Mountain towns are changing, and whether you believe that is a good thing or a bad thing, it’s a reality. Earlier this month our CEO Jen Gurecki attended the Mountain Venture Summit in Telluride and weighed in on the good, the bad, and the opportunities with the shifting landscape of the places many of us call home (and others wish we did).
The Mountain Ventures Summit was a first-of-its-kind convening of entrepreneurs, government officials, investors, and community leaders, all focused upon building sustainable economic ecosystems in mountain towns. The Mtn Lab, a Mammoth-based brand strategy and product development firm, co-organized the event with the Telluride Venture Accelerator and the Telluride Foundation.
Dropping a few calculated f-bombs (her signature move), Jen spoke to the issues that entrepreneurs in particular face on a panel called Setting The Course. It’s lonely and hard to find people who can facilitate an intervention on a Tuesday night when you’re three bourbons deep and feel like you’re failing. And then there’s sparse talent; no one moves to a mountain town to work 15-hour days inside behind a computer, which is often times the reality of a start-up (don’t Instagram fool you on what it’s really like to run a ski company). And there’s a dearth of humans who have the business savvy to help you transform an idea into a full-fledge, kick-ass company. At the end of the day we love and respect our mountain communities, and also recognize that world domination isn’t as easy as making epic powder turns every day.
On the upside, the collective power of the incredible people who live and are moving to mountain towns have the ability to transform what have been traditionally driven by tourist dollars into year-round, thriving economic hubs that embrace entrepreneurship. While we don’t prescribe to the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats,” we see the value in the evolution of mountain communities. And those of us who have called them home long before start-ups and lady bosses were trending, can play a significant role in shaping them so that they are diverse, inclusive, equitable, and innovative.
Our friends at the Tahoe Mountain Lab (a co-working space in South Lake Tahoe) also joined the conversation. CEO Jamie Orr (fellow female boss) spoke on two panels and had this to say: “Mountain communities may be small, but there are a lot of them. And if we leverage our strengths together, it will become that much easier to help our communities’ economic resilience, no matter how many snowflakes fall.” She’s got more gems, and you can read her full report from the Tahoe Daily Tribune here.
To get involved in what will surely be a difficult yet exciting transformation, check out the Mountain Ventures Summit website and reach out to us if you’d like to specifically be a part of supporting our fellow female bosses.