Luke Hutchison had only been home from Afghanistan about six months when he first pitched his idea for Perfect Venue.

“I am a veteran and a political science major so I didn’t know anything about business,” he said.

The executive director of Peak Startup was among those Hutchison shared his idea with.

“[Peak Startup] was very helpful right away and really helped me put together a stronger pitch idea to help get it off the ground that way,” he said.

Perfect Venue, a website that helps pair events to venues, officially launched this week during Peak Startup’s annual Startup Week.

“It just made sense because Peak Startup has helped us so much,” Hutchison said. “We thought this would be a good example to show not only are we talking about startups this week but really show how there is a benefit to being involved with the organization and how it really has positively affected us.”

Since his company’s soft launch during last year’s Startup Week, Perfect Venue has booked more than $70,000 in events for local businesses in Colorado Springs.

“That’s booked events that already occurred,” Hutchison said. “We have another $70,000 in leads, which are events that booked but haven’t occurred yet — that’s over $140,000 in economic impact that Perfect Venue has had on the local economy.”

Without Peak Startup, Hutchison believes it would have been much harder — if not impossible — to make his dream come true.

“Throughout our time, they have been great because they have all these different events like Pitch Night and of course Startup Week,” he said. “I’ve been able to go to these events and meet mentors and potential investors and potential team members. I think just building that startup community is really essential and helpful for entrepreneurs.”

Leif Ullman, a Peak Startup board member, says the organization is meant to assist local entrepreneurs who hope to start their own company, or already have.

“It can also be for entrepreneurs who might work at a large company and their company fosters that mindset and encourages the employees to think creatively and like an entrepreneur,” Ullman said. “It’s really a great place to network and meet other people and build a support group.”

Peak Startup is hosting a Pitch Night Competition at 6 p.m. tonight followed by a party at the Pikes Peak Market, 315 E, Pikes Peak Ave. This year’s Startup Week will wrap up with a final day of workshops tomorrow at the Tim Gill Center, 315 E. Costilla Street.

Visit for more information about tonight’s event as well as upcoming networking events.

“Startups are coming out and being started in Colorado Springs as a result of all these different events and things that Peak Startup does,” Hutchison said. “I’m very grateful for everything the organization has done to help me start Perfect Venue.”