Startup Colorado Springs hosts big-name entrepreneurs for speaker series

Startup Colorado Springs is stepping up the game and bringing in big-name entrepreneurs to talk startup shop and field questions.

Startup Colorado Springs, which organized last year as a way to connect Springs entrepreneurs with one another and jump start the entrepreneurial scene, has six well-known entrepreneurs lined up over the next six months for early-morning coffee meetings. Last year, the monthly coffee meetings had an open format, but now the group is switching it up with an educational format.

“Many local entrepreneurs have enjoyed the informal open coffee club events that we’ve been putting on and we decided to change the format for a few months,” said Chris Franz, Startup Colorado Springs board member. “We’ll be hearing from extremely insightful entrepreneurs with a vast range of experiences.”

First up is Brad Feld, a managing director at Foundry Group who lives in Boulder. He will speak at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 6 at Epicentral, 409 N. Tejon Street, Suite 106. Foundry Group is a venture capital firm focused on making investments in early-stage information technology, Internet and software startups. Its current venture fund of $225 million was launched in October 2010 and has invested in more than 100 companies as institutional investors and more than 50 companies as angel investors.

The speakers will discuss various topics for 30 minutes and then take questions for 30 minutes. All discussions begin at 7:30 a.m. on the first Thursday of the month at Epicentral.

“Great entrepreneurs speak at many events but it’s rare to be able to ask them specific questions,” said Patrick Rudy, Startup Colorado Springs board member. “It was important to us that we arranged the event in a way that enabled the crowd to ask questions directly to the speakers.”

January’s speaker is David Cohen, co founder of Boulder-based TechStars, which provides seed funding from¬† more than 75 venture capital firms and angel investors and provides intense mentorship from hundreds of entrepreneurs in the world.

Future speakers include Ted Phillip, Highland Capital managing partner; Paul Berberian, Orbotix CEO; Jim Franklin, Sendgrid CEO; and Greg Gottesman, Madrona Venture Capital managing partner.