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USAFA, CC, UCCS & PPCC Join Forces for Entrepreneurship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – June 23, 2016 – The Pikes Peak region’s four major higher-education institutions are about to enter the second year of their ground-breaking Quad Innovation Program.

Dedicated to helping students take business ideas to the next level, this cooperative educational intensive will run July 5 to 29. It will be hosted this year at Pikes Peak Community College, taught by instructors at the U.S. Air Force Academy and include students from PPCC, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Colorado College. El Pomar has donated a $25,000 grant to fund the four-year project.

To develop this program, USAFA Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, CC President Jill Tiefenthaler, UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak and PPCC President Lance Bolton worked together for nearly two years, examining ways they could pool their resources to help students and the local economy.

USAFA Capt. Bryce Luken, director of this year’s course, believes the model they created will do just that. He plans to bring the collective skills, knowledge and experiences of students and faculty from multiple programs and meld them together to produce new business and venture opportunities.

“We’re trying to get as real-world as we can get,” he said. “We’ll start with entrepreneurial concepts, and then go through the steps to transform them into something tangible. Meeting with and hearing from local entrepreneurs and startups will integrate students with the growing local entrepreneurial eco-system. This program fits in perfectly with the growing innovation culture that’s flourishing on local campuses and our business community.”


When: 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., July 6

Where: PPCC Downtown Studio Campus, Room S205-215, 100 W. Pikes Peak Ave.

What: Tara Dunsmoor, previous culinary arts student at PPCC and owner of “That Truck” food truck will share her knowledge about her startup business in class (10 - 10:30 a.m.) Then students will get a taste of what entrepreneurship is like as they get samples from her food truck. (12 -1 p.m.)


About the United States Air Force Academy

The U.S. Air Force Academy is a four-year military service academy established in 1954 to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation. The U.S. Air Force Academy is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, offering 31 academic majors, an 8 to 1 student to faculty ratio, and an average class size of 19, complemented by 19 research centers, 2 research institutes and 700-plus international opportunities per year for its 4,000 cadets. For more information, visit

About the University of Colorado Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest-growing universities in Colorado. The university offers 39 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 11,300 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit

About Colorado College

Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its approximately 2,000 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week segments. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit


About Pikes Peak Community College

Pikes Peak Community College is in its 48th year of operation and has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1975. It is a two-year college offering 158 associate degrees and various certifications in career and technical fields. With three campuses and two military education centers in El Paso County, PPCC serves approximately 20,000 students annually.