Please give a warm welcome to Brittany Romano, Startup Colorado’s new CEO and Executive Director. Brittany is a successful rural entrepreneur and expert in community development, who brings a wealth of experience, dedication, and passion to her new role.
“Joining an organization that creates meaningful impact for people and the places they call home is a dream come true,” Brittany said. “I look forward to connecting with everyone building for Rural Colorado.”
Her vision for the future of Startup Colorado is deeply inspired by her desire to uplift rural business owners and support organizations. She believes that rural areas are filled with untapped potential and unique opportunities for growth. Under Brittany’s leadership, Startup Colorado will continue to build a robust ecosystem that nurtures innovation and economic development in rural communities across the state.
“Startup Colorado has been and will continue to serve as a critical agent building and supporting a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rural Colorado,” Brittany said.
In her new role, Brittany will work closely with the Startup Colorado team, community leaders, and strategic partners to develop and implement programs that support rural entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders.
“I am excited to foster innovative partnerships and programming within Colorado’s rural communities, and improve the awareness around the importance of small business vitality within those communities,” she added.
While Startup Colorado has been active in the state’s entrepreneurial community since 2011, it recently relaunched as a nonprofit solely dedicated to supporting rural entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders.
“We are excited to have identified a rural leader who will continue to grow the impact of Startup Colorado as it accelerates into the next phase of driving rural entrepreneurship and diversifying the Colorado economy,” said Chris Franz, Startup Colorado Board Chair. ”Brittany’s combined experience scaling a successful startup paired with her community development credentials made her the perfect candidate for this role.”
Prior to joining Startup Colorado, Brittany founded Thrive Yoga Studios, which she grew into a successful franchise that supported small business owners in the health and wellness industry. Unlike other franchise systems, Brittany and her team focused on the impacts of cultivating conscious communities. The goal of the organization was to help aspiring entrepreneurs build a business model that could thrive in any sized community.
After purchasing her first business in 2016, Brittany then went on to acquire a second location. She then rolled those two locations into the Thrive Yoga Studio brand, and franchised five additional locations. Because Brittany has first hand experience launching, scaling, and exiting businesses in Rural Colorado, she understands the unique challenges and opportunities that entrepreneurs and small business owners face.
Before founding Thrive Yoga Studios, Romano held directorial level positions with numerous national and international community development organizations. In those roles she developed business models that would increase access to vital resources, remove entrepreneurial barriers, and improve community sustainability at a grassroots level. Her nonprofit experience has equipped her with the insights needed to guide Startup Colorado in its mission to build thriving entrepreneurial communities.
Taylor Grande, Startup Colorado’s outgoing CEO and Executive Director, recently joined the Board of Directors and expressed enthusiasm for Brittany’s appointment.
“Brittany’s deep experience launching, growing, and exiting a successful business from Rural Colorado paired with her enthusiasm and passion for supporting entrepreneurial communities makes her an inspiring leader for Startup Colorado. This essential organization is in good hands!”
Under Brittany’s guidance, Startup Colorado is poised to play an even more influential role in the rural entrepreneurial landscape, fostering innovation, driving economic growth, and empowering rural communities throughout the state.
Brittany has lived in both Crested Butte and Fruita, and is now located in Silverthorne. Beginning Thursday, October 5, 2023, Brittany will be available for weekly “Conversations with the Community” office hours, and invites anyone interested in learning more about her vision for Startup Colorado to book an appointment.