Chance Meetings: Monday, October 2nd, 5-7pm


Sometimes all you need is the right connection and a little inspiration. Well, what are you waiting for? Come find both at our monthly networking event. You never know...

Location: Roadhouse Brewing Co. Tap Room

In addition to great Roadhouse brew, Jackson Hole Still Works will be serving up cocktails and Bin 22 will be pouring wine. 

Theme: Where do entrepreneurs and non-profits intersect?

Are environmental principles and philanthropy an aspect of your business model? Curious what triple bottom line really means and how it relates to you? Do your customers pay more for green products and prefer to do business with environmentally conscious businesses?

Silicon Couloir’s October 2nd Chance Meetings will feature Christian Beckwith, founder and director of SHIFT, discussing the importance and impact of entrepreneurship guided by conservation ethics and sustainability in the Teton region.

The conversation will serve as an introduction to this year's SHIFT JH Festival, built upon “The Business Case for Public Lands:” How investments in outdoor recreation and the conservation of public lands create vibrant, resilient economies in communities around America.

New to SHIFT this year is an innovative SHIFT program, “SHIFT for the Planet”, scheduled for November 1st, from 2-5 pm. Inspired by Silicon Couloir’s Pitch Day, “SHIFT for the Planet” aims to connect the for-profit and non-profit sectors in an effort to advance the triple bottom line so important to our community.
Designed in partnership with 1% for the Planet, Silicon Couloir, George B. Storer Foundation and Blue Sky Funders Forum, “SHIFT for the Planet” spotlights the most innovative, impactful, and replicable examples of outdoor recreation and conservation work in the country. The event is designed to amplify and enhance the shared impact of funders and peers.

Join us to explore how non-profits can inspire a new culture of for-profit stewardship that connects the two sectors in an effort to advance the triple bottom line so important to our community.


Tuesday, Sept. 26, 5:00--6:30 p.m., Teton Geotourism Center, Driggs

Come mix and meet First Western Trust Relationship Manager, Mike Eden.

Mike oversees business strategies to help create unique and valuable solutions for First Western clients, as well as fostering and growing relationships with the greater Jackson Hole and Teton County community.

He brings particular expertise to new and growing businesses through his involvement with the Silicon Couloir Angel Mentor Group in Jackson 

Mike will offer useful perspectives on start-up business lending and banking, especially the critical factors in a successful loan application.

(wine, beer and soft drinks provided)

Our Chance Meetings are open and free mixers for bright minds to connect in the Teton region. Launching a business or looking to invest?

Looking to work with great people? Have an idea or a challenge? Wanting to collaborate or find a mentor?

Come to next week's Chance Meeting to network and learn more about your peers in our Teton regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Gold Level Community Caretaker

Wyoming Global Tech Summit

In Jackson for the 4th year.

Last week, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead invited technology leaders from across the country to join in a discussion about Wyoming's tech future.

As part of the Governor's ENDOW strategy, "tech" has been targeted as a means to diversifying the state's economy.

Aside from the clear message of preparation for flying cars and robots (it was strongly suggested that every business develop an artificial intelligence strategy), tech leaders recommended Wyoming identify specific industries to focus tech attention. Agriculture and cattle were two examples.

Governor Mead opened 4th Annual Tech Summit at the Center for the Arts

As the state continues to put effort into attracting tech investment, the current state of tech start ups was well laid out recently in this Wired magazine article: 

Can the American Heartland Remake Itself in the Image of Silicon Valley? One Startup Finds Out

BMI (Business Micro Intensive) Announces
Two Courses for October:

Accounting for Business Owners

In this three-session course Sinéad King will take the fear out of accounting so you can develop an understanding of the power it can provide in your business. This course is designed to educate and empower you to have successful interactions with your accounting professional(s), ensuring that you get all the information needed from them to run a business successfully. Participants will learn to recognize early warning signs in financials and what your financials are telling you.

