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Group Blog Spot

This is the primary blogging spot for the Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group.  All news, events, and announcements will be posted here, as well as various CSE Group programs and small business outreach initiatives.

CSE Group:  (THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER)

Well, as we enter the start of a new year, (and our 9th Anniversary in July), it's time to take an introspective look at the CSE Group and our goals and objectives for the new year.

Would like to create a "Round Table" format this month as we open-up 2016 to discuss the new year's goals and objectives, review our scheduled agenda for the first six months of the year, and to open-up the floor to feedback and suggestions from the group to help tune and calibrate our Meetup Format, aspirations for our Venture Development Clusters, (including our SaaS/Cloud/Internet VDC, and emerging HOMELAND Community Responders VDC, and how we as a group can support and collaborate with other organizations and groups locally to help build-up and support our Entrepreneurial and Innovation communities. 

We are looking for member inputs and suggestions here, so come prepared to contribute and support the process.

Getting a Head Start for 2016 with the CSE Group:

Below is a first "six-month" look-ahead schedule for 2016 to give you an idea of what we will be focusing on in terms of the development and growth of our Venture Development Clusters (in 4 key vertical market areas out of our master list of 6), as well as some of the new initiatives and activities we will be pursuing during the year.

We are going to begin zeroing in and focusing on four core VDC Areas for 2016:

• SaaS/Cloud/Internet

• HOMELAND Community Responder

• Alternate Energy

• Healthcare

Here is a "Birds-Eye" view of some of our branded initiatives and programs:

Here is what our Meetup Schedule Agenda's will be focused on for the first six months of 2016:

Jan 2016SaaS Cloud Internet Venture Development Cluster Meeting

February 2016HOMELAND Community Responder Venture Cluster Meeting and Update on 3Ci Fund. - First HCR/VDC Cluster Mini-Meeting.

March 2016Alternate Energy Venture Development Cluster Meeting – Power Paradigm Fund Update. - Second HCR/VDC Cluster Mini-Meeting

April 2016Healthcare Venture Development Cluster Meeting. - Third HCR/VDC Cluster Mini-Meeting.

May 2016 – Launch of Expanded Coffee Crew Program with Subject Matter Experts and Forums. - Fourth HCR/VDC Cluster Mini-Meeting.

June 2016 – Six Month Review and Progress Meetup on all VDC initiatives.  Hopefully will have HCR/VDC $1M Challenge Fund in place to support HCR 5x4 Challenges.

Jumping in to Contribute and Participate:

So, if you "fit" into any of these 4 key Venture Development Cluster areas as a future entrepreneur, a bidding startup, an investor, or as a small business services vendor or community supporter, there are plenty of places for you to participate and contribute,

Step up to Present and Pitch:

If you would like to present and participate as a Business Speaker, for an in-depth 30 minute presentation or pitch as an Entrepreneurial Speaker for our unique "10-Minute Pitching" format, (that gives you time to pitch and present your visionary product or service for the first 10 minutes) for any future meetup... let us know.  At the CSE Group, we provide you with ample time afterwards to have our members help critique and provide you with valuable feedback on your existing or planned venture concept or startup idea...   So contact us and we can get you scheduled to present or pitch at one of our upcoming monthly meetups.

If your interested, just send us a quick email message using this email inquiry form from our COLOSPGSBIZ.ORG site at:  http://colospgsbiz.org/contact-forms/contact-us­

Open Mic Night:

And again tonight we will have our popular "Open Mic Night" where you get to "Take the Mic from Mike"... !

If you have some successes you want to report on, some challenges you are facing, or want to find out more about some of the other Entrepreneurs and Companies in the CSE Group, now is your chance.  Talks can span from a minute to 5 minutes to 10 minutes, (as long as you are engaging and interesting you can command the floor) !

I'm always amazed at the creative and wide-ranging exchanges we get into when we loosen the ties, and go with Open Mic...

Looking forward to seeing some of our new members and kicking off 2016 with a responsive and member-centric focus !

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair
Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group

December 2015 Meetup and Holiday Celebration:

Ok, another year has passed and its time to meet and celebrate the holiday season for the CSE Group and its Members !

In December we obviously meet a week earlier due to the holiday break next week so we are meeting tomorrow night, (Thursday Dec 17th) at our Home Base at the East Library.

Holiday Food and Fun and Drawing for a $50 Best Buy Gift Card !

So come and hang out with us for our Holiday Celebration where we will reflect on the past year's accomplishments, discuss some of our new plans and initiatives for 2016, and will even have a drawing for a $50 Best Buy Gift Card for a lucky CSE Group member who will do some extra "Personal Electronics Shopping" this year !!

 

 

Will put on some Cool Christmas Music, and set-up for a Party... no scheduled speakers, or venture pitches this month.    Time to get know some other CSE Group members and chill.

Looking forward to a fun relaxing evening !

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 05:17

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Written by Mike Schmidt
NCSAMChampionSMMedia Contacts:
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By all Media Outlets
 
 
 
 
Ensemble Ventures, LLC and Accinctus, LLC Become National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015 Champions and Announce The Formation and Launch of a Colorado Springs, CO based HOMELAND Community Responder Venture Development Cluster
 
September 29, 2015 — Mike Schmidt, the Founder/CEO of Colorado Springs, CO based Ensemble Ventures, LLC and Brian Siravo, Founder/CEO of Accinctus, LLC today jointly announced that Ensemble and Accinctus have become Champions of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2015. Both Ensemble and Accinctus will be joining a growing global effort among colleges and universities, businesses, government agencies, associations, nonprofit organizations and individuals to promote online safety awareness.
 
Celebrated every October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure everyone has the resources needed to stay safer and more secure online. As official NCSAM Champions, Ensemble and Accinctus recognize and take responsibility for its commitment to cyber security and online safety.  
 
Launching New HOMELAND Community Responder Venture Development Cluster:
 
In addition, Ensemble and Accinctus announced they will be working with other Colorado-based small business, aerospace, government and technology organizations, as well as the Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group (http://www.colospgsbiz.org) to expand the educational activities and awareness about Cyber Security and Homeland Defense and Community Preparedness through the formation of a new HOMELAND Community Responder Venture Development Cluster (HRC/VDC) in Colorado Springs that is designed to create a Grass Roots interconnected collaboration network of participating companies addressing innovative solutions to Cyber Security, Homeland Defense, and Community Preparedness challenges.
 
