Get Connected and Get Involved at Energize Colorado
We were founded by a spirited group of individuals with the same idea: “I want to help; what can I do?” At Energize Colorado, you can get connected and get involved in helping our small business community.
With the support of our incredible and diverse volunteers, Energize Colorado has been able to support the small business economy throughout the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis.
From connecting business owners with free business guidance to championing for systemic changes that elevate all Coloradans, Energize Colorado advances resilience and promotes equity to ensure a safe and full re-opening, where all small businesses thrive.
COLORADANS HELPING COLORADANS
Energize Colorado is a group of spirited innovators connecting Colorado’s diverse business community, nonprofit leaders, and contingent workforce with the best of our state’s resources, programs, and people to address current challenges and spur transformative economic growth.
We’re powered by passionate volunteers from the private and public sectors along with universities from across the state. By working together, we harness and share knowledge, create partnerships, and build new solutions where they’re needed, including advocating for long-term structural changes.
What does volunteering at Energize Colorado look like?
Recognizing the importance of your time, you will have the opportunity to serve on specific projects for three-to six-month engagements. This will allow volunteer teams to tackle projects quickly and efficiently.
If you have questions about how to engage, reach out to Scott Romano, Chief Operations Officer, at [email protected].
Did you know that Energize Colorado has…
OPEN ROLES FOR VOLUNTEERS
Are you not sure how to get involved, but would like to learn more? Fill out the volunteer form, and we’ll reach out to help find the right opportunity for you. There are always ways to engage and make an impact.
Time commitment: 1-4 hours/week
Small-business owners and nonprofits are working hard to stabilize across the state and becoming a mentor helps to support our vibrant community. Mentors can offer support by simply checking in, sharing their perspective, brainstorming strategies, providing emotional support, identifying resources and more.
We’re looking for mentors with a wide variety of experience across every industry, but if you’ve pulled through an economic downturn, dealt with layoffs, or secured government assistance, we’ll be especially excited to hear from you.
We also have an immediate need for Spanish speaking mentors.
Time commitment: 1-2 hours/week
What is a Program Advisor?
A program advisor is a volunteer who works 1:1 with an entrepreneur for the first 6 months post-funding, with an expected 10 hours of time commitment. This role helps entrepreneurs stay on track with their accelerator content, loan requirements, and serve as supporters and network connectors within the Energize Colorado Ecosystem.
What does a program advisor do?
- Programming Selection Support: Reviewing their advisee/entrepreneur’s SBRI score and drafting a proposed curriculum based on the course catalog. Please note that the entrepreneur ultimately may select to take other courses, but the Program Advisor is there to initially provide direction.
- 1:1 Business Development and Program Accountability Support: Monthly 1-hour check-ins with the entrepreneur related to the loan and accelerator program: Program advisors will be provided with suggested meeting cadences in the onboarding handbook. The monthly check-ins focus on: educational content and completion, business questions, and support with finding resources to address business needs.
- Connections and Community Building: The program advisor serves as a connector between the entrepreneur and the greater Colorado entrepreneurial resource community. They may help the entrepreneur find advisors on the Business Advisor Compass.
- Social Capital Development: By having 1:1 support and conversations, we hope that a program advisor helps their advisee increase their social capital through trusted mentorship and consistent individualized support.
What doesn’t a Program Advisor do?
- Subject Matter Expertise: Program Advisors are encouraged to connect entrepreneurs with SMEs, as opposed to providing information outside of their areas of interest. They are welcome to share information should they feel comfortable and prepared to do so, but program advisors are not required to be SMEs themselves.
- Finding External Resources: Program Advisors are experts in the EC ecosystem and do not need to provide external resources. The EC team can support new partnerships or additions to the ecosystem upon request.
Who makes a great Program Advisor?
- A great Program Advisor is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners in Colorado. While many of the Program Advisors have entrepreneurial experience, it is not a requirement. We are looking for dedicated, organized and supportive volunteers who are willing to help entrepreneurs navigate the ECA programming and develop our ecosystem.
What is a Business Advisor?
A Business Advisor is a member of the Colorado business community who is willing to share their knowledge and expertise with ECA entrepreneurs. Business Advisors are open to having a profile created on the Business Advisor Compass where entrepreneurs can schedule a session to ask specific questions related to the mentor’s experience.
What does a Business Advisor do?
- Subject-Matter Expertise: Business Advisors work 1:1 with entrepreneurs to answer questions related to their areas of expertise and experience. Entrepreneurs will share questions before each meeting to help the conversation flow. The frequency of these conversations are at the discretion of the advisor and advised.
- Network Growth: Entrepreneurs are always looking to connect with other businesses and entrepreneurs in Colorado. By joining the Business Advisor Compass, Business Advisors directly increase networking opportunities for themselves and entrepreneurs in our community.
- Social Capital: Connecting with community leaders on a 1:1 basis directly contributes to the resiliency of a small business by increasing social capital such as community connection/belonging, trust and optimism.
- Operational Capital: Entrepreneurs may ask questions related to operations, finance, hiring, or other business-focused questions to their mentors. By having an opportunity to learn and ask questions, entrepreneurs can create more resilient businesses.
What doesn’t a Business Advisor do?
- Program Questions/Support: Business Advisors are not responsible for knowing about the Energize Colorado ecosystem, accelerator courses, etc. If questions arise, the Business Advisor can direct the entrepreneur to someone at EC or their Program Advisor.
Who makes a great Business Advisor?
- A great Business Mentor is someone who has specific subject-matter expertise and knowledge related to entrepreneurship and small business growth. The volunteer role is conducted on an ad hoc basis, which makes the commitment very flexible. If you’re passionate about growing the Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystem and excited to connect with local business owners, this is a great fit for you!
VOLUNTEERS ARE THE ENGINE OF ENERGIZE COLORADO
We have an active group of 100 volunteers across the state. We’re building a better, more equitable future together.
Anja Koltes is a consultant with Custom Shop Strategies. At Energize Colorado, Anja is a member of the Women-owned Businesses initiative.