When I began the process to leave the Army, I didn’t know quite what I wanted to do next, but I knew I wanted to do something that mattered. Like most people, I desire meaningful work that changes the world and moves us forward—if even in a small way. So, as I began to dream up Perfect Venue, I knew I wanted giving back to be a part of our DNA, but had no idea what that would actually look like.Getting Started
With the help of fellow founders and an organization called the Colorado Institute for Social Impact, I incorporated as a benefit corporation and also joined Pledge 1%—a growing movement of businesses committed to donating 1% of their staff time, product, profit, or equity to a charity of their choice.
However, I still didn’t know exactly how we’d be giving back. Plus, it’s hard to give back when you’re an early stage startup without a product... let alone revenue! At first, I thought we would contribute to a project that promotes conflict resolution. But early on, I realized it would only create confusion. Even though conflict resolution is a topic I'm personally passionate about, it isn't aligned well with our mission.
We want to make an impact, but how?
Before we even had a website, I met with many event planners to learn more about their experiences to see if something like Perfect Venue could help them.
During these conversations, a disturbing trend quickly emerged: Although these event planners were planning amazing events that brought communities together, sometimes simply finding a venue was so frustrating that the event wouldn’t happen at all.
I remember one conversation distinctly. I was speaking with an event planner who has over a decade of experience planning events in Colorado Springs. He told me that if he had known finding a venue was going to be such an ongoing challenge, he may not have planned these networking events in the first place. If that were the case, we would have fewer events, fewer opportunities to gather, fewer chances for in-person interaction—in essence, a blow to our city's social fabric.
And we need these in-person experiences more than ever, as our country is increasingly divided. A 2014 Pew Poll found that “partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive—than at any point in the last two decades.” If even in a small way, events can remedy this by bringing communities together and allowing people to connect in real life, face to face, screens aside.
With that, our mission was crystallized around bringing communities together by matching events with the perfect venue.
Not only do we want to help groups planning events find a venue, we also want to give back to non-profits in Colorado Springs that share our mission of bringing communities together. Non-profits across our city run amazing events that bring people from all walks of life together. These events are critical to a vibrant city and deepening social fabric, so that is why we'll be donating 1% of revenue each quarter to local non-profits who share our vision of bringing communities together.
We’re thrilled to announce that Peak Startup is our first official give-back partner!
Peak Startup exists to grow a vibrant startup ecosystem in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. To further their mission, Peak Startup hosts local events to connect the community and startup ecosystem. Whether it be Pitch Nights, Founder Networks, or Techstars events—Peak Startup is at the forefront of bringing Colorado Springs together.
Peak Startup also played an influential role in helping Perfect Venue get started, and we’re excited to partner with them in this new way! Over the summer, we’ll donate 1% of revenue to Peak Startup.
You can get involved with Peak Startup by attending one of their hosting during Colorado Springs Startup Week from August 20-24th.
At Perfect Venue, we believe business can be a force for good. We hope that sharing our story encourages other startups to consider how they can make an impact too.
For us, we knew we wanted to be a mission-driven company from the get-go, but it took awhile to figure out how to do that—and that’s ok. Being a startup means constant iteration, failing fast, and learning from every experience along the way. The more we share these failures and lessons learned from one another, the stronger our businesses and their impact will be.
For more information on becoming an impact business in Colorado, check out the Colorado Institute For Social Impact.