Startup Bike Summit features sessions with Colorado entrepreneurs |

Startup Bike Summit features sessions with Colorado entrepreneurs

Boo Bicycles founder and CEO Nick Frey, of Breckenridge, will speak at the first Startup Bike Summit event at Elevate CoSpace on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015.
Courtesy Nick Frey |


What: Startup Bike Summit, a half-day on the trails, followed by innovation-focused talks with the state’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office director Luis Benitez, Boo Bicycles founder Nick Frey, Maverick Sports owner Jeff Westcott and other entrepreneurs.

When: Friday, Aug. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. followed by happy hour

Where: Elevate CoSpace, 711 Granite St., Frisco, CO 80443

How much: $29 advance, $35 day-of for breakfast, lunch and all events. Bike rentals, if needed, are extra.

More info: Visit the Startup Bike Summit page at" target="_blank">class="Hyperlink">

Amy Kemp, of the Frisco coworking space Elevate CoSpace, says getting outside leads to out-of-the-box thinking, and fresh air brings fresh perspectives.

That’s why the Startup Bike Summit organizer arranged for the industry networking and brainstorming event to begin with a few hours in the saddle on Friday, Aug. 14.

“What better way to connect and start this conversation than on the trail?” she said.

Building off the success of the Startup Ski Summit in March, Elevate CoSpace will host a summer version at 711 Granite St. in Frisco, and folks in the bike and outdoor recreation industry are encouraged to join the all-day event. Kemp said those outside the industry also can come learn, get inspired and connect.

The event costs $29 in advance or $35 on Friday — and include breakfast and lunch.

Participants can meet for breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then hop on their bikes for an optional ride on the trails of their choice until noon, when folks return for lunch.

Luis Benitez, director of the state’s new Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, will start the afternoon talking about how the state is trying to create opportunity and support people wanting to start and grow outdoor recreation businesses.

Benitez was an Eagle town council member when Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed him to the role in June. He has done consulting in experiential leadership development and held senior management positions with Outward Bound and Vail Resorts. An accomplished mountaineer, he has summited Mt. Everest six times while operations director for a New Zealand-based international guiding company.

Benitez, who just returned to Colorado from the Outdoor Retailers conference in Salt Lake City, said more and more businesses and entrepreneurs are starting to focus on traits taught in outdoor education like grit and compassion.

In the biking world, “you have to have that spirit and that sense and that tenacity of really trying to figure out how to make the impossible possible,” he said, “whether it’s a new business or a long ride or whatever it is.”

He will be followed by 10-minute TED-inspired talks at 1:30 p.m. with three local entrepreneurs: Boo Bicycles founder and Breckenridge resident Nick Frey, CBST Adventures CEO Jay Irwin and Maverick Sports owner Jeff Westcott.

Frey comes from a pro bike racing and technical engineering background, and he created a company that makes high-end bikes out of what he said bests every other bike material out there: bamboo.

He said he’ll talk about connecting personal passions with work. He also might discuss the current upheaval in the bike industry as companies adapt to online sales and direct customer interaction and speak about how businesses are starting to design and build bikes, like skis, based on the way individual customers will use them instead of marketing hype.

“Getting Lance Armstrong’s bike doesn’t make you Lance Armstrong. All it does is make you uncomfortable,” he said.

Jay Irwin recently bought CBST Adventures after 23 years in the software industry, he said, because “I want to help people transform their lives through adventure and biking is one of the adventures that I love to do.”

The company provides outdoor fun for friends and groups seeking team-building experiences, and Irwin said he’ll talk about how biking and the industry can help people bond, change their personal and professional lives, and be used to do good for society.

At 2:30, the event participants will shift into a workshop with Hannah Lippe, a Denver-based design facilitator trained at Stanford University, who will teach creativity and problem-solving skills.

“Everyone can be creative, and there really is a process and a strategy to being creative,” she said.

She’ll have participants dive deep to empathy, which she called the first stage of design thinking, to better understand their client’s wants and needs and test to see if they’re on the right track. Outdoor industry folks tend to already use those skills, she said, and she is looking forward to providing them with more concrete tools.

Participants will then talk about how to apply new knowledge and tools and how to implement their ideas, and at 5 p.m., the group will move to Backcountry Brewery to continue with conversations and network over happy hour drinks.

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