In 2011 Ensemble Ventures, LLC publicly announced the development of its community-centric economic development program called "Venture Developmet Clusters: An Economic Developmet Recommendation for Colorado Springs" that outlined a vision that we, (Ensemble Ventures, LLC) had for Colorado Springs to develop a new "Grass Roots" based economic development model for the community that offered a vision for what a responsive and accountable "Economic Development" Program is all about, that made specific recommendations about the process and what we were going to put in place to pursue the concept further.
With a major need to create an entrepreneurial "eco-system" in Colorado Springs that transcends traditional economic development activities and instead focuses on developing local small businesses that fosters innovation and encourages creativity and collaboration, it was time to create a new kind of local economic development model that puts the entrepreneur at the center of attention and action... Much like what TechStars has done in Boulder, Boston, and San Francisco with their software-oriented technology incubation concept, or Y-Combinator with their innovative software company entrepreneurial funding strategies.
So Ensemble (working in conjunction with the local Colorado Springs Entreprenerus Group, (CSE Group) that it helped develop at that time was a 4+ year old Meetup Group that was started in 2008) was interested in developing a robust "Venture Development Cluster" model for Colorado Springs that focused on the "The Enterprise" and "It's Entrepreneur(s)" and the force multiplier of active Mentoring and advisory support "Execution" services coupled together with high-velocity capital and proven business process optimization that would provide companies with a competitive advantage and increase their chances for success.
Since 2008 Ensemble was active in holding monthly CSE Group meetings through 2018/2019 (over 10 years) and had grown the membership to over a 1,000 members. We put the group into "hiatias" mode over the Covid-19 slowdown years of 2020-2022 as it was difficult to meet in public facilities. We are planning on re-starting the CSE Group monthly meetings in 2023 to pick-up where we left off.
Ensemble has been promoting the development of a comprehensive Entrepreneurial NEMOSystem, (Neo Entrepreneurial Mentoring and Optimization) environment in Colorado Springs for over a decade now after the experience that the author has gained chairing the Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group over the last 10+ years meeting hundreds of local small business people and start-up entrepreneurs. Based on the feedback and suggestions by many local small business people and entrepreneurs, regarding what is most important to them and the development of their businesses, the author began to formulate the concept for the creation of the Entrepreneurial NEMOSystem and the formation of the larger Venture Development Clusters concept to tie all the necessary pieces together. In fact, after years of polling our members on our CSE Group web-site these 4 areas consistently come up as key areas of need for most small businesses:
This points directly to the need for securing new forms of capital for seed and development stage companies, providing support to help them market and sell their products and services to reach new clients, as well as developing and provisioning a dynamic HR and skills transfer mechanism in the community to help train these future entrepreneurs and
The concept of business clusters has been studied for decades ever since Michael Porter (1990) defined it as “a geographic concentration of a critical mass of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field”. Technology companies or start-up firms in a cluster gain many performance advantages due to the external economies of scale, eased access to information, and proximity to specialized suppliers and customers. Clusters can be private, public, or a combination of the two.
Through the encouragement of collaborative industry research and development initiatives - By better aligning our leading educational institutions (like UCCS and CTU, and PPCC, etc) and local small business and technology companies with six (6) targeted and focused “Venture Development Clusters” that can support a base of companies in diverse markets and industries operating in Colorado Springs. These six (6) “Venture Clusters” will over-time consist of a core collection of small businesses, capital sources, creative’s, consultants, corporations, colleges, and entrepreneurial mentors and members of the Community who want to contribute and build a vibrant entrepreneurial community. By supporting the creation of an organized entrepreneurship community and culture – By enabling local entrepreneurs and their companies, we can turn around decades of neglect by out-dated EDC policies and procedures.
For more information about the VDC concept and to reserve your copy of the Draft Green Paper, please provide your contact details here: http://www.ensembleventuresinc.com/#contact-us
We will be setting up a special portal page on both the Ensemble Ventures web-site as well as on the CSE Group web site to support a collaborative communications channel and blogging page to help support the VDC initiatives.
Looking forward to speaking wth you in the future about this exciting development.