Event to help veteran entrepreneurs start and grow businesses


The 11th Annual Veterans Small Business Conference will be held in Colorado Springs Thursday, April 5, boasting new education topics as well as new roundtables on cybersecurity and health.

Hosted by the Colorado Small Business Development Center, it’s billed as the year’s premier business training event for veteran entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business.

“The purpose of this is event is to support our active duty transitioning military, separated [service members], veterans, retired military and their families with the small business support they need to start or grow their businesses in Colorado,” Aikta Marcoulier, executive director of the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, said in an email. “It is very important to the Colorado SBDC network to ensure our military knows of the support they have to realize and grow their dreams in Colorado — not just the Pikes Peak Region.

“However, because of our location, it makes sense that our local office is the host of our statewide event. We are very engaged in the needs for Workforce Development and assisting our transitioning military with their entrepreneurial goals is important.”

Marcoulier said any small business owner is welcome to attend and choose from the conference’s three education tracks: start up; growth; and contracts/certification.

The keynote speakers are Althea Coetzee Leslie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Jessica Failkovich, president of Transworld Business Advisors.

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The event’s new roundtables are Cybersecurity for Small Business, which is part of the SBDC’s Techsource/Cyber CYA program, and For the Health of It!, a new program launched by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in partnership with the Colorado SBDC Network.

The conference will be held at The Pinery at the Hill, 775 W. Bijou St., 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The cost is $10 per attendee, including breakfast and lunch.

“The event is currently sold out but we are trying to open up a few more spots,” Marcoulier said. “Keep an eye on the registration page.”

Registration is at pikespeaksbdc.org/events/veterans.

For more information, contact Pikes Peak SBDC at 719-667-3803 or sbdc@elpasoco.com