Torch Grants FAQ
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Torch Grants.
How is the Colorado Springs Venture Attractor different from an accelerator?
- The Colorado Springs Venture Attractor is an initiative to promote cluster-based economic development at the startup level. The Venture Attractor includes a four4- month (120 day) virtual Boot-Up Camp designed to support startups as they build a foundation for scaling. Participants in the Colorado Springs Venture Attractor’s Boot-Up Camp have the opportunity to compete for a $50K Torch Grant upon completion.
- The Colorado Springs Venture Attractor’s Torch Grants funding is equity-free.
- Torch Grant recipients are required to make a minimum 12-month commitment to reside and scale in Colorado Springs, CO.
Why does the Colorado Springs Venture Attractor award grants and not take equity?
Our mission is to advance economic development in Colorado Springs and the surrounding region by attracting and retaining innovative entrepreneurs in the following industry clusters: Sports & Outdoors, Health Innovation, and Human Performance. Our return on investment is the creation of jobs and revenue generated by Torch Grants companies that contribute significantly to our region’s economic development.
What criteria will you use to decide which Boot-Up Camp participants will receive grants?
Directors, industry experts, and participating judges will review the following:
- Innovation aspects of the product, technology or service
- A sound and scalable business model
- The team’s experience and capability to execute on the business initiatives in the near-term
- The company’s interest and ability to contribute to the Colorado Springs, CO ecosystem
- All decisions of the judges will be considered as final.
If I am selected for a Torch Grant, what will I need to agree to?
Ventures receiving a Torch Grant have four obligations they must agree to in order to receive the grant:
- Locate or relocate the business with significant operations or headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO for at least one year.
- Commit at least 51% of full-time founding team or one full-time founder and 51% of full-time staff to Colorado Springs for at least one year.
- Establish operation in Colorado Springs or secure a membership to a co-working space in Colorado Springs for one year.
- Provide the Colorado Springs Venture Attractor with data regarding jobs created, revenue generated and follow-on capital attracted. We will collect this information biannually as long as the business is in operation.
Do I really need to be based in Colorado Springs for one year after receiving a Torch Grant?
Yes, Torch Grants awarded companies must be based in Colorado Springs, CO for a minimum of one year after receiving a Torch Grant, and 51% of the Founding Team (or 1 Founder and 51% of the Team) need to reside in the area full-time. To ensure the funds are used for their intended purpose, we require you to sign a Comprehensive Grant Agreement before formally receiving Torch Grants funds.
How will you know where a startup is located?
Startups will need to provide proof of their business location in Colorado Springs in the form of a lease agreement, co-working membership or other business license prior to receiving Torch Grant funds.
Will the Colorado Springs Venture Attractor help companies relocate to Colorado Springs?
Yes, we help ventures relocate to Colorado Springs. All companies moving from outside of Colorado (and from more than 150 miles from the Colorado Springs region) are eligible for a relocation grant in addition to the $50,000 Torch Grant. While the Colorado Springs Venture Attractor does not provide housing, it can recommend locations, companies and services to help with the transition.
Aside from money, are there additional perks to being a Torch Grants recipient?
Absolutely. Ventures that are awarded a Torch Grant by the Colorado Springs Venture Attractor review board receive:
- Pro bono and discounted professional services
- Access to venture capital and angel investment networks
- Professional and high-level business mentorship
- Personal introductions to strategic business leaders
- Social support and community integration services
- Inclusion as part of a community of innovative entrepreneurs