Empowering Entrepreneurs through a Business Incubator


One of this year’s economic development projects is to develop plans for a “business incubator” in Estes Park.  ATP Management will be returning to Estes Park on June 7 and 8 to present their recommendations and business plan for creating a sustainable program that provides effective programming and services.  There will be a public presentation of the business plan at 7 pm, Tuesday, June 7 at the Hondius Room of the Estes Valley Library, 335 E. Elkhorn Avenue, Estes Park, CO.

After meeting with close to one hundred people, ATP Management is well on its way to determining what type of program would best benefit both established and start-up businesses in Estes Park.  We’ve learned a number of things this year through the planning process and ATP’s prior visits.  First, our tourism-centered economy is adapting.  Consumer tastes and buying behaviors are shifting rapidly and a number of businesses have demonstrated their desire to adapt. The launching of two new craft breweries and (soon) a craft distillery demonstrates that local entrepreneurs are seeking new ways to appeal to consumers.

Second, in addition to our traditional main street businesses, there are a growing group of people engaged in businesses outside of the traditional tourism-centered model.  Software development, marketing and design companies, and other creative, craft and fine arts businesses already exist right here in Estes Park.  The first Estes Park Startup Meetup at Via Bicycle Café drew 46 people to talk about startups and how we can be of help to each other.  Forming relationships with other local entrepreneurs can prove valuable.  Attendees included potential mentors or local investors, as well as entrepreneurs.

Third, we have a potential community of angel investors.  We have a number of talented business leaders who either maintain second homes or have retired to Estes Park.  Forming even a small group of such investors makes us more attractive to entrepreneurs who envision growing a business from Estes Park.  Access to capital is a great need and angel investing has been a strong national trend. 

Finally, we expect to access greater resources from our region by expanding our services.  Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins all have ranked among top cities nationally for entrepreneurs and startups.  Becoming a bigger part of Colorado’s regional entrepreneurship culture will be valuable for local entrepreneurs. 

The next Estes Park Startup Meetup will be held on Wednesday, June 8 from 8 am to 9:30 am at VIA Bicycle Café, 1751 North Lake, Unit 110, Estes Park, CO.  To sign up or learn more about the Estes Park Startup Meetup, visit www.meetup.com/Estes-Park-Startup-Meetup.

On Wednesday, June 8, Estes Park Angel Investing will host its first deal pitch and innovation seminar with several regional entrepreneurs who are building new and exciting companies along the Front Range.  The meeting will be held from 4 to 6 pm at Marys Lake Lodge, 2625 Marys Lake Road, Estes Park. This will be an opportunity to listen to their deal pitches and network with other Angels focused on developing knowledge, resources, and connections to support entrepreneurs and advance innovation. 

The 3 presenting companies are clients of the Rocky Mountain Innosphere in Ft. Collins, the leading business incubator in Colorado.  If you are interested in being an Angel Investor or would like to learn more, please visit www.meetup.com/Estes-Park-Angel-Investing-Meetup.  

The Incubator project is being funded with the third and final portion of a financial award to the Town of Estes Park and the Estes Park EDC from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.