Mike Schmidt, the CEO of Ensemble, Ventures stated, “Over the course of the last five years here in Colorado, and specifically here in Colorado Springs, I have seen a number of noble attempts at creating a locally developed Cyber Security and Homeland Defense community collaboration group to educate both consumers and businesses to the threats to the Homeland from cyber attacks, and terrorism, as well as how to effectively prepare for and address business continuity needs in times of emergencies and crises, only to see these efforts falter and sputter. With our new proposed HCR/VDC initiative Ensemble and Accinctus hopes to address these challenges locally with a grassroots response.”
 
Coordinated and led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, NCSAM has grown exponentially since its inception, reaching consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, educational institutions and young people across the nation and internationally. This year marks the 12th year of NCSAM.
 
"The Champion Program is a vital part of making National Cyber Security Awareness Month a success each year,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “We are thankful to our 2015 Champion organizations for their support and commitment to our shared responsibility of promoting cyber security and online safety awareness."
 
For more information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the NCSAM Champions program, and how to participate in NCSAM activities, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam. You can also follow and use the hashtag #cyberaware on Twitter throughout the month.
 

ABout The HOMELAND Community Responders Venture Development Cluster (HCR/VDC)

HCRVennDiagramSMThe HCR/VDC creates a collaborative community-focused environment to address challenges and find solutions within the cyber security, homeland defense, business continuity, and community preparedness areas. These disciplines share many common interests in the goal of protecting our local community, while working with both state, and national agencies, who utilize similar processes, tools, and strategies while addressing very different needs to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters of any size.

The Integrated VDC model includes a focus on four “interconnected clusters” of “Domain” experience and community collaboration that creates a balanced HOMELAND Community Response when they are working together towards common objectives. Each Domain and focus area bringing professionals and participants across multiple disciplines, professions, and organizations together to address local challenges and develop appropriate HOMELAND Community Responses that align with the community members in each area.  For More Information:  HOMELAND Community Responders Information

 
About Ensemble Ventures, LLC
Ensemble is a 15+ year old Business Development Venture Ventilator based in Colorado Springs assisting seed stage and development oriented companies with strategic business development and product/market positioning tactics, and services. Ensemble helps develop capital formation plans, solicits funding and partnership alliances for clients and company-owned ventures, and develops strategic business models; technology adaptations plans, and go to market strategies for its clients. For info on Ensemble: http://www.ensembleventuresinc.com
 
About Accinctus, LLC
Accinctus LLC is a Veteran Owned Small Business founded in 2013 providing business continuity planning, assessment, and consulting services to businesses and other organizations of all sizes across the United States. Our mission is to provide professional business continuity expertise and capabilities to help our clients prepare their organization to effectively respond to and recover from disruptions or disasters. For info on Accinctus: http://www.accinctus.com
 
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Now in its 12th year, NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cyber security in order to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since President Obama’s proclamation establishing NCSAM in 2004, NCSAM has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state and local governments and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer, more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam or www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.
 
About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation's leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting digital privacy and the safe and secure use of the Internet. Working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), private sector sponsors and nonprofit collaborators to promote cybersecurity awareness, NCSA board members include representatives from ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, BlackBerry, Comcast Corporation, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, Logical Operations, Microsoft, PayPal, PKWARE, Raytheon, Symantec, Verizon and Visa. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, nonprofit and academic sectors, NCSA’s mission is to educate and empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely, protect themselves and the technology they use, and protect the digital assets we all share. NCSA leads initiatives for STOP.THINK.CONNECT.TM, a global cybersecurity awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online; Data Privacy Day, celebrated annually on January 28 and National Cyber Security Awareness Month, launched every October. For more information on NCSA, please visithttp://www.staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/.
 
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the global cybersecurity awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations with leadership provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). The Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/STOPTHINKCONNECT, on Twitter at @STOPTHNKCONNECT, and at http://www.stopthinkconnect.org.

 

To CSE Group Members:

We have an exciting meetup planned for next week, (on Wednesday September 30th) at 6PM at our home base Meetup Location, (East Library on Union Blvd).  Should be a fast-paced night with some exciting announcements.  Here is a quick run-down:

New VDC/3Ci Initiative for Colorado Springs:

We are going to be introducing a new local Venture Development Cluster in the Cyber Security, Homeland Defense and Community Preparedness area, that we believe can help to play a local role in organizing a developing a significant economic development program for Colorado Springs.  (See the detailed overview below).

Small Business Presentation:

Also, we will be hearing a business pitch from a team from Wolff Corporation who will be making a presentation on their new initiatives in illuminated design and manufacturing using electroluminescent panels, electroluminescent wires, and LumiLor, the electrified painting process, that can light up almost anything !  (See the detailed overview below).

It's National Cyber Security Month in Oct 2015:

At this month's meeting, (in preparation for Next Month's National Cyber Security Awareness Month) which is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cyber security and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident, the CSE Group, (in a business development alliance between Ensemble Ventures, LLC and Accinctus, LLC), has decided to hold its FIRST public introduction and community engagement meeting to present and discuss its concept for the creation of a new HOMELAND Community Responders Venture Development Cluster or "HCR/VDC" for Colorado Springs.  *

This new Venture Development Cluster or "VDC" is being developed by Ensemble Ventures, LLC and Accinctus, LLC to create an economic development and community innovation initiative for Colorado Springs in the area of Cyber Security, Homeland Defense and Community Preparedness. 

We are holding this first public meeting to solicit input and feedback from interested community members, city organizations, corporate participants, etc. 

* Note: this is our Draft Logo and Branding concept.  We are open to input and suggestions on its look and feel and messaging.  Will discuss at the meetup.  At this point we are attempting to create both a mission brand as well as one that can be cross-purposed and utilized in other cities and communities.

We will be distributing a "Green Paper" at the Meetup, (which is a draft report and consultation document of policy proposals for debate and public discussion) as the first step in our process to help introduce our concept to the community, which will be updated with a more formal white paper to help drive the implementation and execution of the HCR/VDC initiative.  

Here is a quick summary of our Vision and Goals for the new program:  

Vision:

To bring together interested parties in a collaborative environment to identify challenges and develop solutions within the focus areas of: Cyber Security & IT Resiliency, Homeland Defense, Business Continuity, and Community Preparedness. 

Mission:

Through the HCR/VDC our mission is to create a vibrant local economic development program that helps to create real world solutions for educating the public about the real threats of cyber security, and creating tools and methods for prevention of and combating against cyber terrorists. 