Managing People- Setting Expectations

In this course Cynthia Blankenship will help you understand how to set clear, documented expectations of your staff. Managing people can be a challenge. This course is designed to provide participants with the tools needed for effective people management, starting with setting and documenting expectations. In addition to creating a roles and responsibilities document, we will role play introducing the concept to employees.

Each course is a three-part series. The total cost of each course is $179 for all three sessions. 
BMI is designed for business owners. The courses give a hands-on approach to learning important tools and skills to help you better manage your business. 
If you are a business consultant or business specialist and are interested in presenting through BMI, please contact Jennifer Ford at today for more information. 

Entrepreneur Updates

Sego Skis


Sego Skis, a Victor based company was recently featured in the Jackson Hole News and Guide for their remarkable growth and continued quality. 

If you would like us to broadcast updates from your company, please email your update to and we'll do our best to include it in a future newsletter.


Good Reads

A Guide to Seed Fundraising

"Without startup funding the vast majority of startups will die." 

Google launches resources for Start Ups

All of Google’s tools, best practices, and communities for startups are now in one place. Visit the newly launched Startup with Google site:

Upcoming Events

WYSBDC: Tips to Help Retail Businesses Survive an Economic Change

September 28, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Join serial entrepreneur and retail guru Tom Shay as he explores ways to learn from the past, strengthen your customer base and and create more loyal customers who love your business as much as you do! Presenter, Tom Shay, is a fourth-generation small business owner. His teachings provide the "nuts and bolts" necessary to improve the operation and profitability of the business.

Small business and food safety workshop

Monday, Sept 25th at the Teton Valley Kitchen on Main Street in Driggs

Visiting University of Idaho faculty in Family and Consumer Sciences will be there to discuss ingredient sourcing and nutritional analysis.

Shift For The Planet

November 1, 2-7pm, 2017

In partnership with Silicon Couloir





Bonus Meeting!

Wyoming Secretary of State visits with Silicon Couloir


Secretary of State Murray was in Jackson last week and reached out to learn more about Silicon Couloir and our efforts to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Tetons.

Executive Director Scott Fitzgerald, and Founding Board Member Chris Hessler, explained the Silicon Couloir journey and toured the Secretary through Spark co-work space in downtown Jackson as a way to highlight a critical piece of the ecosystem.

Secretary of State Murray was in Jackson last week and reached out to learn more about Silicon Couloir and our efforts to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Tetons.

Executive Director Scott Fitzgerald, and Founding Board Member Chris Hessler, explained the Silicon Couloir journey and toured the Secretary through Spark co-work space in downtown Jackson as a way to highlight a critical piece of the ecosystem.

Have News To Share?

As always, please feel free to send news of your company's press, events, successes, and milestones to and we'll do our best to feature them in our newsletters!

Are you a community caretaker?

Silicon Couloir strengthens our Teton regional community by empowering the entrepreneurial ecosystem. More than just business development, we believe in enriching our community character and enhancing our mountain town culture. Help us support business pioneers in the Tetons by becoming a community caretaker!

To offer your time or talent, please email me at

Scott Fitzgerald
Executive Director


A very special thank you to all our business community caretakers!

First Western Trust
Silver Star Communications
RPK3 Law
Heimerl Law
Income Focus Portfolio Management
Peregrine Capital
Willow Street Group
Start Up Institute / Central Wyoming College
TMBR Creative Agency
Spark Jackson Hole

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Silicon Couloir

PO Box 1964

Wilson, WY 83014
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Silicon Couloir Awarded $38,000 from USDA to Empower Entrepreneurship in the Tetons

 JACKSON, WY (August 30th, 2017) –   This Fall, Silicon Couloir is launching a new local mentorship program based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Venture Mentoring Service (VMS). The Silicon Couloir Venture Mentoring Program will connect the leadership teams of local ventures with Teton regional mentors interested in sharing their professional wisdom and experience. To fund the initial training at MIT, Silicon Couloir applied for, and was recently awarded, a Rural Business Development Grant from the The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“After serving for almost 2 years as the Silicon Couloir Director, it became clear to me that the one missing element in our support of local entrepreneurship was ongoing, structured mentorship. I believe this program will be the mortar that holds together the bricks of our existing programming.” said Silicon Couloir Executive Director Scott Fitzgerald.

