Pitch Night finds permanant home downtown

Colorado Springs Pitch Night has a permanent location at the Epicentral co-working space on Tejon Street.

It’s an effort to help stabilize entrepreneurial activity and build on the buzz around local startups, said Etienne Hardre, Peak Venture Group Pitch Night organizer.

Peak Venture Group, a nonprofit networking organization that encourages and mentors entrepreneurs, launched Pitch Night last August. The idea is to give entrepreneur hopefuls a chance to be discovered – where they have five minutes to make a pitch about their great business idea in front of local business leaders and possible angel investors. When the monthly event started, about 15 people attended.

In recent months, about 75 people have come to hear the pitches and more than 200 people are now members of Pitch Night on Meetup.com, Hardre said.

But, each event was held at a different location. And it was getting difficult to find a place big enough for all the attendees, he said.

“We wanted to make it a more sure part of the community,” Hardre said. “I would like people to confidently know where this is going to be.”

Pitch Night is part of the growing entrepreneurial activity in Colorado Springs, which also includes Startup Colorado Springs morning coffee meetings to discuss everything from business plans to angel investing.

Colorado and the Springs recently got a nod from Brad Feld, an early-stage investor and co-founder of the Foundry Group in Boulder which has pumped hundreds of millions into information technology start-ups across the country, in his blog for efforts to invigorate startups. Business Week also recently highlighted the Springs’ startup activity.

“The fact that we have been mentioned in national news is pretty exciting,” Hardre said.

Creating an entrepreneurial culture starts from the ground up, Hardre said. And, it may take a few years but the goal of the group is to get a startup founded, funded and see it exit — thereby allowing reinvestment into other startups, he said.

Good ideas are being pitched every second Tuesday, Hardre said. Anyone who wants to pitch an idea or startup needs to have a new idea and one that is potentially highly scalable, he said. Pitch Night is modeled after a similar monthly event in Boulder.

Those making a pitch might get advice on how to improve their idea. Or, they might be told not to waste their time.

“We have a 10-year plan,” he said. “Our goal is 10 years out and to incrementally be doing more than the previous year.”