We also seek to create a forum for public and private awareness about homeland security and developing appropriate responses and community preparedness solutions, and educating businesses of all sizes about the need for business continuity and supporting ongoing community preparedness initiatives that are already underway and established and or need further development and refinement.

VDC/3Ci Model:


3ciLogoThe HOMELAND Community Responders Venture Development Cluster (HCR/VDC) is based on the Venture Development Clustering (VDC) and 3Ci Micro-Funding model developed by Ensemble Ventures, LLC. and implemented and tested with the Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group (CSEG).  Other VDC clusters are already up and operating in Colorado Springs, so this is our third initiative that needs your support.

The HCR/VDC creates a collaborative community support environment to address challenges and find solutions within the cyber security, homeland defense, business continuity, and community preparedness areas.  These disciplines share many common interests in the goal of protecting our community (local, state, or national) and many times utilize similar processes, tools, and strategy while addressing very different needs to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters of any size.  The cluster includes four focus areas;

  1. Cyber Security & IT Resiliency
  2. Homeland Defense
  3. Community Preparedness
  4. Business Continuity


Objective:

In addition to the creation of the grass-roots Venture Development Cluster Concept we will be developing and raising a $25 Million dollar 3Ci (Collaborative Community Capital Investment)  "Micro-Fund" that will help us to identify, coordinate, engage, and underwrite as many of the key interested stake-holder businesses, organizations, and people who want to make an impact in protecting their local Homeland Community, and creating new innovative products and services to help develop a set of resilient hardware, software, services, methods, approaches, and best practice responses and solutions to Homeland Security and Community Preparedness that can be used locally or exported to other communities.  

Goals:

We intend to create a positive communication process for the exchange of ideas across multiple disciplines focused on protecting the people, businesses, organizations, and infrastructure of our community with the following programs and initiatives:

(1) We will provide a collaborative environment for customers, partners, and service providers to explore solutions to increase resiliency in their business, non-profit, faith-based, government, or other organizations.  If anything the HCR/VDC will be come a living, breathing networking resource for the local community to interconnect and collaborate together that goes beyond simple industry directories or occasional networking events.  This is a proactive and engaging process that rewards participation.

(2) We are developing and plan to maintain investment resources with a formal process to support local new and small businesses working in the areas of cyber security, homeland defense, business continuity, or community preparedness.  As such, we will be creating and raising an initial $25M "3Ci" Collaborative Community Capital Investment" Micro-Fund that will be used to support local entrepreneurs, companies and projects in Colorado who will be participating in the HCR/VDC program, and will provide the resources necessary to support the Collaborative Community Challenges.

(3) We will be developing and deploying 4 separate "Collaborative Community Challenges" that will identify the top 5 challenges facing each of the 4 major areas of need: (1) Cyber Security & IT Resiliency (2) Homeland Defense (3) Community Preparedness, and (4) Business Continuity.  

(4) In each of these areas the participating members of the VDC will be "self-deterministic" in identifying and peer-reviewing the responses by people, companies, and collaborating organizations to the 5 Major challenges in each of four major areas of need.  From here we will reward capital prizes ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 for Challenge winners in addition to assisting and marshaling support from collaborating and participating companies in the cluster who have a stake in the successful outcome of the various challenges.

The Process:

Each HCR/VDC focus area will bring professionals and participants across multiple disciplines, professions, and organizations together that will be able to break down their respective areas of needs into more detail to identify the interests of the providers and customers in each area.

The four focus areas of the HCR/VDC have significant overlap in several areas.  The greatest area of overlap is the primary focus of protecting and defending the community from threats and disasters.  Secondly, many of the participants’ primary missions and organizations work with each other depending on the nature of the threat and the impact of the event.  As a few examples:

(1) The business continuity and cyber security participants would work together to address the risks of a long-term power failure on a business that relies on their network and data to function (such as a bank), as well as how to train and educate consumers and businesses to cyber attacks on their local IT Infrastructures, networks, and communications and computing devices.

(2) The cyber security and homeland defense participants would collaborate if addressing how to protect the community from a cyber-attack on our electrical grid from a foreign entity, or how to better identify potential "human threats" locally to create a responsive crime tipping, alerting and notification solution that straddles local law enforcement, state and federal agencies that is community driven.

(3) The community preparedness, homeland defense, and business continuity participants would work together when preparing how to respond and recovery from a major disaster such as a wildfire or earthquake, and how to better integrate and work with the various aid and support agencies that operate at the city, county and state levels.

(4) All participants would collaborate when dealing with the threat of a violent terrorist attack (such as a bombing) of a major event or critical infrastructure within the community.  

Participants:

Interested participants in the VDC may include private companies, non-profit and faith-based organizations, government agencies, community service groups, investors, and individuals with interest in the 4 focus areas of the VDC.

Public Introduction and Community Engagement:

We encourage you to come to this months meetup and learn more about our HCR/VDC vision, and we encourage you to bring a friend or business acquaintance as we embark on this local economic development initiative.  It's a work in process, so this is your chance to jump-in and participate in a meaningful way.

Wolff Corporation Presentation:

And for our Small Business presentation we will have the tag team of Scott Curry, Chief Strategy Officer and John Trujillo, Chief Operations Officer of Wolff Corporation present their vision of Illuminated Design and Manufacturing using electroluminescent panels and elecroluminescent wires and painting technology from LumiLor.  They will be showing examples of products produced using these advanced materials and processes for snowboards, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, airplanes, buildings, and more

For More Info on their companies and product initiatives:

ElectroPaint Lighting Website: www.electropaintlighting.com

Wolff Snowboards Website: www.wolffsnowboards.com

Overview of The Wolff Corporation:

The Wolff Corporation is the world’s most innovative company in illuminated design and manufacturing.  Combining multiple illuminated technologies including electroluminescent panels, electroluminescent wires, and LumiLor, we are able to light up almost anything. 

 

 

The Wolff Corporation has two brands – Wolff Snowboards and ElectroPaint Lighting.  In just a few days, Wolff Snowboards will be launching the world’s first electroluminescent snowboard on Kickstarter. 

 

Our other brand, ElectroPaint Lighting, will be the only LumiLor Lab in the state of Colorado, and only the 5th LumiLor Lab in the country.  LumiLor is a paint that lights up when electricity is run through it.  This means that anything that can be painted, can be lit up – including bicycles, motorcycles, cars, airplanes, buildings, and more. 

