Powder_Pitch 2024 Greatest Hits


Holy smokes! Powder_Pitch 2.0 did NOT disappoint! In fact, it truly exceeded all of our expectations. In case you're new here, Powder_Pitch is the quintessential Colorado networking event for mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs currently enrolled in our Ascent accelerator program. An essential part of our 12-week program is not only matching the companies in our cohorts with world-class mentorship, but also suppporting their fundraising intiatives. So we created Powder_Pitch as a really unique way to create intentional moments to connect, while catskiing at Monarch Mountain. Because we are the Central Mountain Ascent after all, and at our very core are driven [...]

Powder_Pitch 2024 Greatest Hits2024-04-11T16:21:26+00:00

2024 Ascent Launch Event Recap


Our 2024 SOLD OUT Ascent Launch Event surpassed our wildest dreams. Thanks a million to our Partner & Startup Story Spotlights, to the Ascent House Band, delicious Beverage Sponsors and Funding Partners, and our Title Sponsor Collegiate Peaks Bank! We couldn't have pulled this off without you! We hope you'll enjoy the beautiful moments captured by Amanda Podesta! For those of you that were not able to make it, please allow us to introduce you to our 2024 Ascent Accelerator Companies. We couldn't be more proud and honored to work with this new crew of impactful entrepreneurs. Menopausey - menopausey.com Pescavida [...]

2024 Ascent Launch Event Recap2024-04-11T14:23:18+00:00

2023 Rapid_Pitch Recap


The remarkable natural environment and world class outdoor recreation we enjoy in the Central Mountain regions has drawn talented people to our community for generations. Today, the Chaffee County EDC is leveraging uniquely Chaffee County activities, like backcountry cat skiing at Monarch Mountain and high-water river trips down The Numbers and Browns Canyon with River Runners, to attract business growth experts from around Colorado to share their time and insights with local entrepreneurs. In the spring, we tested this approach by hosting Powder_Pitch @ Monarch Mountain. To say it was a hit is something of an understatement: The event drew 45 [...]

2023 Rapid_Pitch Recap2023-07-24T18:45:21+00:00

Salida-based Oveja Negra Awarded $99,350 Through Outdoor Recreation Industry Grant


On May 11 the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC) of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced 24 recipients of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Impact Fund (ORIIF). These competitive grants are intended to help outdoor recreation industry businesses and nonprofits hire and retain over 100 full-time and part-time positions, especially for those businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Oveja Negra, a sports accessories manufacturer based in Salida, was among the recipients and was awarded a substantial grant of $99,350 to aid in the recruitment and retention of local employees. This Chaffee County business, founded by Lane Willson, is [...]

Salida-based Oveja Negra Awarded $99,350 Through Outdoor Recreation Industry Grant2023-06-01T23:36:53+00:00

Salida-based DRAM Wins BIG at the 2023 Good Food Awards with Three New Honors


As an advocate for entrepreneurship in the Central Mountains, the Chaffee County EDC team loves to highlight the success of great local companies and founders. Today, we're shining a little light on one of Salida's low-key but far-reaching product brands, DRAM. And while we're at it, let's note the leadership of founder Brady Becker, who serves as a key mentor for the Chaffee County EDC’s Central Mountain Ascent business accelerator and is a member of the local Ark_Angels investor group! Read the full press release below. ------- SALIDA, Colorado (April 21, 2023) – Salida, Colorado-based DRAM (www.DramApothecary.com) received the prestigious Good [...]

Salida-based DRAM Wins BIG at the 2023 Good Food Awards with Three New Honors2023-06-01T23:36:58+00:00

2023 Ascent Startup Summit Recap


It will be quite some time before we can put into actual words what unfolded at our 2nd Annual Ascent Startup Summit. To say we are inspired and impressed with this entrepreneurial movement happening in Chaffee County would be the understatement of the year. Our 2023 Ascent Startup Summit took place last Thursday, April 20th at the stunning Surf Hotel in Buena Vista, Colorado and celebrated entrepreneurs, dreamers, and doers in our mountain community. We connected and listened to inspiring stories from the masterminds behind Weston Backcountry, Topo Designs, and Icelantic Skis. They each shared the highs and lows of their [...]

2023 Ascent Startup Summit Recap2023-04-24T00:36:12+00:00

2023 Ascent Powder_Pitch Recap


Simply, wow. Earlier this month we had the incredible honor of hosting our inaugural Powder_Pitch @ Monarch Mountain. The testimonials have been rolling in and the prevailing feeling was that this was among the best business events that our attendees had participated in. Throughout two days, participants received nearly $20,000 in complimentary consulting from some of the leading business growth advisors and mentors in the state.  And, the vibe was HIGH! Honestly how could it not be when you mix entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, live music, and fresh mountain snow with some epic backcountry cat-skiing to boot! We want to give a [...]

2023 Ascent Powder_Pitch Recap2023-03-15T19:21:49+00:00

2023 Ascent Lauch Recap


It's been less than a month since we hosted our 2nd Annual Ascent Launch event and we're still reeling from this sold-out celebration. The community support, incredible start-up stories, and generous sponsors, truly made the night an unforgettable one. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to our 2023 Cohort! Get to know these remarkable companies, some of which are already making a really big impact in rural Colorado, and check out our full event recap below.  Introducing 📣 The Ascent 2023 Cohort! B1: Sustainable, Renewable, and Regenerative Energy Buena Goods CarbonKicker, Inc DifferentKind HOA Guru Knome Little Red Hen [...]

2023 Ascent Lauch Recap2023-02-15T14:32:24+00:00

Local HealthTech Startup DifferentKind Wins State Grant, Secures Local Angel Funding


CHAFFEE COUNTY, COLO. – Buena Vista, Colo.-based DifferentKind, makers of an innovative technology solution to measure and improve patient outcomes in dental offices, announced today that it had been awarded a $250,000 grant funding from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Advanced Industries Accelerator grant program.      The Early-Stage Capital and Retention grant supports businesses commercializing innovative and disruptive technologies that will be created or manufactured in Colorado. Grants help promote the growth and sustainability of advanced industries across the state by driving innovation and commercialization that move this vital part of the Colorado economy forward.   [...]

Local HealthTech Startup DifferentKind Wins State Grant, Secures Local Angel Funding2022-11-22T18:56:28+00:00

Ascent Spotlights: Meet Katabatic Gear


Ascent Spotlights: Meet Katabatic In our new blog series, Ascent Spotlights, we shine a light on the entrepreneurs and mentors in our Ascent accelerator. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Katabatic Gear which originated in 2009 out of founder Aaron Martray’s desire to create a warm, light, sleeping experience using quilt-style sleeping bags, known today as simply quilts. Katabatic’s intentional design approach began, and moves forward with, some key tenets in mind such as draft control, lightweight durable construction, and simplicity. Katabatic facilitates positive front and backcountry adventures by providing quilts and other backcountry gear that provide a peaceful and [...]

Ascent Spotlights: Meet Katabatic Gear2022-10-13T17:33:34+00:00


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