 31. OFFICE SPACE
  32. 32. READY TO SCALE? Flexible Space for 3-500+ CALL CBRE Fort Collins and reference this guide and #relotonoco 970.372.3843
  33. 33. CO-WORKING
  34. 34. NEED AFFORDABLE DESKS? • • • Jefferson’s Study • (Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver) • (Downtown Loveland) • (Makerspace in Longmont)
  35. 35. FINDING TALENT/ STARTUP JOBS • Innosphere Startup Job Board ( • Launch Haus Startup Job distribution list-Send your CV to Chris J Snook for distribution to dozens of local startups in Fort Collins/Loveland/Longmont/Greeley • Create a profile and complete the personality assessment on and search Fort Collins/Loveland, CO
  36. 36. GET CONNECTED Press/Newsletters/Social • • • (coming to NoCo in 2014) • (Colorado) • • • (CTA) •
  37. 37. LEGAL/DEV WORK • RMBA GROUP(In-House Counsel-As-A-Service) • Softlayer Catalyst (Get up to $120,000 of Free Credit) visit http// to apply • (Full Stack Dev Consulting)
  39. 39. FIND A SICK HOUSE • Tim (The Kiwi Realtor) and Brian (Mr. 970) • for listings and info
  40. 40. “HOP”PENING PLACES • Odells • New Belgium • Equinox • Fort Collins Brewery • Coopersmiths • Black Bottle Brewery
  41. 41. STAY CAFFEINATED • Starry Nights Café • MUGS Coffee Lounge • Everyday Joes • Bean Cycle • Cranknstein
  42. 42. TRAILS, PARKS, ETC. • Fort Collins Trail Map • Fort Collins Parks Map • Estes Park • Rocky Mountain National Park • Bike Fort Collins
  43. 43. “Now with a unified brand…In the near future we envision a statewide Colorado Startup Week.” Aaron Kennedy CMO-State of Colorado
  44. 44. Within high-tech ICT sector (Information and Communications Technology), new firm births grew by 210% and Fort Collins was #2 Nationwide for High Tech Startup Density in 2013! Source: Kauffman Foundation
  45. 45. THE FORT COLLINS NEWCOMER INTEGRATION CHECKLIST Study and Review This Guide and its Links Email for personal introductions Attend a relevant Meetup or Open Event Take a Tour of Innosphere, CSU Idea2Product Lab, & Launch Haus (opening 2014)
  46. 46. Welcome to the Fort Collins Startup Ecosystem! Please help us make this guide more valuable in future versions by taking our quick survey. Thanks in advance! TAKE OUR 2 SECOND SURVEY NOW WAS THIS HELPFUL?
  48. 48. CHRIS J. SNOOK & BRIANNE SNOOK @chrisjsnook @launchhausfc
  49. 49. So you have a great innovation and you want to visit Fort Collins and test drive it for your business … Launch Haus can help!
  50. 50. Launch Haus believes in creating content and relationships for you (not for us), so we’d like to hear what you thought of this guide! Submit a 1-10 rating in a matter of seconds by clicking here. Your feedback goes directly to our content team. LAST CHANCE TO RATE THIS CONTENT SUBMIT RATING: TAKE OUR 2 SECOND SURVEY NOW