We are taking LumiLor orders now, and will start completing LumiLor projects once the rest of our equipment arrives at the end of October or beginning of November.  Our lighted snowboards, lighted longboards, and lighted hoodies can be purchased on Kickstarter at special pre-launch prices.  Production on those items will start at the end of October, and everything purchased on KickStarter will be shipped by December 15th.

Speaker Bios:

Scott Curry, Chief Strategy Officer Scott is a business consultant with over 15 years of experience.  He has run a number of companies, and now helps inventors and entrepreneurs start their own businesses.  Using a combination of innovative and traditional strategies, Scott gets new startups to a point where they are profitable, with systems and procedures in place to continue being profitable for years to come.  Scott helps companies get capital, find manufacturers, hire the right team, and build processes and procedures that will lead to their success.  Scott joined The Wolff Corporation in May and assists the CEO in the development and implementation of The Wolff Corporation’s strategic vision.

John Trujillo, Chief Operations Officer John joined The Wolff Corporation earlier this month.  John previously worked as the operations manager for a large technology company here in Colorado Springs.  He has been busy helping The Wolff Corporation source vendors, purchase equipment, and locate a manufacturing facility.  Soon John will be hiring a team of skilled employees to manufacture our snowboards, longboards, and hoodies.  John will continue to be an integral part of the team as The Wolff Corporation starts manufacturing next month.

So come and support your local CSE Group, and participate in helping to create and shape the new Homeland Community Responders Venture Development Cluster we are creating.

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair

 

To CSE Group Members and Guests:

This month's Meeting Theme: "Alternative and Advanced Energy"

As you know, I did a "Sneak Preview" at last month's meetup on a new company we are working with and mentoring in conjunction with the Colorado Clean Tech Open named Siva Cycle (http://www.sivacycle.com) that is now based in Boulder after recently moving to Colorado from Boston in June.   They also have operations in Emeryville, CA as well. 

Well, next week at our August 24th Meetup... We will have the REAL DEAL ! 

Presentation by Co-Founder and CEO David Delcourt:

So, as promised,  I have asked the Co-Founder and CEO, David Delcourt to come to the Springs this month and  do a full presentation and demonstration of their exciting technology developments that will be "extending" their core Atom Generator technology into new Kinetic Energy power creation markets both domestically and internationally.

They are in a growth mode, looking for strategic partners and additional capital so let's see if Colorado Springs can put a full court press together to help  !

About Siva Cycle:

Siva is a 2+ year old company that has developed an innovative USB-based charging solution for bicycles called "Atom".  The Siva Atom is a lightweight USB generator to charge any of your personal electronics as you cycle. Easy and intuitive to install, you can charge while riding or once you arrive, thanks to the 1650mAh removable battery pack.

After an already successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013, (where they raised $126,000) they already have a full year of sales under their belts with REI and a number of cycling distributors in the US and worldwide.

 

About David Delcourt:

Currently David is the CEO and Co-founder at Siva Cycle.  Siva designs and produces portable power solutions for cyclists, people on the go, and the 1.3 billion with no access to electricity.  Design forward and cost conscious, Siva Cycle is re-defining the idea of a personal power ecosystem, delivering clean, kinetic energy at a fraction of the cost of existing solutions.

David has a long history specialized in energy, sustainability and renewable's across a variety or sectors, and concentrate on high impacts.  He enjoys building small teams to tackle big problems, identifying strategic partners, niche markets, and alternative channels to distribute unique solutions.His  expertise includes business development, key account management, product development, product positioning, and strategic marketing.

Previously he was Director of Business Development for Noveda Technologies after Noveda acquired the company he co-founded - MakeMeSustainable - in July 2011.

He has held and operated in roles including founder, COO, sales manager, business development manager, product development specialist, and energy consultant in a variety of positions.  He was an Analyst of econometric models, evaluating financial damages litigation and rate cases, and drafted World Bank telecom report with a team at Nera (Now Mercer Consulting).   He speaks French and Spanish and is interested in expanding opportunities internationally for Siva.

Update on Tiny House Jamboree Exhibit for VSS/Ensemble:

During the Tiny House Jamboree recently held in Colorado Springs over the weekend of August 7-9th, Ensemble showcased an early concept overview of the Tiny Home CLUSTER Communities concept that is being developed by Ensemble Ventures and its Fuel Cell Technology Partner, Technology Management, Inc. to support the VSS/Villages initiative that Veterans Support Solutions is creating to enable various third party Veteran Village organizations that are being developed locally in Colorado and nationwide by a variety of Veteran Support Groups. 

Here is a graphic illustration of the concept we are talking about:

We will review our presentation for those who were not able to attend, and outline our strategies for helping to develop these low-cost, but high quality solutions for Homeless Veterans, as well as the Civilian Population at large.

Tami Donaldson, Founder/President - Veteran Support Solutions, L3c

Also I have asked Tami Donaldson of Veteran Support Solutions, L3c to stop by this month to provide her perspective and impressions about our joint presentation at the Tiny House Jamboree, and to offer some insights and her vision about the future for VSS and our initiatives to help fight Veteran Homelessness through new housing capacity management programs and our Tiny Home CLUSTER Communities concepts that can support third party Veteran Village Initiatives here in Colorado and across the US that are under development by a number of third party organizations.

About Tami Donaldson:

Veteran Business Owner - Suri Ridge Coffee House

July 2013 – Present (2 years 2 months)656 Peterson Rd Colorado Springs

 

 

 

President - Veterans Support Solutions, L3C

2001 – Present (14 years)Colorado Springs, Colorado Area

Veterans Support Solutions is committed to assisting the local Veteran community by providing resources awareness forums to ease the transition and to achieve sustainable growth through building credibility, loyalty and trust from our client base while providing deliverables to our shareholders.

HR / Logistics / MI Operations Director

US Army December 1980 – January 2014 (33 years 2 months)

Launched and led HR organization to support 567 personnel in mobilization exercise and provide updated data with zero errors for financial and personnel record changes including life insurance beneficiary modifications, security clearance processing/status, promotions, physicals, and medical updates. 
Commanded $10M+ transportation department budget, managing logistics and orchestrating end-to-end tracking process that delivered 10-fold improvement in vehicle scheduling and maintenance.Architect of electronic reference library, providing centralized platform of personnel policies and assignments for base of 1,000 personnel.

Power Paradigm Venture Cluster Fund Introduction:

And rounding out the evening, I will provide an overview of a new investment fund we are developing to support the growing Alternative and Advanced Energy markets.

