Why Telluride

REIMAGINING WHAT IS POSSIBLE IN A MOUNTAIN TOWN


Telluride has a rich history of innovation and risk taking. It was the first city in the world to have the local mines and street lights lit by a long distance AC current by none other than Nichola Tesla. It was one of the most productive silver and gold mining towns in Colorado during its heyday in the 19th century, and it has set the bar for world class resorts since the 1970s.  

Today, it affords some of the best quality of life imaginable while still being plugged into a global network of innovators and startups. We are a community of global citizens leading some of the largest and most progressive companies on the planet.

We believe you can have the quality of life that Telluride offers AND solve meaningful, global problems. Together we can not only build an amazing community for families and neighbors here in Telluride, but we can make our dent in the universe too. 

Building on Success

Over the past 4 years, Telluride Venture Accelerator has pioneered the way for the conversation around building real companies in a mountain town. As the first accelerator of it's kind in the world, it has proven that real companies can build and thrive here. Since 2012, 18 startup companies have graduated the program and raised over $1 million dollars with the help of an incredible network of more than 90 mentors. Also, over 87 jobs have been created as a result of affiliated companies. 

Telluride also has a $6M fund for early stage startups called Telluride Venture Fund which has historically invested in ~50% of all TVA graduating companies. 

With other resort towns starting to visit and reach out from around the world, it is clear that something meaningful has been established. It is time to double down as a community and realize our full potential to extend just a program to a broader, community owned and led effort to make Telluride an amazing place for entrepreneurs and a global hub for entrepreneurial thinking. 

Supporting Cast

"IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A STARTUP."

We're fortunate to have had some visionaries to help jumpstart and invest in this effort {Telluride FoundationTelluride Venture FundTelluride Venture Accelerator} and now it's up to us to take it further. 

Communities are built form the bottom up, and we need your help, whether you're brand new to town, or the world of startups, or you're the founder and CEO of a FT500 company that loves this place. We're all in this together and it's not going to happen overnight.

We are innovators and entrepreneurs ourselves, and we're taking an entrepreneurial approach to building our entrepreneurial community.  

Why Now

In the startup world, we talk about something being the right thing at the right time with the right people. We're convinced we have all 3. It is a window of opportunity. 

Right Thing: We've proven that Telluride can attract high growth entrepreneurs and their startups can grow and thrive here. We can attract some of the world's most successful business people to support this with both their time and money. 

Right Time: It has never been easier to work remotely yet be globally connected. The need to reinvigorate our local economy and establish a true middle class not dependent on the resort industry is more apparent than ever. Also, with dozens of other mountain towns looking at similar models, Telluride is currently a thought leader and first mover. We have an opportunity to lead a movement. Carpe Diem!

Right Place: We've got entrepreneurial leaders that have helped stand this thing up and they are attracting other great entrepreneurs. This isn't a top down effort. This is by real entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs in one of the most authentic mountain communities in the world. 

Thesis and Approach

Density - Our first focus is on creating density around the effort in 3 forms:

Physical: a co-working space to create a hub of activity and collaboration

Human: build the human networks locally and globally through events and mentor programs 

Capital: ensure local companies have access to the capital they need and even attract regional and global companies with related interests.  

Building a Sutainable Community

This isn't just about attracting outside companies. This is about creating a future for our kids. Imagine our high school students being able to take classes in Computer Science or International Business and then getting to intern for a local company doing business on a global scale. 

We're creating a true middle class. What if that lift operator (who also bartends and has her MBA) could actually find a job here making more than minimum wage and tips? Imagine if locals could afford the homes that are typically left vacant for most of the year? What if there were jobs that were paid by a base of global cliental and not just tourists? In today's age, the world is our market, and the jobs we create and foster here can contribute to a vibrant and sustainable economy.