Letter: Entrepreneurial Aspen
I’m grateful for this community — the promise it has held for decades and the promise it continues to hold for the future.
My wife, Jaelin, and I met while she was living in Carbondale seven years ago. Thank goodness for online dating, because I met my best friend and the person who would ultimately show me how amazing Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley are.
After a few years in Boulder, we returned to Carbondale to start our lives together in the mountains last year. I’m beyond grateful for how the community has embraced us.
One part of the community in particular has been incredibly giving and welcoming: my fellow entrepreneurs. As a serial entrepreneur, I confess to gravitating toward those with the proclivity to build something new, especially if it is “disruptive” and fundamentally changes the way we see the world or conduct our daily lives. Digital entrepreneurs in particular have the power to make a difference and improve our lives. That said, I’m no less a huge fan of the brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs, as we all face the same challenges when it comes to funding, hiring, firing, pivoting on and improving our ideas.
As a thank-you to the community as a whole, I’ve started to help galvanize the entrepreneurial community through our recently launched Entrepreneur Showcase. We visit the offices and venues where these brilliant minds actually do their work, and we have candid, honest discussions about successes, failures, lessons learned and why Aspen is a great place to build a business. Our first showcase featured Aspen Hall of Famer George Stranahan and well-known local Duncan Clauss of Aspen Brewing. The crowd of 40 people proved that we were onto something people are excited about in Aspen.
On Wednesday, a member of the new guard of entrepreneurs — Gregg Heil, CEO of Encoding.com — will be our host, and our old-guard entrepreneur is Rick Crandall, who oversaw the $2 billion sale of Novell in 2008. Rick was also technology adviser to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for five years, and he is a well-respected venture capitalist.
I’m excited about giving back to the community I am still very much getting to know. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring people together who care about this community. I’d be grateful if you’d join us online or in person
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