PPVDC Fund I is a new Alternative Energy venture investment partnership and fund being developed by Ensemble Ventures, LLC that is one of the targeted  “Micro-Funds” in our “3Ci” (Collaborative Corporate Capital Investing) Seed Stage Fund Management Program.

Ensemble is proposing the creation of this adaptive investment partnership or what it likes to call a "Collaborative Corporate & Capital Investing Fund (3Ci) to help support the portfolio companies in the Power Paradigm Venture Cluster and to help guide and mentor the business development, technology adaptation, and market potentials for advanced Fuel Cell Solutions, Electric Drives & Transmission, Battery Technology, and Distributed Energy Generation and online Demand Management Solutions. 

The Fund is being specifically formed to support the Venture Development Clustering of companies who are pursuing business opportunities in Alternative Energy solutions and markets.  The Fund is seeking capital investment from strategic investment partners, seed angels, angel syndicates, private equity, and venture capital funds who seek to develop strategic relationships with technology development companies to help drive and develop advanced fuel cell technology solutions, electric drive train and transmission innovations, and distributed energy opportunities.

Should be a fun night !  Bring a friend... As always the refreshments are free !

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair

 

 

To CSE Group Members:

OK, we are all set for tomorrow night's meetup..   However, I wanted to update you on our agenda to let you know that in addition to the presentations being done by Chris Robbins and Brandon Brown from Open Book Ben... I will also be doing a "Sneak Preview" on a new company we are working with and mentoring in conjunction with the Colorado Clean Tech Open named Siva Cycle (http://www.sivacycle.com) that is now based in Boulder after recently moving to Colorado from Boston in June.   They also have operations in Emeryville, CA as well. 

Siva is a 2+ year old company that has developed an innovative USB-based charging solution for bicycles called "Atom".   The Siva Atom is a lightweight USB generator to charge any of your personal electronics as you cycle. Easy and intuitive to install, you can charge while riding or once you arrive, thanks to the 1650mAh removable battery pack.

After an already successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013, they already have a full year of sales under their belts with REI and a number of cycling distributors in the US and worldwide.

The CEO, David Delcourt would have been here this month but he will be up in Denver tomorrow night at the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association participating in the “Pitch Practice with the Rocky Mountain Cleantech Open Semifinalists".  However, David has agreed to come down NEXT Month in August and do a full presentation and demonstration of their exciting technology developments that will be "extending" their core Atom Generator technology into new Kinetic Energy power creation areas.

They are in a growth mode, looking for strategic partners and additional capital so let's see if Colorado Springs can put a full court press together to help !

So this is another reason why you are not going to want to miss this month's meetup !   So BRING A FRIEND and let's get a good turnout tomorrow night !

Open Book Ben Goes Commercial Aug 1st !

We are going to be celebrating the upcoming commercial launch of Denver-based "Open Book Ben" in a "Pre Launch Presentation and Celebration" at our meetup this Thursday night. 

We will have on hand the Chairman of Open Book Ben, Mr. Chris Robbins as well as Lead Developer and Designer, Mr. Brandon Brown who are coming down from Denver to present their vision of the new Open Book Ben Credit Data and Scoring solution for business where you:

"Put your business reputation back where it belongs - in your hands!  

In development for two years now, Open Book Ben is scheduled to go "commercial" on August 1st, (after an extended Beta Testing period with independent business, and a large number of banks and loan institutions who have been testing out the features of the new OBB solution).  

Note: Many of our CSE Group members have been beta testing the solution for the last month.  If you are interested in participating in the Beta Test... Keep reading below.

Evening's Agenda:

We will move through our standard Meet & Greet Session and Meetup Update agenda items for the first hour, and then will devote the next 2 hours exclusively for the Open Book Ben Team.

Chris will start-off the evening with a business-oriented overview of his start-up journey to bring Open Book Ben to the market, describing his strategy, and tactics and covering the highs and lows of bringing a state of the art and "disruptive" SaaS solution to the marketplace. 

Then we will have Brandon present some of the technical details of spinning-up their unique online SaaS and Database management technology platform that currently has over 28 Million business records on file.  As the lead designer and UI/UX expert, Brandon has had his "hand" in the development mix since day one, so will be sharing some of the technical highs and lows.

About Open Book Ben:

Open Book Ben is a Denver-based software start-up developed by Chris Robbins and an amazing team of developers and a stellar board of directors that reads like a who's who in the credit reporting field.  The company is focused on the development of a unique business intelligence and predictive analytics platform that will be available to businesses of all sizes. 

The company provides creditworthiness and Vendorworthiness (TM) data on nearly every business in the United States.  Open Book Ben’s software platform, (currently in Beta), provides credit data and scoring on nearly every business in the United States. 

For more information:  http://www.openbookben.com

 “Put your business reputation back where it belongs - in your hands”


 

PLANT YOUR FLAG - Join the Open Book Ben community and make your claim in a revolutionary business exchange network, where you are in control of your company's reputation.

TELL YOUR STORY - Let existing and potential customers and vendors know exactly who you are by actively participating in the management of your credit data and other critical business details.

GROW YOUR NETWORK - Connect with an ever-expanding society of people you do business with, and together change the way small businesses get things done.

The “Team” Behind Open Book Ben:

J. Christopher Robbins - Chairman

About Chris:
Chris is an Entrepreneur and Legal Professional, with a JD from the University of Miami, and a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania.  Over the course of the last 20 years Chris has been engaged in a wide variety of corporate legal work, directing private equity investment, research and publishing, real estate development, and business incubation and venture capital investment.  He was a Partner and Lynch and Robbins in Florida, a Managing Member of Cherry Creek East Investments in Denver, and the Executive Director of the Metro Denver Enterprise Center, (where I met him originally).  His latest efforts have been focused on the development of Open Book Ben, his latest SaaS (Software as a Service) solution to disrupt the credit data and scoring market for business.  Chris is an instrument-rated pilot, a rock climber and avid hiker, as well as a sailor who enjoys open ocean boating, (whenever he gets out of Colorado where there is real water) !

Brandon Brown - Product Owner

About Brandon:
Brandon has over a decade of experience in visual design and UI/UX software envisioning, development, and deployment that includes projects with clients that range from designing-award-winning start-ups to established brands like the NFL.  He is passionate about developing a harmonious balance between user experience and visual design in his digital platform experiences.  At Open Book Ben, Brandon is responsible for overall brand development and direction as well as iterative product creative direction and specifications, requirements, and vision.  Currently working on the Beta product with a heavy focus on upcoming visual UI/UX directions and product development that will transform how businesses interact with their credit profile data and reputation management utilities. Working on both web and mobile applications with a heavy focus on interaction and presentation.  Previous to OBB he was the Co-Founder of The Sulky Brothers Manufactorium in Denver for 7 years, and the Creative Director for the Prestige Real Estate Group in Denver managing an in-house creative and marketing group that leveraged his Marketing and Communications education at Brigham Young University back in the late 1990s.

