Women business owners in Colorado are in good company. There are so many female makers, innovators, and leaders in our community that Forbes recently rated it one of the top places to take risks for women entrepreneurs. We think one of the things that makes our community unique is all the amazing resources we have for women founders. In May, we posted a great article with small business resources for all Denver-based entrepreneurs. We’d like to dive a little deeper and look at the organizations specifically focused on helping our hard-charging females out there.
The resources listed below vary in ownership, structure, and purpose. From donor-driven nonprofits to privately funded events, some of these organizations explicitly focus on women-centered community development, female-owned business development and mentorship, or a combination of community networking and opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. Here is our list of resources for women entrepreneurs in Colorado.
Based in Boulder, MergeLane accelerates, mentors, and invests in high-growth startups led by at least one female founder or cofounder. They convene startups that are busy building an exciting and diverse range of products, rather than targeting a specific sector such as technology or environmentally-focused enterprises. MergeLane’s program is based on the data that proves venture-backed, female-led companies produce higher returns, and they’re working hard to find and fund “outstanding female-led companies outside of the accelerator cohort.”
In 2015, MergeLane’s accelerator program included local alumni such as Havenly, the online interior designers, as well as Mapistry, a web-based app that helps users understand local stormwater regulations.
Interested? Be sure to check out some of their upcoming events including their Women’s Leadership Camp. Also, don’t forget to apply for their 12-week business accelerator program, which is now accepting applications for 2017.
Cofounded by writers Bridget Rector and Kelly O’Reilly, The Coterie is Denver’s first women’s coworking community. Whether you’re still hatching your startup plan, are working as a freelancer, or you’re a remote employee, you should definitely check out their space. They offer flexible membership plans that give women the chance to mix it up, get out of the house, and network with other kick-butt, hard-working females. Their packages range from one to four shared workspace days per week and an a la carte option. Check out their website for more info!
Based in the UK, SheSays is an international trade organization that offers free mentorship and events to women working in digital media, technology, and business. Launched in 2014, SheSays Denver hosts inspiring, industry-relevant educational workshops and facilitates networking events for women every quarter. SheSays also has a chapter in Boulder that is 1,298 members strong. Check out their meetup page to sign up for upcoming events.
Women Who Startup
We included Women Who Startup (WWS) in our May post, but we had to include them again here due to all their exciting new releases and the awesome events coming down the pike.
In June, WWS launched season two of their WWS Radio podcast. Seven episodes have been released thus far and every single one of them is sure to inspire. Check out the stories of these women entrepreneurs who are out there leading companies, innovating new products, and changing the face of entrepreneurship.
Coming up! On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, Women Who Startup will host their annual Summit celebration at Galvanize’s Golden Triangle campus. The event brings local entrepreneurs together for a dynamic conversation where they share lessons learned and celebrate the accomplishments of female entrepreneurs in Denver while creating the space and opportunity for more women to join the movement. This event consistently attracts several hundred attendees each year – you don’t want to miss it!
Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
If you haven’t already joined the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CWCC) make sure you sign up now and start networking! The CWCC provides learning and mentorship opportunities for women and hosts almost 100 events each year (check out their jam-packed events calendar). It’s a wonderful resource whether you’re just starting to build your professional network in Colorado or you’re looking for ongoing guidance and support to help you hit your professional milestones.
Other fantastic opportunities to learn, network, and get outdoors:
TedxMileHighWomen: It’s About Time
TedxMileHighWomen: It’s About Time will explore the triumph, ingenuity, and achievement of our region’s brightest women. The event will take place at the Buell Theater in downtown Denver on Friday, October 28, 2016. That afternoon, there will be two speaker sessions produced live in addition to a session streamed from TEDWomen 2016 in San Francisco. Early Bird ticket packages are available online so save your seat!
Girl Develop It
Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization with local chapters in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. They provide opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development. They’re working hard to bring more women into technology and have a host of free online resources for anyone interested in learning web concepts, programming fundamentals, and more. Check out their website to learn more about their chapters and upcoming events.
Bold Betties began as a Denver-based community of adventurers and has grown into a platform for women to pursue outdoor experiences in a supportive, non-intimidating environment. Bold Betties facilitates domestic outings and international travel opportunities and also sells and rents gear for camping, hiking, climbing, and more. They’re founded, owned, and led by women making them an unmissable local resource for women looking to get outdoors in Colorado and beyond.
We hope these resources give you a few ideas of where you can plug-in for the feedback and inspiration you need to grow your business. For more great resources (open to both women and men), check out our post Small Business Resources in Denver, CO! Did we miss an awesome organization that you think we should include? Write us a note in the comments below and we’ll add it for our next edition.