Entrepreneurs prepare to pitch their products

By Pat Sunderland


Five entrepreneurs, including two from Delta County, have been selected for the ICELab Business Accelerator program. The program provides support for the five entrepreneurs as they prepare for ICELab's inaugural "Pitch Day" Nov. 6 at Western State Colorado University. The goal for each company is to gain the interest of investors, with the ability to scale faster and more efficiently, while shortening the trajectory to revenue.

Delta County will be represented by a software concept from Ken Richards, a Delta CPA, and a social enterprise from Merrily Talbot of Get Savvy in Paonia. Gunnison County will be represented by an outdoor-based food product from Mark & Alison Drucker of First Ascent Coffee in Crested Butte, and a commercial kitchen concept from Rachel Alter of Pedals & Pastries in Gunnison. Tyler Long of Tyligent Industries rounds out the five businesses with his portable gear dryer for recreational and military application.

The five teams will immerse in a 12-week program to identify gaps within each of their concepts, refine a strategy to scale, and hone a well-crafted professional business pitch. Over 30 mentors will provide coaching and insights for the program, working with each business from initial concept to perfection.

The program finale culminates in a grand, public event where each team pitches to its communities and investors. ICELab's inaugural pitch day is Nov. 6 and will be a public event at Western State Colorado University. It promises to be a great event for anyone captivated by the passion of entrepreneurs or looking to invest in regional, high-growth potential startups.

The ICELab Business Accelerator was made possible by EDA grant funding designated to Gunnison and Delta county in response to the mine closures. The federally funded program offers a unique opportunity for established entrepreneurs and startups from both communities to drive economic growth from within.

The ICELab located on the Western State Colorado University campus in Gunnison, and is home to the WestCentral SBDC, public-access co-work space, business incubation and acceleration programs along with gigabyte internet.

For more information, contact Delaney Keating at icelab.co, dekeating@western.edu or 970-275-6603.