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Vail Valley: Entrepreneur class shows budding business plans

Michael KurzVail, CO, Colorado

Regular readers will note that in this column last week I challenged myself to spend more time with the inspirational, upbeat people around the Vail Valley. Last Tuesday night was a great start.I had the pleasure and honor of sitting on a panel with three truly noteworthy business moguls and viewing presentations by the first class of students passing through the new and innovative Entrepreneur Fitness Center at Colorado Mountain College.I had a ball. Course instructor and center creator Patrick Baldisare (a self-described serial entrepreneur and a highly successful business professional) assumed the role of the proud papa as his students, mostly young, fire-eating business types, presented their business plans for either launching new enterprises or enhancing existing businesses.It was a great evening, full of furious explosions of enthusiasm, determination, optimism, creativity and outright good thinking. The panel kibitzed, hinted at finesse and admired and corrected the work, but in sum the net effect on all us all was energizing, encouraging and a thoroughly joyful immersion in good old American capitalism.These students had no fear, no hesitance and no doubt that what they were engaged in was nothing less than an expedition into the vast and scary jungle of potential. The enterprises represented were from a panoply of sectors Webination, fast food, medical technology, cabinet hardware and, of course, ice and snow removal.It was apparent that each presenter had done their homework and whether not the ideas and plans we saw ever come to be globally successful, the point is that all the folks are on the right track. Each group demonstrated courage, analytical thinking and market research skills.They showed proficiency in basic business math, an understanding of marketing and distribution methodologies, the ability to create a pro forma, to work as a team and so on. Most important, I think they showed that even while naysayers, prognosticators and social engineers predict the demise of the global economy and the waning of self-determination, the passion and persistence of our young capitalists truly is irrepressible. So, onward and upward you enterprise warriors. Congratulations on your achievements. May the force always be with you. And, remember if these fine ideas dont find purchase in the judgmental but ultimately fair marketplace, keep up the good work. You will succeed. And, thank you Dr. Stan Jensen, Dr. Peggy Curry, Kim Blackford and Patrick Baldisare you are trusted keepers of the flame. On behalf of the Vail Valley Partnership and our members, we wish you and your students all the best business has to offer.

April 8, 5 7:30 p.m.: Ask the Experts: Current Issues Facing Employers. At the Vail Valley Partnership offices and free to members. RSVP to Ruthie Carlson, 970-477-4001 April 15, 5 7 p.m.: Business After Hours Mixer at Lift Flooring in Eagle-Vail. This is a members-only event April 24, 5 8 p.m.: Blue Jeans & Lobster Post-Season Networking Party at the Vail Chophouse. Call Ruthie Carlson for tickets, 970-477-4001. Theres limited seating, but all are welcome.Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.


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