Proposals sought for regional entrepreneurial event

Organizers are looking for ideas for an annual event promoting entrepreneurial endeavors in Western Colorado.

Proposals for panels, workshops, tours and other events at the Techstars Startup Week West Slope will be accepted through April 23. Proposals should be submitted using an online available through the website at An organizing team will make selections by May 28.

Techstars Startup Week West Slope is scheduled for July 12 to 16. A hybrid format is planned with virtual sessions and in-person events.

Program tracks will offer presentations related to capital, communications, makers, people and technology. What are billed as “toolbox” sessions will address fundamental topics and skills building. A fun track will offer social events and outdoor activities.

The event is free because of the support of sponsors. U.S. Bank will serve for a third year as title sponsor. Other sponsors include Colorado Lending Source, Downtown Grand Junction, Greenline Ventures, Kaart, Mtn. Dog Media and Startup Colorado.

The event will offer something of a meeting of entrepreneurial minds in gathering business owners and employees from all industries to learn new skills, advance careers and expand networks. The event also will cater to those considering startups.

“It’s a celebration of the businesses that make up the fabric of our smaller, rural communities, which are unique depending on the region, and are definitely unique from larger cities,” said Bonnie Watson, a member of the investment team at the Telluride Venture Fund and an organizer of Techstars Startup Week West Slope.  

Kayleen Cohen, owner of Mtn. Dog Media in Steamboat Springs and another organizer, said the upcoming event will offer an opportunity for participants to improve their skills and business operations. “The business ecosystems in our plethora of small towns are just too small to provide the support and resources many small business owners need. West Slope Startup Week gives us a chance to band together in an effort to create one larger, all-encompassing startup ecosystem that supports Colorado’s entire West Slope.”

Spencer Ingram, founder of West Slope Works in Grand Junction and another organizer, said the hybrid format will encourage participation. “Some business professionals are not in the position to take off five days and travel to one place, but they can easily hop online to access content. This hybrid format will allow more types of businesses and people to engage.”