Beta Testing Offer:

And for those members who attend the meetup on Thursday, you will be be able to take advantage of the Beta Testing Offer we made EXCLUSIVELY to our CSE Group Members earlier this month:

If you decide you would like to participate in the current Beta Testing round, and actively test, evaluate, and provide feedback to the Open Book Ben development team, (though their online collaborative software support ticketing system) you will receive a free 1-year subscription to the Open Book Been Small Business Credit Monitoring and Rating service, (a $179.40 value) based on a $14.95 per month rate.

After the first year of free service… you will be able to renew the OBB service on a paid basis for another 12 month period for a special 10-month rate, (or $149.50), where you will receive 2 months per year free for life. Standard annual pre-paid users receive 12 months of service with 1 month free annually if pre-paid, ($164.45).

To lock in the initial FREE YEAR of service, as well as the discounted annual renewal rate afterwards, (12 months for the price of 10 months), all you need to do is create an Open Book Ben account at: http://www.openbookben.com­.

After your account is created, simply submit an online feedback ticket with this “Invitation-Only” CSE Group Beta Testing code: "csebetaobb".   Chris will “hook you up”, and you will be on your way.  And be sure to let me know you signed up and are part of the beta testing team, (via an email or call).  Chris has a "target" he wants to hit, and I'm interested in seeing if the CSE Group can rise to the challenge !

So, definitely mark your calendars for this Thursday at 6PM at the East Library as this is going to be a GREAT MEETUP !

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair
Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group

 

May 2015 CSE Group Meetup - Thursday, May 28th, 2015. 7PM-9PM

Overview:

Due to our short 2-hour format tonight, (due to meeting room scheduling conflicts at the Library with other non-profit groups)  we will be meeting tonight STARTING AT 7PM.  So if you come early you might end up spending time in the Library lobby... !!

Extended Meet and Greet:

So we will have an extended "Meet and Greet" session at the beginning of our meetup to allow our members the chance to introduce themselves and their businesses, (existing and planned) while we have some initial refreshments.

Discussion of CSE Group 2nd Half 2015 Schedule and Event Initiatives:

I have a number of proposed new events and initiatives planned for the second half of 2015 that I would like to present to the group for discussion and consideration.  Will review and solicit feedback and suggestions.

Open Mic Night:

And again tonight we will have our popular "Open Mic Night" where you get to "Take the Mic from Mike".

If you have some successes you want to report on, some challenges you are facing, or want to find out more about some of the other Entrepreneurs and Companies in the CSE Group, now is your chance.  Talks can span from a minute to 5 minutes to 10 minutes, (as long as you are engaging and interesting you can command the floor) !

I'm always amazed at the creative and wide-ranging exchanges we get into when we loosen the ties, and go with Open Mic...

 

So see you tonight !

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair

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Pikes Peak MakerSpace & LnB Connectors Presents:

an Ensemble Ventures & Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group Production of:

An "Evening with Entrepreneurs" or "Vecer s Podjetniks"...

Come and join us for a fun evening of social networking and professional "pitching" as 7 Slovenian Companies and their staffs will be making "Professional Pitches" about their products and services to a local group of Entrepreneurs, Seed Angels, and small business professionals.  The Pitch Event segment will be Led by Mike Schmidt, the Chair of The Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group utilizing their successful Monthly Meetup-Group Format.

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 LnB Connectors is supporting the Trade Mission to Colorado by AmCham Slovenia: 

While the Slovenian Trade Mission is in Colorado, LnB Connectors, Ensemble Ventures, and Pikes Peak MakerSpace is pleased to host:

"An Evening with a Business Delegation From Slovenia" or "Večer z gospodarsko delegacijo iz Slovenije" in support of AmCham Slovenia and its delagates to Colorado to provide some "up close and personal" social interaction with local entrepreneurs, small businesses, manufacturers, seed angel investors, and state and local economic development officials. 

amChamLogoAmCham Slovenia is one of the most active and influential international business communities in Slovenia, with more than 260 corporate members, it has assembled together some of the largest and most important companies in Slovenia.  AmCham Slovenia has already been a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., USA for 15 years. They work with many home and foreign businesses, as well as independent and government organizations in both the United States and beyond.

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 Click Thumbnail image below right for PDF Version of Event Flyer

EveningWithEntrepreneursFlyer1smEvent Agenda:

7:00PM - Introduction and Welcome to "Evening with Entrepreneurs":

  • Lynda Cink, and Brian Swanson Founders of LnB Connectors

- Welcome to Pikes Peak MakerSpace:

  • Chris Vestal, Founder Pikes Peak MakerSpace and CEO of Motominded

- Introduction to the Slovenian Trade Delegation:

  • Vida Dolenc Pogačnik, Deputy Director, American Chamber of Commerce in Solvenia
  • Mr. Gorazd Renčelj, Economic Counselor, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Washington

  • Mrs. Daša Rakovec,Counselor, Public agency SPIRIT, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology

7:05PM - Overview of Pitching Program and Introduction to CSE Group

  • Mike Schmidt, CEO Ensemble Ventures, LLC and Chair of Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group

7:10PM - Slovenian Company Pitches Begin

  • 7:10PM - Metrel
  • 7:20PM - Kontekst
  • 7:40PM - Robotina
  • 7:50PM - Tajfun

8:00PM - Beer & "Bio" Break

8:10PM - Slovenian Company Pitches Resume

  • 8:10PM - Avbreht, Zajc & Partners
  • 8:20PM - Trimo
  • 8:30PM - Spirit Slovenia

8:40PM - Open Mic Session - Engaging Delegation and Audience in Open Q&A

9:00PM - Conference Speaker Closes "Official Program"

9:00PM - 10:00AM - After Party and Power Networking

 

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Professional Pitches by these Slovenian Companies:

metrelLogoMetrel - Measuring and Regulation Equipment Manufacturer

METREL is one of the world leading manufacturers and suppliers of high quality electrical measurement and test instruments. Established in 1957 with more than 50 years of experience in designing and manufacturing of measuring instruments and test equipment, Metrel develops instruments for the following market segments:

  • Electrical installations, machines and appliances safety control,
  • Electrical power quality,
  • Diagnostics of IT and telecommunication networks,
  • Inspection of the occupational safety and indoor environments

For More Information: http://www.metrel.si/

 

kontekstLogo2

Kontekst Creative Business Consultancy

Provides a wide range of consulting services for emerging and developing companies in Slovenia. Growing companies for specific situations need a consultant to the complex seniorsko marketing, managerial skills and also experience in the implementation of operational marketing content, realization of communication strategies.  The companies business model and our professional skills to promote creativity in companies, on the basis of workshops with employees to help create a working atmosphere that motivates, promotes ideas and their promoters - internal entrepreneurs and encourage them to translating the ideas into real projects.

