Zooming from the Trailhead: Can You Really Run a Startup from a Mountain Town?
We live in a virtual world, but can you really run a startup from anywhere? This session will discuss the challenges and opportunities of running a startup from a mountain town. A panel consisting of an attorney and three mountain-based startup founders will share their unique perspectives and answer pressing questions. How difficult is it really to run a startup from a mountain town? Where does your funding come from, and how do you find sophisticated investors? How do you source and scale a qualified workforce? What are the surprising benefits and advantages? How can you get integrated with the local community, and how important is local support?
JB Leach, COO /Co-Founder, Aspect Avy
JB Leach, a seasoned consultant with over two decades of product design and strategy expertise. Known for adeptly guiding complex projects with uncertain objectives, JB excels at solving intricate user and business challenges through design thinking and user feedback.
With a varied and rich background in traditional design, branding, UI/UX, and a track record of enhancing business operations for top brands, JB's career is dedicated to creating user-centered, visually captivating solutions and experiences.
GG Edwards, CEO/Co-Founder, Gnara
Hailing from the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, Georgia Grace is a former Fulbright Fellow, ex-economic consultant, and the current CEO and co-founder of Gnara, where she and her team make the outdoors more accessible through inclusive, innovative design. Frustrated by having to choose between tactical dehydration or the freezing hassle that was answering nature's call as a glacier guide in Alaska, GG invented and patented the GoFly™ zipper, which allows women to relieve themselves outside, without exposing skin to the elements or others. GG lives in the Gunnison Crested Butte Valley, where she spends her days putting Gnara’s award-winning Go There™ Pants and Shorts featuring GoFly™ technology to the test.
Todd Hanna, COO, Vertical Harvest
Currently the Chief Operating Officer at Vertical Harvest, Todd brings extensive experience creating and leading organizations and teams of all sizes and across multiple industries and stages in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and military environments (he is a decorated Marine combat veteran). Prior to his role at Vertical Harvest, Todd led and worked with multiple "mountain-based" companies and teams in the consumer packaged goods, construction, hospitality, financial services, arts, education, and government industries. Outside of the mountains, he also led organizations and teams in the real estate, online publishing, construction, financial services, and non-profit sectors. In addition, Todd has served as a Venture Partner at an early-stage venture capital fund and on the boards of multiple for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
Todd has been formally recognized for his leadership throughout his career, and the organizations he has led have received awards such as “Best Place To Work”, and “Fast 50”, and awards for vision and execution. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, was an Outward Bound Instructor for Veteran Programs, and was an “Austin Under 40” award winner. In addition to his professional pursuits, Todd is a passionate outdoor adventurer, having climbed, hiked, biked, and paddled all over the country. He lives in Jackson Hole, WY with his wife and two teenage sons.
Amos is a partner at Holland & Hart LLP. He advises companies of all sizes, from small start-ups to venture-backed growth-stage companies, to public companies in the Fortune 500. Amos assists companies with seed and early-stage capital raising, and also serves as primary outside counsel to growing startups and venture-backed companies. Clients look to Amos to provide level-headed, business-oriented advice, from a lawyer who enjoys what he does every day.