Published: July 9, 2020
Silicon Flatirons, Startup Colorado to Launch Policy Academy for Rural Entrepreneurs

A collaborative group comprising the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Law School, Startup Colorado, and the Telluride Foundation recently received an $85,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to enable the development and execution of a three-day entrepreneurial policy academy.

The academy, which will be held in fall 2020, will train eight rural entrepreneurs and leaders from the Startup Colorado network to become policy advocates and help them realize their ability to provide direct input to local, state, and federal policymakers. The academy will be followed by a live policy forum, hosted by Telluride Foundation, where the entrepreneurs will present their concepts and policy recommendations to state and federal legislative and agency representatives.

Startup Colorado, an outreach program of Silicon Flatirons, supports startups and entrepreneurship across the state.

This initiative is a unique opportunity to pilot a transformative educational experience in Colorado that supports the voices and advocacy of rural entrepreneurs and leaders at a critical time, said Delaney Keating, executive director of Startup Colorado.

"The academy aims to give entrepreneurs the tools necessary to engage and influence policy decisions at a local and state level. The addition of these underrepresented voices to policy conversations can help ensure that the outcomes of those conversations are stronger and more representative of the entire population," Keating said.

Silicon Flatirons is accepting proposals for the creation of 30-minute teaching modules as part of the policy academy curriculum. Topics may include lessons on how to track and understand policy developments, approaches, and methods to engage on policy topics, best practices for engagement, or other relevant material.

For more information or to join the initiative, please email

Silicon Flatirons is a research center on technology and innovation at the University of Colorado Law School. The mission is to elevate the debate around technology law and policy, support and enable entrepreneurship in technology, and inspire, prepare, and place the next generation of experts. Through intellectually honest programming and community engagement, Silicon Flatirons reaches across sectors to create dialogue and inspire innovation.

Startup Colorado was founded in 2011 by Brad Feld and Phil Weiser at Silicon Flatirons, which supports entrepreneurship as part of its mission. Startup Colorado’s mission is to demonstrate that rural entrepreneurship will ignite a culture of potential, empowering people and places to thrive and define their future. Led by a team of rural entrepreneurs and community champions, Startup Colorado works throughout the Western Slope and Eastern Plains, supporting initiatives that benefit the long-term resources and success of Colorado's rural entrepreneurs.