Meet Cari Hanrahan

Peak Startup, a local nonprofit that is building the Colorado Springs startup ecosystem by cultivating opportunities for founders, innovators, and investors to connect via networking, events, and educational programs has hired Cari Hanrahan as a part-time Executive Consultant.

Hanrahan will work with Peak Startup’s Board of Directors and community stakeholders to refine Peak Startup’s vision, programs, and execution to align the organization’s work with better creating and diversifying entrepreneurial momentum in Colorado Springs. In addition to her part-time consulting for area non-profits such as Peak Startup, Cari works full-time at Colorado College as the Director of the Public Interest Fellowship Program and Nonprofit Initiatives. With her experience in nonprofit development, higher education, and a recent entrepreneur herself, Cari brings a wealth of knowledge to Peak Startup’s efforts.

“I’m inspired by this opportunity to refine Peak Startup’s mission to ensure that our local entrepreneurs are educated and empowered to launch their own startups that boost the Colorado Springs economy,” said Hanrahan. “I’m excited to support Peak Startup in expanding startup opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs Colorado Springs and ultimately springboard their paths to economic success.”

In December 2019, Peak Startup’s former Executive Director, Natasha Main, joined 14-week accelerator Exponential Impact as their first Executive Director. This announcement along with new momentum and growth in the Colorado Springs startup ecosystem catalyzed a re-examination of Peak Startup’s purpose and work. While Peak Startup needed to think and act broadly at its founding nearly 18 years ago because of the nascent state of the area startup ecosystem, there are now many organizations supporting entrepreneurs. Peak Startup is capitalizing on this opportunity to more intentionally target specific, unmet needs of area entrepreneurs.

“We’re grateful for Natasha’s work with Peak Startup, especially the community-building she accomplished around Startup Week and other initiatives supporting local entrepreneurs,” said board chair Jake Eichengreen. “Natasha left us with a strong foundation; Cari’s experience will help us practice what we teach the entrepreneurs we serve: developing and testing a hypothesis, leveraging design-thinking and then building out the appropriate team to best serve our constituents.”