According to the Small Business Administration, almost half of new businesses fail in the first year. Considering that percentage, it’s a wonder anyone starts a business at all. Yet, entrepreneurship offers a promise of freedom and financial reward that can outweigh the risks. And fortunately, for local entrepreneurs willing to try to beat the odds, there’s SCAPE. The acronym stands for Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs, and the nonprofit organization is a success in its own right.
Co-founders Jim Mackay and Gary Masner launched SCAPE three years ago after discovering they shared a vision on how to help companies get off the ground while also finding local investors. From their perspective, most gestating companies weren’t investor ready, meaning they didn’t have their team in place, skills to properly launch or even a plan with which to approach potential investors.
“We decided to put together a startup accelerator with the help of various entities around Durango that focused on economic development,” said Mackay.
Both men have had business success and bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts to the table. Among other entities, Mackay also started Durango Tech, which brought together people working or interested in the local technology sector.