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Innovate! Longmont Designated as Enterprise Zone Contribution Project

Longmont residents now have an additional incentive to support the Innovate! Longmont business accelerator program: a 25% Colorado income tax credit.
Longmont Startup Week 2018
Longmont Startup Week 2018. An Innovate! Longmont session was held on Friday, July 27, 2018. (Photo by Sergio R. Angeles)

This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Longmont residents now have an additional incentive to support the Innovate! Longmont business accelerator program: a 25% Colorado income tax credit.

On December 20, 2018, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved Innovate! Longmont as a North Metro Enterprise Zone contribution project, according to a press release sent by Longmont Economic Development Partnership (Longmont EDP).

The Longmont Community Foundation and Longmont EDP jointly applied for the designation.

"Innovate! Longmont is a tremendous opportunity to develop entrepreneurship and economic opportunity in our community,” stated Longmont Community Foundation Executive Director, Eric Hozempa.

“The Enterprise Zone Contribution Project designation opportunity will accentuate our efforts by providing the added incentive of tax credits to build the 'Innovate! Longmont' program and further its goals. We're honored to be a partner," continued Hozempa.

Innovate! Longmont quietly launched in the fall of 2018. It was started and is currently administered by the Longmont Community Foundation, TinkerMill, Longmont EDP, StartUp Longmont, and the Boulder Small Business Development Center.

“Innovate! Longmont is an individualized business accelerator program designed to help early-stage startups in Longmont build, launch, and grow,” said Sergio R. Angeles, Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurial Development for Longmont EDP.

Entrepreneurs interested in the program fill out an online application that later gets reviewed by the Innovate! review committee made up of members from the organizations that administer the program. Upon acceptance, a customized Innovate! journey is created that includes training, mentoring and more. Participating entrepreneurs also have the opportunity to pitch business ideas and receive a grant of up to $25,000.

“The program is intended to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship in Longmont,” said Angeles. “We look for local startups that are innovative and have the potential to add to the economic vitality of Longmont.”

One of the startups currently participating in the Innovate! program is Inhabitech, a Longmont-based startup currently building a platform that analyzes health data from a variety of sensors to provide at-home caregivers an opportunity to prevent health issues by detecting and recognizing health changes in patients.

“The Inhabitech 'Innovate! Longmont' experience has been excellent, from the application process through the support given once we were accepted,” stated Keith Hughes, CEO and Founder of Inhabitech.

Innovate! Longmont also helped Hughes find a medical advisor, which is “something Inhabitech has wanted for some time,” said Hughes. “I am quite impressed with ‘Innovate!’ and feel they are a key component of the Longmont startup ecosystem.”

Over the next five years, Angeles stated that Innovate! Longmont’s goal is to assist and support 50 local startups through the accelerator program and provide $250,000 or more in grant funding to Innovate! Longmont participants.

“We also plan to host pitch training and pitch events to hone entrepreneurial skills and gain the attention of outside investors,” expressed Angeles. “We’re here to invest in the future of Longmont by supporting our startups. It is just one small way we are putting Longmont on the map.”