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Community Corner: Silicon Couloir

May 29, 2015

When people talk about Jackson Hole, they talk about its beautiful mountains, amazing national parks, and fantastic outdoor sports, but now, it’s becoming known for something a little more unexpected: An impressive entrepreneurial community. At the heart of this group is Silicon Couloir.

When Liza Millet and Chris Hessler founded the organization, they set out with the mission to strengthen the Jackson community by connecting, educating, and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem and its members.

She saw that many members of the Jackson community were entrepreneurs who had found success in the major cities typically associated with innovation, like San Francisco or New York, and they chose to move to Jackson. As with most entrepreneurs, the fire to create something never stops burning, and they began headquartering their companies and starting new ones in Jackson Hole.

Silicon Couloir is committed to connecting aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs with the resources to build successful organizations – whether that is through mentorship programs, education, or financial capital.

The organization sets up monthly Chance Meetings, providing a space for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and successful businesspeople to connect and share ideas. If you’re in the area, you can attend the first Monday of every month at 5 pm at The Rose.

Silicon Couloir also provides a 10-week business boot camp called Start Up Institute that helps entrepreneurs refine their ideas or existing business.

One of the most popular events of the year is Pitch Day. Hosted each summer at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, the event brings together a select group of local companies who are close to bringing their product or concept to market and need the help of a few key investors. They share formal presentations to the attendees (last year’s event saw more than 200 attendees), followed by a cocktail party where the presenters have the opportunity to network with investors, entrepreneurs, and community members.

This August, Silicon Couloir will host its fifth annual Pitch Day, and First Western Trust is proud to be the presenting sponsor again this year. If you’re interested in attending the event and learning about exciting local companies that are almost ready to launch, or simply want to learn more about the work Silicon Couloir is doing, visit www.siliconcouloir.com.

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