Community Advisory Board

Energize Colorado’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) sources and vets new project and program submissions aimed to impact and solve for the needs of very small businesses across Colorado. Focusing on EC’s 4 priority groups, BIPOC-, Women-, Veteran-owned, and Rural businesses, submissions are accepted from anyone with an idea.

Submission Information

This program focuses on creating partnerships with people and organizations doing work that aligns with Energize Colorado’s mission and does not provide grants for external projects. Proposals may be submitted by anyone and will be evaluated quarterly by 3 committees: EC’s Operations Team, Equity Review Board, and Strategy Committee. 

Ideas submitted may be proposed for:

  • An existing EC segment or initiative to execute;
  • Creation of a new EC segment or initiative to execute;
  • An external organization interested in executing a project or a program in partnership with EC.

We are not accepting applications at this time.

Proposal Approval Process

Part 1: Application Questions via Typeform

The following questions should be answered and submitted via this Typeform link.

  1. Provide an executive summary of the proposed project. (1500 words max)
  • What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
  • What is the solution you are proposing?
  • How does this proposal specifically impact very small businesses in Colorado?
  • What is the expected impact of this project? What will be different for the community upon project completion? (Be as specific as possible.)
  1. What is the project’s alignment with the mission of Energize Colorado? (Mission: Catalyzing bold change for a more resilient and inclusive small business ecosystem across the state of Colorado.)
  2. Will this project serve any of the following communities: BIPOC, Women, Veterans, Rural?
  3. What specific gap or need does this project work to solve for the communities selected? (250 words max)
  4. Please highlight how this project impacts the resiliency of small businesses in Colorado. (500 words max) (Learn about small business resiliency here:
  5. Please highlight how this project impacts the equity and inclusivity of small businesses in Colorado. (500 words max)
  6. What are the biggest risks within your proposal and for each, how should EC mitigate them? (250 words max)
  7. Is there a leader for this proposed project?
  8. If yes, please tell us their name and why they are committed to this project’s success. (100 words max)
  9. What additional staff and volunteer positions do you expect you will need to make this project successful? List all. (ex. marketing, project manager, operational and execution support, etc.)
  10. Are there any existing or potential partnerships key to the success of this project? List all that apply.
  11. What is the total requested budget for this project?
  12. What is this budget being used for? 
  13. Is there anything else you would like the Community Advisory Board to know about this project? (250 words max)

Part 2: Budget Document

This document should be downloaded, completed, and submitted via the application Typeform. This budget is a rough estimate of the cost for Energize Colorado to execute an MVP of the proposed project or program. This budget is not a grant request, nor will money be awarded if the project is approved by the Community Advisory Board.

Part 3: Milestones Document

This document should be downloaded, completed, and submitted via the application Typeform. The milestones should give a basic outline of the steps from start to finish to execute the project MVP. Please add as much detail as you’d like the approving committees to be aware of.

This rubric will be used by the three EC committees to approve project and program proposals.

To see current projects and programs within Energize Colorado, see the Portfolio of Work.

Community Advisory Board Teams

See this rubric to learn how each of the following committees will evaluate proposed projects.

Energize Colorado Operations Team (ECOT) 

The operations team is made up of internal EC staff members who will vet proposed ideas for feasibility, mission alignment, and resources needed. 

Equity Review Board (ERB)

The Equity Review Board is comprised of Energize Colorado volunteers with expertise in diversity and equity work. They will review project proposals to ensure that projects proposed are aligned with the goal of promoting equity and inclusivity as stated by Energize Colorado’s mission.

Strategy Committee

EC’s Strategy Committee sits under Energize Colorado’s Board of Directors. It brings together a group of stakeholders who are external to EC and represent the organization’s 4 focus areas, the state, and small business owners.

Equity Review Board

Andy Vo

People Operations Consultant

Fermin Avila

Former Director, United Way for Business, Mile High United Way

Strategy Committee

Kelly Donovan

Vice President, Social Impact and Sustainability, Wells Fargo

Brian Estrada

Executive Director, Southern Colorado SBDC

Rob Gartzman

Owner, Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop and The Biker and the Baker

Ken Lund

Managing Director, PWC

Dennis Kyle

 Former SVP, Zayo Networks, Mountain Region, Zayo

Theresa Rinne-Meyers

Director of Impact, Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute

Jesus Salazar

Co-Founder & CEO, Prosono

LaSheita Sayer

Agency Principal and Owner, ZoZo Group, LLC

Questions about the Community Advisory Board? 

Contact Scott Romano, Director of Operations

[email protected]

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