Nov 21, 2019

Season 2 – Crisis Solutions for Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneurs

At Startup Colorado, we work with change agents across the state who are dedicated to building for rural communities. They may be small, but their stories are big. We’re chatting with entrepreneurs and community champions who are responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in innovative and inspiring ways.

If you know of an entrepreneur rising to this unprecedented occasion, let us know. We’d love to tell their story. We’re looking for startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes who are finding innovative solutions to transform their business during this crisis. Their story can inform and inspire other rural entrepreneurs and keep us moving forward.

Email your idea to

Episode 12: An Apothecary, an Herbalist, and COVID-19

When Briana Wiles came down with an assumed case of COVID-19, she relied upon her background as an herbalist to cope with the symptoms. She developed new teas and tinctures from roots and herbs at home, then figured out how to make these new blends available to her customers at Rooted Apothecary in Crested Butte and Gunnison. In this episode, we hear about her experience with the virus and how it changed her as a business owner.



Episode 11: The Reopening Trail Map

Eagle County recently received an exemption to the new Safer at Home Order and is laying out a tiered approach to reopening. We chat with the county’s emergency manager, as well as business owners who are implementing health and safety protocols to keep their employees and customers safe. For other counties developing their reopening strategies, Eagle County can provide some solid advice.



Episode 10: Waste Not – Save the Food, Serve the People

When over a hundred restaurants closed for their doors, many wondered what would happen to all that food sitting in their coolers. That’s where the Good Food Collective and emergency food assistance groups in Southwest Colorado came in. Through a quick response to the pandemic, a coalition of kitchen staff, community organizers, and farmers are now providing restaurant-prepared meals for those in need.




Episode 9: A New Mentorship Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

A new mentorship program aims to help Colorado business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the growing economic crisis. Erick Mueller, the Executive Director of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, introduces COVenture Forward and how business owners can take advantage of an extensive network of mentors, CU faculty, and business students.



Episode 8: Finding Calm and Clarity in a Chaotic Mind

It’s a stressful, chaotic world out there. No wonder so many of us are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. While there is some comfort in knowing that we’re all in the same boat, we want to explore ways of finding calm and clarity. This week, we speak with Jeff Kinsey from The Logos Group, a coaching and consulting business in Boulder, about how entrepreneurs can learn to let go of stressful thoughts and tackle the big challenges ahead.



Episode 7: Design Thinking in a Crisis

Design thinking is an iterative process used by entrepreneurs throughout the world. We want to know, how can this same process be used in times of crisis? This week we speak with Jonathan Ballesteros of Geyser Systems, Beth Flowers from the AIR Institute, and Beth McKeon with the Fluency Score. We’ll explore what design thinking is and some simple methods entrepreneurs and community champions can use it right now.




Episode 6: A Free Financial Advising Network
5-Minute Listen

In response to the ongoing financial crisis, The Foundry Group has teamed up with Lew’s List and High Plains Advisors to create a pro-bono COVID-19 Finance Assistance Network. The group comprises CFOs, controllers, and other senior finance professionals who are helping business owners navigate the new relief programs, as well as advice on planning for cash flow management and business planning in a post-COVID world.

In this episode, Seth Levine from The Foundry Group tells us about this new network and who should apply.




Episode 5: How One Makerspace Is Saving Lives
8-Minute Listen

Durango’s MakerLab is teaming up with Fort Lewis College and a small army of volunteers to produce protective equipment for local hospitals. Here’s how this rural makerspace transformed their day-to-day operations overnight and will soon produce $2.5 million worth of medical supplies. Features the MakerLab Director Ryan Finnigan.



Episode 4: Going Online… Overnight
6-Minute Listen

Since the Stay At Home order went into place, yoga studios and gyms have closed their doors for the foreseeable future. Many, like The Sweaty Buddha in Durango, are moving their classes online to connect with their community of members. The transition isn’t as easy as turning on the camera and pressing record, so we wanted to know how they’re making it happen. 


Episode 3: What Is Our Societal Obligation?
8-Minute Listen 

Packraft manufacturer Thor Tingey reveals how his business is navigating his societal obligation to slow the spread. Based in the rural town of Mancos in Southwest Colorado, Alpacka Raft has been at the forefront of promoting responsible adventuring and providing for 30+ employees in a moment of crisis.


Episode 2: One Step Ahead of “You Know What”
7-Minute Listen

Josh Niernberg is the co-owner of three restaurants in Grand Junction. When the need for social distancing and staying at home meant customers could no longer dine-in, Josh revamped his entire business structure to stay one step ahead of You Know What. Episode 2 of Startup Colorado’s new podcast examines how one restaurant owner is responding to the crisis.


Episode 1: “We can do this” – A Note to Entrepreneurs
4-Minute Listen

The Startup Colorado team is pivoting in response to the ongoing crisis by providing a new podcast series featuring rural entrepreneurs and community champions who are rising to the occasion. In our first episode, we hear from Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser and Startup Colorado’s Managing Director Delaney Keating.

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