Looking ahead to 2025 – Here’s how to share your ideas and get involved

Plans are already in motion for the 2025 Founded in FoCo event, scheduled for March 10-14 at the Fort Collins Senior Center. An initial kick-off and open house was held on May 22 at the Lyric, sparking community engagement and gathering suggestions for the event. Top priorities from the community included fostering new relationships and deepening community involvement. Suggestions for the 2025 event emphasized the inclusion of youth entrepreneurs, suitable arrangements for working parents, exploring community-economy intersections, sustainability efforts, and enhanced networking opportunities. The organizers are seeking additional partners, sponsors, team members, and volunteers to enrich the event, encouraging the community to share ideas and participate actively.

2024 Event Recap: A great year to be at Founded in FoCo

After Founded in FoCo 2024, we’re left feeling incredibly thankful for the community that made the event what it was this year.

We saw an amazing display of collaboration, learning, and networking that truly highlighted the strength and diversity of our local ecosystem.

5 Days, New Venue, New Partners

100+ Events & Speakers

700+ Community Members

Here’s a brief reflection on the week, and a big thank you to everyone involved.

Community at Its Best

This event shone because of you – the 700+ entrepreneurs, small business owners, nonprofits, solopreneurs, and community members who came together to share, learn, and connect. The range of sessions and workshops on offer was a direct reflection of our community’s broad interests and its commitment to growth, innovation, and mutual support.

And we had a blast at our Community Celebration featuring music by The FoCo Motown Revue, presented by the Bohemian Foundation. Thank you for showing up and having fun with us.

Learning Together

We’re proud to have nearly doubled the number of events this year to include over 100+ session with 100+ speakers. The opportunities for learning at Founded in FoCo for 2024 were both valuable and varied. From insights that will drive businesses and nonprofits forward to strategies that spark new ideas, it was a week rich with takeaways and inspiration.

The Power of Connection

Building relationships is at the heart of Founded in FoCo, and this year was no exception. The connections made this week, the conversations had, and the collaborative spirit felt throughout the event underscore what makes our community special. It’s these interactions that fuel the collaborative energy and drive meaningful initiatives within and beyond our ecosystem.

Highlights from 2024 participants include:

“It was a truly awesome event. The sessions I attended were first rate. The atmosphere was electric and truly collaborative.”

“Founded in FoCo is an opportunity to learn from the best in their key areas of expertise that live and work in Northern Colorado. It is motivating to feel a part of such a vibrant community of business owners and non-profits.”

“Quality speaker. Collaborative, supportive crowd.”

“This was a delightfully intense week of meeting fellow business people (networking), learning things, and getting hype to move forward with my business!”

“I was amazed at the extensive knowledge that the instructors and business owners shared. I learned more than I could have imagined and met many individuals who shared their stories as well. Also, I have several meetings set up to pursue further help in some of the areas that I am lacking in my business.”

“So much value for the price and so many opportunities to network with locals.”

“The Founded in FOCO Conference was one of the best, well-organized conferences I have attended. The caliber of the speakers was outstanding, the volunteers were positive and helpful, the venues were clean, AV worked well (easy to see and hear,) schedule and room changes were easy to access through the app, plus well communicated via email, and the networking opportunities were well done with great food and snacks. Thank you for a great experience, I am already looking forward to next year!”

“This was worth WAY more than the $20 ticket price – AND I’m glad that at $20 everyone was able to attend no matter their economic status! Also the variety of presenters was fantastic!!”

“I’ve found the sessions that I’ve attended to be really helpful in thinking things through that I need to keep in mind for running our non-profit. I’ve also gotten some good ideas and found out about resources that I didn’t even know were out there.”

Thank You

To every attendee, speaker and volunteer – your energy and dedication are what make Founded in FoCo more than just an event. To every exhibitor, community partner, and sponsor – your financial and in-kind contributions helped make the week possible and provide meaningful resources to strengthen the entrepreneurial fabric of our economy.

A special shout-out to those of you who shared your stories and experiences, adding depth and real-world insights to our sessions and programming. Your willingness to engage and share has not only contributed to the success of this year’s event but has also set the stage for an even more impactful Founded in FoCo 2025.

As we look forward to next year, we’re inspired by the stories of growth, learning, and connection that have emerged from this week. Founded in FoCo is a testament to the vibrant, supportive community we have here in Northern Colorado, and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together in the future.

Thank you, once again, for being an essential part of this journey. Your involvement is what shapes our community and makes events like Founded in FoCo a cornerstone for learning and collaboration. See you next year!

Want to get more involved?

Thank you again for an amazing event. We can’t wait to see you next year!

The Builder Track – Increasing Business Value & Profitability

If you’re a builder and hope to grow a business you can sell someday, Wednesday, March 6th at Founded in FoCo is your day!

We’ve got several sessions geared toward helping you increase the value and profitability of your business.

Highlights on the schedule include:

  • 9am: Join Jill Simonds to learn about creating extreme ownership and accountability in your business and team. 
  • 10:00am: Justin Boling will talk about the Entrepreneur Operating System and how it can help your business be more successful. (This is based on the book TRACTION). 
  • Also at 10:00am, Mark Weaver will teach you how to build a team culture to improve your organization’s ability to deliver on its mission.
  • 11:00am: Hope Hartman will help you start thinking about your exit strategy. This is something you need to start working on several years before it’s time to actually exit. 
  • 2:30pm: Charles Fred will talk about how to increase the value of your business, so when it comes time to sell, you’re in the driver’s seat rather than being at the mercy of the buyer.

Our closing keynote is at 3:30. Kyle Kirkpatrick will share his amazing story of building his business. He’s got some really helpful insights and creative ways to turn obstacles into opportunities for innovation and growth. 

Visit the Wednesday schedule here: https://foundedinfoco.com/schedule/

Then after the closing keynote, we’ll have open networking for about 45 minutes before the Motown Revue band kicks off our closing party. They’re a 10-piece band and will give us a fun musical history of Motown. We’ll also have free finger food from Get Plattered and beverages from Herbal Mocktails and Gruvi. It promises to be a very fun evening.

Join us at Founded in FoCo on Wednesday, March 6th.

Dr. Erika Michalski – Strategically Authentic – Founded in FoCo Podcast

In this introspective episode of the Founded in FoCo podcast, Dr. Erika Michalski, the vivacious and recognized master performance consultant best known as Consultant Barbie, sits down with host Nick Armstrong to discuss the nuances of authenticity in personal and professional spaces. Erika’s infectious energy and depth of knowledge create an engaging conversation that digs deep into what makes authentic leadership and engagement so vital in today’s world.

2024 Event Podcast Kicks Off with Alison Proffit of the Soulful Entrepreneur Summit

In this enlightening episode of the Founded in FoCo Podcast, Nick Armstrong welcomes back Alison Proffit to discuss the interconnectedness of business acumen and personal growth. Known for her expertise in guiding entrepreneurs toward success with soulful strategies, Alison delves into the significance of embracing an entrepreneur’s entire journey, be it personal trials or professional triumphs, in the world of business.