Meet The FCSW Speakers V4.E1.


Fort Collins Startup Week exemplifies the body of the Fort Collins community. As you begin to plan your schedule, learn more about the speakers.

This week we feature 3 speakers from the music track, Peggy Bruns, Jahna Eichel, and our music keynote speaker,  Lloyd Starr.

Peggy Bruns

Director, Entrepreneurship Center for Music (ECM) at CU-Boulder

Speaking on: Higher Education and Music Entrepreneurship 

Peggy Bruns is an experienced flutist, educator, and administrator. She holds a master’s degree in music education and flute performance from CU-Boulder, and a bachelor’s degree in K-12 instrumental/vocal music education from Northern State University in South Dakota. Ms. Bruns has over twenty years of music teaching and adjudication experience, including private studio, public school, and university classroom. A two-time MTNA state Collegiate Woodwinds competition winner (SD), Peggy’s performance background consists of solo, chamber music, and large ensemble experience, including the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Wind Ensemble, and Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra. A past president of the Colorado Flute Association, Ms. Bruns has performed at two conventions of the National Flute Association. She co-founded the Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts, serving as its Executive Director for fifteen years, and, following a merger with Colorado Music Festival, served as Education Director for two years. She has extensive experience in human resources management and non-profit development.Ms. Bruns most recently served as Board President for Arts Longmont, and has served as Vice Chair of the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission. In 2002, she received an Outstanding Service Award from the CU-Boulder College of Music, and was among five recipients honored in 2011 as “Women Who Light the Community” by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, an international music honor society.In addition to her work as a flutist and non-profit consultant, Ms. Bruns is a Certified Music Practitioner (CMP), having completed training from the international Music for Healing & Transition Program (MHTP). Her work as a CMP has primarily involved providing therapeutic music for hospice patients across Boulder County.Ms. Bruns is serving as Interim Director for the Entrepreneurship Center for Music (ECM) at CU-Boulder during the 2016-17 academic year, reprising that role from 2008-09. In addition to having taught courses in the ECM, she has also served as a Career Launchpad presenter, and as both mentor and judge for the Performing Arts Track of the New Venture Challenge.

I was invited to be part of a collegiate panel on music and entrepreneurship. I hope people realize that musicians are inherently equipped with the necessary skills to be successful in entrepreneurial activity. They are detail-oriented, problem-solvers, great on a team, flexible, and resilient.

Enjoy yourself! This is my first time; I’m open to seeing what it’s all about! I wish you every success.

Jahna Eichel

CEO, Higher Ground Rehearsal Studios

Fort Collins, Colorado



BOARD MEMBER OF: Colorado Music Business Organization

HOST OF:Live @ Higher Ground YouTube series

Speaking on: “Startup A Music Business”

Jahna is a multi-business owner, artist/band Manager, celebrated blogger, brand strategist, wife, and mother of two. Jahna alongside husband Jason Eichel founded the first music rehearsal studio in Northern Colorado on the notion that we are better when the creative community has a place where they can be themselves and hone in on their craft. Jahna thrives on watching the businesses in her community flourish. Originally, from NYC, where she gained corporate branding, and marketing experience, Jahna continues to grow her knowledge base and share her know-how with motivated musicians and entrepreneurs.

Our family moved from New York City to Fort Collins in December 2012. We came here on a whim, just to visit, after reading the Money Magazine article. We fell in love with the good natured people of Colorado and couldn’t wait to call it home. In 2014 we realized that our calling here was to assist in the blossoming of Fort Collins music scene, and followed our passions to create Higher Ground.

I hope that attendees become inspired. Starting a music related business isn’t easy. Take lots of notes, talk to everyone who inspires you.

I’d love to meet people who are passionate about entrepreneurship, especially within the music industry sector.

My vision for Northern Colorado is that classes of people in and out of business ownership are less segregated. I’d love for our community to experience more and learn the value of hiring trusted professionals. While DIY is fun, and affordable, my goal is to show local consumers that hiring quality professionals and purchasing quality goods, is worthwhile for not only themselves and their families but their community at large.

Lloyd Starr

Founder, Velocity Plus

Denver, Colorado

Speaking on: Music Keynote

Lloyd Starr is the former President and COO of Beatport. He was one of Beatport’s first employees, starting with the company in 2003 before the site launched, as a founding software developer. During his tenure, Beatport raised $12MM in Venture Capital, won the Denver Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Company two consecutive years and multiple other accolades for quality and design. Before his exit, Starr played a key role in selling Beatport to SFXii for $58.6MM and helping take Beatport public with SFX which raised $800MM. Since exiting Beatport, Lloyd founded Velocity Plus. Velocity Plus is focused on helping businesses increase revenue with their current assets, unlock new growth opportunities through obtaining operational efficiency, improving the value of existing relationships, building new strategic relationships, and bringing new monetization models to the companies it helps. Starr is also the CTO of SuiteHop, a luxury suite marketplace, and advisor for several companies including Blackstone Entrepreneurial Network. Previously, Lloyd held creative developer/product roles at such companies as Factory Design Labs and Spire Media. He currently lives in Denver and is an avid runner and martial artist.

Fort Collins is just a hop over from Denver, where I live and what brings me here are the amazing people at The Music District and Colorado’s finest breweries. What keeps me in Colorado is the ability to escape and elevate. Love is what led me here 17 years ago, and it’s what keeps me here today.

It’s simple. I hope some becomes inspired enough to take some action on their new idea or find the courage to continue trying.

Talk to as many people as you can as you can’t know enough people. There is a lot of wisdom out there so listen, not to respond but listen to understand.

I hope to be inspired by all of the creative people who make up our amazing community and make some new friends at Startup Week.

My hope is that we can find altruistism in our competitive high-growth businesses, balance capitalism and humanity while succeeding together. In the next 5 – 10 years I will make a positive impact enriching people’s lives.


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