About the ICELab
Spawned by students and developed by an entire community, Western Colorado University’s ICELab serves as testimony to the landscape-changing potential of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Now, the ICELab supports the University, businesses and communities in the Gunnison Valley through an array of cutting edge services, programs, lectures and commitments.
On one level, the ICELab provides an inspiring space. Generously funded by support from Federal and state agencies, Gunnison, Crested Butte and the surrounding communities, as well as private donors and foundations, the building is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and internet. The facility includes office and open co-working space, fully equipped conference rooms and even a coffee-shop. Our prime location in Escalante Terrace on Western’s campus makes the Lab an ideal fusion point for the business community, the University, and the students.
More than a space, the ICELab delivers direction, education and other tools to support developing businesses and promote new ideas. We offer accelerator and incubator programs for local exporting business. With generous assistance from local and regional experts, we promote lectures, presentations and panels pertinent to academics, entrepreneurs and business leaders alike. Thanks to the infusion of spirit and brainpower from Western students and faculty, the ICELab fosters cutting edge business models. Fundamentally, we aim to collaborate with all facets of our region to enhance, support and invigorate it, our community and our lives.
The ICELab offers a wide variety of programming for businesses in various stages of growth. If you’re just getting started, the Small Business Development Center can get you on your feet. If you’re looking to grow, opportunities to engage with programming and expertise are available.
ICELab Pre-Incubator Program
The Pre-Incubator is a two week prerequisite for the ICELab’s Incubator Program, which nurtures success in early phases of business development. The program requires one hour per week of group work and one hour of individual work. The one hour meetings will either be through zoom or in person at the ICELab on the campus of Western Colorado University. Contact Tanner Whiteford for more information.
ICELab Incubator Program
The Incubator program is an annual program at the ICELab designed to foster startup companies in Gunnison County. Focused on coaching mentoring, this program is designed to nurture success in the early phases of business development. Founders and teams participating in the Incubator program will develop successful business habits, create a solid business model and expand their entrepreneurial mindset in order to maximize the potential of their idea. The cost of the Incubator is $500.
The Incubator program’s focus on startup companies within Gunnison County promises to be crucial to economic development in both the short term and long term. The ICELab’s Local Accelerator program focuses on growing existing businesses and graduated three teams in 2019.
Moosejaw Outdoor Industry Accelerator
The first-ever Outdoor Accelerator facilitated by the ICELab at Western took place spring of 2020. Moosejaw Mountaineering, the title sponsor, is one of the top outdoor retailers in the US.
“We’re very excited to be back at Western and in the Gunnison Valley,” said Eoin Comerford, Moosejaw’s CEO. “Our first partnership with ICELab in 2019 was very successful, launching three outdoor companies that are in business two years later. We plan to make this second acceleration program even bigger and better.”
In partnership with Camber Outdoors and Holland & Hart, the Accelerator is a business-mentoring program that nurtures startups by providing business model coaching, investor connections, marketing support, and a large outdoor recreation network. Our mission is to increase innovation in the outdoor industry by supporting businesses nationwide with exciting new products. Challenging entrepreneurs to create solutions that energize their target markets to enjoy the outdoors with a higher degree of comfort, safety, satisfaction and inclusion.
ICELab Accelerator Program
Looking to grow your business? The Accelerator Program is an 8 week course designed to help companies already established in the Gunnison Valley take their business to the next level. The ICELab Accelerator Program requires a six hour/week commitment and focuses on identifying strategies and solutions for growth and improvement. During the eight weeks you will be immersed in a curriculum that will develop successful habits, a solid business model and an entrepreneurial mindset. The cost of the Accelerator is $800. Our next Accelerator dates have not been determined yet. For more information email Tanner Whiteford.