Today, Silicon Flatirons, Startup Colorado, and the Telluride Foundation are publishing the Outcomes Report from the Rural Entrepreneurial Policy Academy. The Academy was hosted virtually on November 13 and 14, 2020 and sought to educate and encourage rural entrepreneurs on how to engage in and advocate for stronger legislative policies. The report details the programming covered in the Academy as well as key observations and lessons. It is now available for download, thanks to student editor and researcher, Lily Zafran.
The Academy consisted of eight rural entrepreneurs and leaders who attended a series of 30-minute classes covering topics related to technology policy and advocacy. Following the Academy, a virtual policy forum hosted by Telluride Foundation allowed entrepreneurs to present concepts and policy recommendations to state and federal legislative and agency representatives. The Forum was moderated by Brad Bernthal, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Law School and Director of the Entrepreneurship Initiative for the Silicon Flatirons Center. Wendy Guillies, President and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, was introduced by Dan Tishman, the Chair of Telluride Foundation’s Board of Directors, to address the state of entrepreneurship in America.
The Forum marked the beginning of an ongoing, robust dialogue between rural entrepreneurs and policymakers. The cohort will continue to work in an online networking group at StartupColorado.org dedicated to Rural Entrepreneurial Policy. Moving forward, the group desires to form an ongoing, informal coalition for rural small businesses in Colorado.