The mentoring program will be modeled after the highly successful MIT Venture Mentor Service (VMS) launched in 2000. MIT VMS is focused on team mentoring where one venture (typically the founding team or leadership team) is mentored by 2-4 mentors. The emphasis is on the development of the entrepreneur with the belief that stronger entrepreneurs are more likely to build successful companies. “I see this program as a key component of our work to help support the growth of non-tourism based companies in the Tetons. Companies that have a real shot at creating higher than average wages and meaningful career paths for members of our community.” said Silicon Couloir founding Board Member Nathan Adams who is helping lead the launch of this program.

Thanks to the USDA grant, 6 delegates from Silicon Couloir will travel to Cambridge, MA to undergo the MIT VMS Immersion Training Program from September 26th - 28th, 2017. During this visit, Silicon Couloir Directors and staff will be taught:

●      strict guiding principles that assure unbiased advice to entrepreneurs

●      the Team Mentoring methodology

●      best practices for selecting and retaining highly qualified and committed volunteer mentors

●      eligibility and selection criteria for mentees

●      detailed processes and procedures to ensure operational success of the program

●      program evaluation criteria and metrics

According to their website,  mentors in the MIT VMS Model “are an elite group of professionals carefully selected based on their expertise in business formation and operations, and for their skills as advisors as well as their desire and ability to give back. Mentors’ careers represent a wide range of experience, such as founders, CEOs, chief technical officers, or executives of companies. These mentors bring a wealth of entrepreneurial experience and contacts across a broad range of industries and markets. Mentors participate in VMS for many reasons including the intellectual appeal of this work and the collegial team approach VMS uses to address each entrepreneur’s needs.”

At the conclusion of this training, the SiIicon Couloir Venture Mentoring Program will launch a pilot program this Fall for up to 6 local ventures.

About the MIT Venture Mentor Service

MIT VMS uses a team mentoring approach with groups of 3 to 4 mentors sitting with the entrepreneur(s) in sessions that provide practical, day-to-day professional advice and coaching. VMS mentors are selected for their experience in areas relevant to the needs of new entrepreneurs and for their enthusiasm for the program. Mentors are required to subscribe, in writing, to a Statement of Principles that govern their behavior, outline their responsibilities, guard against conflicts of interest, and control financial involvement with the entrepreneurs and their ventures. Relationships between mentors and entrepreneurs are formed based on the needs of the entrepreneur and the interests of available mentors.

The primary factor enabling MIT VMS to leverage impact and scale is volunteerism. With a very modest budget and paid staff, VMS has over 175 volunteer mentors who actually do the mentoring and assist in the operation and management of the program. The VMS chairman, director and co-directors are also volunteers. MIT VMS mentors contribute over 12,000 hours of volunteer time to mentoring, program leadership and disseminating practices to other institutions annually.

For over 10 years, MIT VMS has used an Outreach Training Program to proactively disseminate its practices, experiences and methods to other universities and economic development organizations across the US and worldwide. The Outreach activities include a 2-1/2 day Immersion Program as well as a series of other complementary training programs, as well as a Users Group to exchange learning and practices with the organizations that have completed the Immersion Program and have implemented mentoring based on their model.

MIT VMS has been recognized as an innovative leader by the Kauffman Foundation, and has been awarded a Presidential Citation from the MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae, and the Adolf F. Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurship Mentoring. MIT VMS was awarded the NCCI (National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education) 2010 Award of Leveraging Excellence, recognizing its contribution to innovation and improvement in higher education.

About the USDA RBDG Grant Program

A competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue. All applications are evaluated based on:

●      Evidence showing job creation at local businesses;

●      Percent of non-federal funding committed to the project;

●      Economic need in the area to be served;

●      Consistency with local economic development priorities;

●      Experience of the grantee with similar efforts

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