For More Information:  http://www.kontekst-svetovanje.si/si/

 

robotinaLogo

Robotina, Ltd.

Robotina Ltd. was established in 1990 and is a process control and automation systems developer and supplier. Robotina provides a wide variety of solutions for processes automation control and supervising systems in the food & beverage industry, for telemetry and control, and for energy management. The company also provides security systems and energy management solutions for the metal, stone and wood processing industries, as well as textile and transportation industries.

Our company not only offers products but also services and complete solutions. Our services include research, development and production of custom-designed electronic components and today already widely known PLC controller CyBro.  Robotina is one of the leading providers of renewable energy solutions in Slovenia. We have also developed a wide range of equipment and solutions including solar plant supervisory system, string monitors, control units and application software.

For More Information: http://www.robotina.si

 

tajfunLogo

Tajfun Planina d.o.o.

Tajfun provides complete and integrated forestry machinery solutions, with efficient service and after sales support. Main products are firewood processors, logging winches, cranes and electronic digital calipers with its log scaling and timber cruising software to support fluid work in the field. Tajfun’s customers are distributors and dealers of our machines. We work through a large worldwide spread network of dealers and have subsidiaries located in the USA (Bellingham, WA), Russia (Moscow), Brazil (Curitiba) and Serbia. Final customers, the actual users of our products, vary from farmers, woodlot owners, big companies that manage forested areas, professional foresters and loggers, national institutions managing national or state forests and others.

More Information: http://www.tajfun.com/

 

asodvetnikiLogo

Avbreht, Zajc & Partners

AZP is a full-service law firm in Ljubljana, Slovenia, providing a broad range of advisory services and legal representation to both national and international clients. The firm's main expertise is in the fields of Corporate and Commercial law, Competition Law, Public Procurement and Intellectual property law. The firm has offered complete legal support in numerous stock and asset deals, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. Our specializations extend into the fields of public–private partnerships, media law and telecommunications and advanced technologies. Today we are one of the largest law firms in Slovenia.

For more Information: http://www.azodvetniki.com

 

trimoLogo

Trimo, d.d.

Trimo has been developing original and complete solutions for building envelopes, steel constructions and modular space solutions for more than 50 years. Its engineering, production and sales teams provide high efficient, innovative and sustainable solutions to meet clients most varied needs. Trimo sells its products and services across more than 60 countries worldwide and has production facilities in Slovenia, Serbia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

In its sector Trimo is regarded not only as a market leader, but also as a trend setter and a highly innovative company as proven by its receipt of numerous international awards for innovation and cooperation on projects which have received the most respected prestigious architectural awards.

For More Information: http://www.trimo.eu/

 

spirtSloveniaSPIRIT Slovenia

A Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Development, Investment and Tourism. By connecting different stakeholders of the support environment and promoting the development of its services, we are creating an environment in which enterprising and innovative individuals bring their ideas to fruition, which leads to successful market realisation.

Through implementation and development and the support of promotional activities and cooperation in designing various media contents, we raise the citizens’ awareness of the importance that entrepreneurship wields in the realisation of the citizens’ development potential, thus contributing, in the long-term, to the increase in new jobs and the growth and development of companies.

For More Information: http://www.spiritslovenia.si/

 

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Food and Fun:

Food and Drinks will be provided by a number of local Food and Beverage companies...  including:

Classic Brewing         Antlers/Hilton

classicBrewingLogo

 

antlersLogo

 

 

 

 

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RSVP's Recommended:

For capacity planning and food and beverage logistics, please visit either the Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group or LnB Connectors Meetup Pages to officially register for the event.  If you are already a meetup member you know the drill.  

CSELogoSm

 

MeetupSite RSVP Link Here:  Register for Evening with Entrepreneurs

 

 

LNBlogo

 

LnB Connectors Meetup Page and RSVP Link:  http://www.meetup.com/LnBConnectors/

 

If you are not a member of either Meetup Group you can elect to join, (which will allow you to RSVP for the meetings), or if you like you can send an email inquiry using this contact form:  http://www.colospgsbiz.org/contact-us and a CSE Rep will contact you.

 

Looking forward to a fun and engaging evening !

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair

CSELogoSm

 

 

April 2015 Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group Meetup:

Our meetup this month s scheduled for Thursday April 30th at 7PM to 9PM at the East Library.

This will be a short two hour meetup with an update on our SaaS/Cloud/Internet Cluster and client activities this past month, including a presentation by one of our new SaaS/Cloud Cluster members... Mr. Joseph Polanco of NexusLabs !

1M Cups Presentation Last Week:

Joseph just did his first "public" test showing of the PI.CO.RO concept at the 1M cups last week at IvyWild, and we decided that he should go ahead and do a presentation with the CSE Group this month, so he can get the kind of detailed feedback, (both technical and business) that our group is so famous for when we "run" our speakers through our discriminating pitch and review process !  (It's all in good fun as you know, but highly educational for our presenters)... !

Here is a quick overview of NexusLabs:

Company Description:

Nexuslabs, LLC is a Colorado Springs-based early stage company, developing a SaaS Software solution called "PI.CO.RO" that enables users to search, manage and "curate" social networking comments across multiple commenting engines that are used on today’s blogging and news sites.  With PI.CO.RO, users will be able to login, post and follow conversations across multiple commenting engines, as well as “Carve Out” and “Curate” individual comment sessions with third parties and manage them in a common interface.

Current Status:

 

At this time the company is working with an early Proof of Concept platform that was created initially for evaluation as we are developing the business and technology models for a SaaS-based subscription service for internet users called "PI.CO.RO":  It is a "Comment Curation"  platform.  And at this time, as far as we know... no complete and low cost social networking tool exists to login, post, and aggregate as well as follow conversations across different commenting platforms.  It’s also difficult for B2B businesses to monitor conversations that have spun off discussion boards hosted on their website.  Also, it’s not always prudent or desired to continue “commenting publicly” with a prospective client, when you really want to continue the discussion “off-line privately”.  However, with PI.CO.RO, we believe this will be possible and convenient.

