Delta County residents looking to start or grow their business are invited to participate in a series of start-up events.

Through mid-December, ENGAGE Delta County will host meet-ups throughout the county.

Meet-ups are designed by and for entrepreneurs — the disrupters and hustlers focused on making their business ideas work, said ENGAGE director Shawn Gardner. Meet-ups give participants an opportunity to sharpen their business development skills through peer-to-peer sessions, crowd-source solutions to business challenges, explore ways to create new values, and share and learn best practices, tips and other lessons.

Discussion topics will be decided on at each meet-up, based on the needs of the participants, said Gardner.

Meet-ups are held every other Tuesday evening and offer casual opportunities for local and visiting entrepreneurs to meet with other like-minded people. Meet-ups will alter between locations and local businesses. ENGAGE will spotlight participating local business, and provide them an opportunity to crowdsource challenges and ideas.

Every four months, groups will come together to share what they’ve learned, with a goal of advancing businesses and forming partnerships.

A North Fork area meet-up will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Paonia United Brewing Co., 325 Grand Ave. Meet-ups are also scheduled from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Oct. 22, Nov. 5 and 19, Dec. 3 and 17, at Needle Rock Brewing Company, 820 Hwy. 92 in Delta; and Oct. 11 and 12 at The Livery in Norwood. For a schedule and more information, visit engagedetacounty.org.

Events are free. On Jan. 9, business entrepreneurs have an opportunity to attend “Ignite Delta County,” an ongoing series of speedy presentations being held around the world, at the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center in Cedaredge. The event is designed to enlighten and inspire through presentations and sharing of ideas, said Gardner. ENGAGE wants to identify and draw these business entrepreneurs out and shine a light on them.

The weekend of Jan. 17-19, ENGAGE will host a three-day event at Hotchkiss Memorial Hall. The event opens with a sharing of ideas. The top ideas are voted on, and the group will work all weekend to turn them into viable business models. “I think the best possibilities for new start-ups will come from existing entrepreneurs,” said Gardner.

ENGAGE Delta County is a grant-funded initiative designed to foster economic activity, diversify the local economy, and enhance existing agriculture, education and energy clusters. The program is administered by Technical College of the Rockies with support from the Delta County School District, Delta County Economic Development, the City of Delta, Delta County and Region 10.

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