Dear Pikes Peak SBDC Community,

We are thrilled to introduce the first edition of our monthly newsletter! As we embark on this exciting journey, we want to share a bit about our mission, recent developments, and the promising landscape of small businesses in the Pikes Peak region.

In January 2023, our organization made a new alliance and is now hosted by the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC. This collaboration allows the Pikes Peak SBDC to leverage the Chamber's extensive resources and align seamlessly with their mission of economic development. This partnership is coming to fruition in 2024 with the ‘In The Mix’ monthly education series for entrepreneurs (photos below).

In addition to the nine chambers in El Paso and Teller County, we have also made strategic alliances with countless other organizations supporting small business. These relationships help us to cooperatively increase the impact on local businesses and make our community very appealing to new entrepreneurs.

As we navigate the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, our intent is for this monthly newsletter to become a valuable resource for you, keeping you informed about upcoming workshops, showcase the successes of local businesses, highlight the expertise of our amazing consultants, and provide valuable information related to grants, cybersecurity, community opportunities, and other challenges to entrepreneurship. We invite you to explore the content, engage with the stories of success and innovation, and participate actively in the growth of our community.

Thank you for being a part of the Pikes Peak SBDC community. Together, let's build a future where every business has the opportunity to flourish.

Warm regards,

Brandon Eldridge

Executive Director, Pikes Peak SBDC

In the Mix - February: Legislative Action for your Business

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC

Feb. 1, 11:15 am

@ Harvey House

Chamber Connection Power Hour - Breakfast Club

Fountain Valley Chamber

Feb. 2, 7:00 am

Fountain Utilities Building

Celebrity Bartender Night

Eastern Plains Chamber

Feb. 3, 7:00 pm

@ Reds American Grill

Young Professionals Coffee Meetup

Southern Colorado Women's Chamber

Feb 12, 10:00 am

@ Mandy Penn Photography

Business After Hours

The Greater Pueblo Chamber

Feb 13, 5:00 pm

@ Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce

2024 State of the Region

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC

Feb. 15, 9:00 am

@ Ent Center for the Arts

Rocky Mountain Cyberspace Symposium

AFCEA International

Feb. 19 – 22

@ The Broadmoor Hotel

Chamber Business After Hours

Greater Woodland Park Chamber

Feb. 20, 5:30 pm

@ Park State Bank & Trust

Sunset Meet & Greet

Southern Colorado Women's Chammber

Feb. 22, 5:00 pm

@ New Altitude Co-Working Space

Annual Banquet: More in Store 2024

Royal Gorge Chamber Alliance

Feb. 23, 5:00 pm

@ Marchand Ranch Weddings & Events Venue

45th Annual Dinner Dance Celebration

Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo

Feb. 24, 6:00 pm

@ Pueblo Convention Center

Go Fish Food Truck was established in 2018, opened in 2019, and expanded into Avenue 19, downtown’s newest food hall and entertainment space, in 2023. Go Fish is owned by Christina Voreadis, a Colorado Springs native, who is passionate about sharing her delicious seafood with the people of her hometown.

Go Fish loves giving back to the community and being that Christina is a former educator, helping kids and others are motivating factors in the philanthropic efforts that Go Fish pursues. Go Fish often works with local school districts and community organizations to provide school supplies and gifts to children in need in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas. Christina has continued to support schools and recently gave a lesson to first grade students at The Colorado Springs School about entrepreneurship and what is needed to make a small business successful.

Christina is also passionate about helping others succeed and worked with Mayor Yemi Mobolade when he was the small business administrator of the city to

create a road map for starting a food truck to provide guidance for people looking to get into the industry. In addition, Christina served as a certified SBDC mentor for about a year and has worked closely with both the SBDC and the BBB in planning for the annual Food Truck Cook-Off.

Go Fish looks forward to catching you soon around town in the food truck or downtown at Avenue 19! 


Mark Spencer holds the Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 since 1997. He has over 25 years of experience in the cybersecurity field and has taught cybersecurity courses at two universities. He is a Distinguished Fellow and member of the Honor Roll of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) and President Emeritus of the Colorado Springs ISSA Chapter. He is a retired Air Force officer, husband, father and grandfather.

Q: Tell us about your background and why you consult with the SBDC?

A: Over 28 years in the field of cyber security and consulting with the SBDC offers an opportunity to give back to the community.

Q: Can you share a recent success story where you've helped a small business overcome a significant challenge? What strategies did you employ, and what were the outcomes?

A: Working with small businesses showing them how they can tighten up their security without breaking the budget is my goal. Start small with simple solutions and plan for more robust implementations when budget permits is a good strategy.

Q: What key factors should entrepreneurs consider when developing a business plan? Could you highlight some elements that are often overlooked but can have a big impact? 

A: Business plans should include plans for recovery from incidents. From needing to recover information to recovering after a disaster should be addressed before something happens, else the probability of doing something wrong during the recovery is higher than it should be.

Q: What trends do you foresee in the small business sector in the coming year? How can entrepreneurs prepare themselves to stay competitive in light of these trends? 

A: Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and costs small businesses to fold. Businesses should keep up with cyber threats and solutions by using the consulting services and training available through their SBDC.

Q: Could you share a piece of advice that you find yourself giving to entrepreneurs time and time again? Something that's universally valuable for anyone starting or running a small business? 

A: If you think attacks only happen to other people, look in the mirror - you are the other person.

Interested in a no-cost consulting meeting with Mark? Click here.

Manufacturer’s Edge Small Manufacturing Recovery Grants | Rolling

Helps fund costs of consultative services for manufacturers

The Well Work x Justworks - Just Thrive Program | Rolling

Up to $6,000 credit to existing businesses that have at least 50% ownership by marginalized founder

Small Business Marketing Grant | Rolling

SEO and website evaluations for black-owned or minority-owned (BIPOC) businesses who would want to improve their existing website

Colorado Springs Utilities Community Focus Fund Grants | February 5 Deadline

Available to nonprofits that are focused in affordable housing, energy efficiency and water conservation, environment, food insecurity, safety and health, seniors, or youth STEM education

EPIIC at UCCS / Boot-Up Camp | February 18 Deadline

  • 16-week virtual program teaching foundational business concepts ($499 tuition)
  • Designed to help early-stage entrepreneurs build the infrastructure around their business to help them scale and grow
  • Focuses on companies in the sports/outdoors, health innovation, human performance, property technologies, or space technology verticals
  • Ventures that complete the Boot-Up Camp are eligible to pitch for $50,000 Torch Grants 

Colorado Enterprise Fund: Quality Jobs Program | March 1 Deadline

Participants that complete this program will be eligible for a grant of $2,000

Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund | March 29 Deadline

$10,000 in grant funding

Another great resource is this Grant & Funding Database from our partners at the East Colorado SBDC.

Questions about these grants?

Please reach out to Ginelle Curcincita, owner of OroMar Consulting, where she positions entrepreneurs to confidently bring in the money!

ABC Bank is a community bank that has been helping small businesses thrive in Colorado Springs for almost 20 years. They have local experts who specialize in SBA lending and can assist you with all of your banking needs.  

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