Central Mountain Ascent

Meet the Ascent Winter ‘23 Accelerator Cohort!

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About Central Mountain Entrepreneurs

Central Mountain Entrepreneurs is a purpose-built collaboration of founders, funders, mentors, and advisors aimed at supporting startup growth and innovation in Colorado’s Central Mountains. 

Learn More About Central Mountain Ascent’s Winter ’23 cohort!

We’ve recruited the best businesses and ideas in the Central Mountain region to participate in an innovative new eight-week business growth program.

Backed by some of the best business minds in Colorado and beyond, participants in our winter 2023 cohort will experience a level of startup and scaleup support that has never existed in the Central Mountains business community. Until now.

Over eight weeks, participating companies will receive highly targeted free mentorship from elite business executives and trainers, covering current best practices ranging from business growth strategies and lean startup methodology to legal, funding, accounting and taxes, intellectual property, real estate, and human resources.


How it works.

Participating companies will come together for the next eight weeks, 3 hours per week, building community and a network of support as they engage in group training with our industry experts and partners. An additional one or two hours a week will be devoted to engaging 1:1 with those and other experts diving deep into the specific business challenges of each participating team.


ascent | as·​cent | noun

1athe act of rising or mounting upwardCLIMB

Central Mountain Entrepreneurs is a startup community committed to building equitable, sustainable economic development through collaboration and continuous learning. Our Ascent business accelerator supports innovation and entrepreneurship by creating an ecosystem of growth resources to propel makers and doers startup and scale, while elevating their communities and serving as a pillar for social good.




CME Mentors & Advisors

The power of any accelerator program is the quality of its mentor and advisor network. Ours is world class. From investors and serial entrepreneurs to seasoned ecosystem builders, our mentors come from a broad set of backgrounds and are committed to supporting your success. They understand that helping your business grow is central to creating sustainable, equitable economic opportunity in rural America. Get to know our incredible network of mentors here.

Thomas Knoll
Thomas Knoll Founder and CEO, The Innovators CoLab
Thomas Knoll is an entrepreneur and business professional with a track record of success in diverse environments. He has international business experience across multiple industries including corporate innovation management and consulting, technology, e-commerce, outdoor and sports equipment, apparel, sustainable and technical hard goods, and importing and distribution.
Taylor Grande
Taylor GrandeDirector, Startup Colorado
Taylor Grande currently serves as the Director of Partnerships & Ecosystem Development for Startup Colorado, an organization dedicated to ensuring rural Colorado founders, entrepreneurs and startups have access to the resources they need to start and scale businesses in the places they call home.
Eric Byington
Eric ByingtonEntrepreneur/Ecosystem Builder
Eric Byington has worked with a wide variety of economic development projects and startup initiatives across various industries throughout his career. He spent nearly 10 years working on international economic development projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America, specifically focusing on education and healthcare initiatives and impact investment projects in water and sanitation.

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