The Girls in the Spotlight Foundation is the official legally registered "Doing Business As (DBA)" name of the 501(c)3 not for profit. Still, the original registered name is Biz Girls, Inc., which was granted the status by Internal Revenue Service in 2015.
In the Beginning
Peter Adams developed the Biz Girls program in 2013.
Before it was established as an entity, Biz Girls was a program he developed. Peter is currently the Executive Director of a non-profit group, Rockies Venture Club, and the Managing Director of Rockies Venture Fund, an investment fund for the startup companies. As an entrepreneur and the father of two daughters, he saw a void in programs to encourage and inspire girls to become a leader.
So, in 2013, Peter developed a program to teach girls to become the CEO of a startup company. This innovative way to teach leadership skills through entrepreneurship to girls was called Biz Girls. Peter then took the helm of the Rockies Venture Club, Colorado's largest angel investor network, and the nation's longest operating angel group. As the Executive Director of the Rockies Venture Club, Peter continued to offer the Biz Girls as a summer program in Boulder and Denver under the Rockies Venture Club
Thee Rockies Venture Club and the Rockies Venture Fund are two of the most active investors of the early stage startups in Colorado. About half of the companies they fund are founded by a woman when the national average for venture capital funding to female founder companies are in a single digit.
As an Entity
The program became a 501(c)3 entity.
In 2015, the current Executive Director and the founder of Girls in the Spotlight, Hope Hartman, and co-founder Denichiro "Denny" Otsuga decided to take the program to the next level by making the program a stand-alone non-profit entity, with Peter serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors. With the help of a grant from the City of Fort Collins and the OtterCares Foundation, the inaugural program of Biz Girls delivered in Fort Collins was a huge success. “Demo Day," the final presentation day, attracted over 100 people to hear the girls pitch business ideas.
Transformation to Today
The Girls in the Spotlight Foundation came to life.
In 2019, after being away for several years operating several startup companies as an entrepreneur and an executive, both original co-founders returned to manage the organization. After conducting extensive research, the entity was re-branded and re-formulated to Girls in the Spotlight. This transformation brought new programs to the forefront in its inaugural year, with Biz Girls heart and spirit of entrepreneurship ever present.