Pitching at CSE Group:

We are interested in getting early user feedback and input on the early "Proof of Concept" or POC solution that Jo had developed as we begin to develop a more robust MVP solution moving forward. The early POC was developed to test the concept out on a single commenting engine.  We are planning on creating a second more robust MVP platform so we can test out a number of new product and service concepts around the "Comment Curation" business model.  So this early "sneak peak" is a way for us to accomplish this early User Feedback step.

 About Joseph:

Jo's background in business and finance has prepped him for his first technology start-up.  As a Finance pro in New York City for many years he learned the rough and tumble ways of the Commercial Real Estate market.  In addition to working in the Construction business locally,  he is interested in honing his skills as a start-up CEO and that's why he approached the CSE Group initially to network with our group and plug into our local SaaS/Cloud Internet cluster.

Jo's Frustration with existing blogging/news commenting engines and solutions has been years in the making.   Having worked intensely with multiple social media sites and third party commenting platforms over the years…  Joseph became frustrated with how tedious it was trying to work efficiently with multiple commenting platforms at the same time. He started looking online for an alternative.  After realizing there were few alternatives, that’s when the idea of PI.CO.RO was born.  Joseph formed a small team of developers to develop a possible solution and created a proof of concept version.

But now he needs to take the company to the next step in the process... raising some capital, developing the MVP version, and seeking out early customers and users.

openmic2Open Mic Night:

And again tonight we will have our popular "Open Mic Night" where you get to "Take the Mic from Mike". 

If you have some successes you want to report on, some challenges you are facing, or want to find out more about some of the other Entrepreneurs and Companies in the CSE Group, now is your chance.  Talks can span from a minute to 5 minutes to 10 minutes, (as long as you are engaging and interesting you can command the floor) !

I'm always amazed at the creative and wide-ranging exchanges we get into when we loosen the ties, and go with Open Mic...

Come hear Jo's story and pitch and help provide some of the feedback he is looking for !

See you Thursday night !

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair

 

March 2015 Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group Meetup

CSE Group Members:

This month we will be holding our first Veteran Venture Ventilator Meetup, (which is a new Entrepreneurship Program for Vets that the CSE Group and Ensemble is now developing), to support the growth and support of our local Veterans in Colorado Springs and throughout Colorado who are developing new small businesses, or joining existing seed or development stage companies.

I will provide an initial overview presentation about our new Veteran Venture Ventilator Program, (See below), and we will have two Veteran Presentations from local CSE Group Veterans, (Also See Below)

The Need for the Veteran Venture Ventilator (VVV) Program:

Both here in Colorado and in cities and communities across the USA, veterans made up only 6% of all new entrepreneurs last year in the US, compared to 12% in 2000 according to research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, which focuses on all forms of entrepreneurial activity.  That’s a 50% decline in new veteran-owned business start ups and a continuance of a decline which began over two decades ago.

Findings also show civilians are far more likely to launch new businesses although that is a reverse trend from  just four years ago.  From 1999 until 2008, veterans started their own businesses at a greater rate than civilians, but from 2009 on, civilians have outpaced veterans in starting new companies.

Why has their been such a decline since 2009?

It seems that older veterans that had a higher rate of business ownership are now retiring and younger veterans (who appear less interested in starting their own businesses), are opting for college or trade school pursuits after their military service.  In fact, a recent survey of veterans who left the military between 2004 and 2006 showed that 48% participated in the Montgomery GI Bill, which provides college education and career instruction.

But it looks like the trends are starting to reverse...

According to the most recent U.S. Census Data, veteran-owned firms represent 9% of all U.S. firms.  These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employed over 5.8 million individuals. Transitioning service members are natural entrepreneurs, possessing the training, experience, and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs.

So, if you are a transitioning service member interested in applying or learning more about our programs and service offerings, please come to this initial Meetup for an introductory briefing on some of our new Entrepreneurial Skills Training Programs for Veterans.

Part of the Venture Development Clustering Initiative:

This new outreach program is an extension of our Venture Development Clustering Program to focus on the creation of a number of key vertical market clustering and micro-funding initiatives to help drive start-up and seed stage innovation and capital formation in our local community.

Veteran Speakers for The March 2015  Meetup:

This month we will have two presentations from two of our CSE Group Members who are Military Veterans... Mr. Daniel Glanville, and Mr. Brian Siravo who will provide some updates on their local business activities.  See below for a quick summary.   

Mr. Brian Siravo, President & Owner, Accinctus, LLC

About the Company: http://www.accinctus.com/

Accinctus provides complete business preparedness and continuity consulting services helping any business or organization proactively prepare for disasters and disruptive events.  Accinctus is your preparedness partner building long-term resiliency programs on a fee for service or retainer basis. 

In Brian's presentation at this Month's Meetup he will be covering some new Non-Profit Organizational programs he is launching called "Prep4FBO" that are Preparedness Programs for faith-based and non-profit organizations of any size.

About Brian: 

He is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and Certified ISO 22301 Lead Auditor with more than 20 years of experience in business continuity to include risk assessments and business impact analysis; mitigation, response, and recovery planning; training and awareness programs; exercises; and program improvement and maintenance. His experience in emergency operations, disaster preparedness, logistics, organization transformation and process improvement and various aspects of contingency planning contribute to my belief that business continuity planning should apply to large and small business.

Daniel Glanville, Financial Advisor at Precision Wealth Management

About the Company:  http://precisionwealthmgt.com/

Daniel, will be presenting an overview about his financial services geared for Veterans as one of the key financial advisers for Precision Wealth Management.

About Daniel:

His title may be Financial Advisor, but he considers himself more of a "coach". In it's original meaning a "coach" was a vehicle meant to get you from one destination to the next. It did not matter where you were, a coach would pick you up and take you one or more stops closer to your final destination. It could even take you all the way there.

This is Daniel's philosophy as an adviser. Whether you are in your sixties and planning your retirement, in your 20's and just getting started, or somewhere in between he would like to help make it at least one step closer to your final destination.

Meeting Logistics:

We are scheduled for a full 3 hour meetup this month on Thursday March 26th at 6PM to 9PM at the East Library.   Hope to see many of our new members there for our special Veteran Meetup.  It should be a fun and engaging meeting!

Regards,

Mike Schmidt, Chair

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