Invitation to Impact

Invitation to Impact

One of the best judgments of a person’s character is what they choose to do with success. Do you miser it away for yourself? Or do you take the hard-earned lessons you learned and offer them to others? Lance Kohl is a man refined by his experiences. Life gave him plenty of opportunities to become jaded, cynical, or faithless. However, through his blunt resiliency, Lance has been able to learn and grow in every season of life. 

Lance is now a generous father, veteran, entrepreneur, and leader in Colorado Springs. Through his involvement in Exponential Impact and Southern Colorado Start-Up Week, Lance has not hidden away his talents. Instead, he offers up his time and skill to those in need. For Lance it’s obvious, “When a friend asks you for help, you help them. It’s really that easy. If you see your community is going through a hard time, why would you not want to help them?”



Lance grew up in Gypsum, Colorado. The small mountain community taught him the values he carried into adulthood. “People cared about each other.…You didn’t go home alone after a funeral. You were surrounded by people who knew you and were bringing food to your house. You weren’t interfacing with people online. We knew each other. If you had a flat tire on the side of the road, someone was there in minutes to help you out.” After graduating high school Lance decided to enlist in the Navy. He spent six years in a variety of roles. This included a fifteen-month deployment to Afghanistan as a self-proclaimed “dirt sailor.” Lance finished his service with the Navy in 2017 and wasted no time moving on to his next enterprise. Within two weeks of returning home, Lance and his wife at the time started a medical spa business.

Lance’s transition back into civilian life was not a smooth one. Within less than a year of returning home, Lance’s spa was collapsing, and he was working through a messy divorce. All while facing his own PTSD and trying to raise two kids. “The world kinda fell apart around me,” he said. “I am glad I went through it. It helped me learn a lot. I spent all of about 24 hours feeling sorry for myself, and then went back into business and started my own marketing company.” 



In line with his character, Lance’s approach to marketing is straightforward and kindhearted. “Marketing has been done in such a scummy way for so long. All it really is, in my opinion, is the right message to the right person at the right time. Put that thing in front of them when they actually need it and it’s easy.” Lance was an enthusiastic early adopter of demographic research and geographically targeted ads—skills he learned in the military.

After a string of several more businesses started and sold, a friend told Lance he should check out Exponential Impact (XI). Lance was first intrigued by the free co-working space they offered for entrepreneurs. He was new to Colorado Springs and wanted to meet a few like-minded people. Once Lance got to know the people at XI and became immersed in their community, he didn’t want to leave. 

Lance enrolled in XI’s Accelerator—a program designed to help entrepreneurs build and scale their start-ups in a collaborative community. After going through the program, Lance asked XI’s Founder and Executive Director, Vance Brown, to be his mentor. Since then, he continues to pursue his development as he helps others within the program. Lance is now XI’s Director of Business Development and Events. “At XI, I found friends that are like family. Starting your own business can be lonely. XI gave me a community. No matter where you are in your business journey, there are people who want to help you. Whether that be helping you plan the perfect pitch or making a successful strategic exit.” 

Lance Kohl


During his time at XI, Lance began attending the annual Denver Startup Week: a week centered around uniting and celebrating the entrepreneurial community in Denver. Over the years, Denver Startup Week had such a positive impact on Lance’s life that he wanted to bring it to Southern Colorado (SOCO). So when Lance was given the opportunity to plan Southern Colorado Start-Up Week he agreed. Lance volunteered his time to build SOCO Start-Up Week into an event to rally all the entrepreneurs he had contact with. It was his first time putting together an event of this scale. In the end, he organized a week with 65 events over 4 cities and 72 unique speakers. Lance is excited to organize the first Peak City Start-Up Week this year, from July 31 to August 2, dedicated to the entrepreneurs of Colorado Springs. The world of business enterprises and start-ups can often be competitive and isolating. At its worst, it’s a “survival of the fittest” atmosphere in which people tear each other down. At its best, it’s a community in which people build up and strengthen each other. XI, SOCO Start-Up Week, and Peak City Start-Up Week are the epicenter of our city’s entrepreneurial world. And they are a community.

Lance, a man who has, in his own words, “seen the best and worst in humanity” has not lost faith in people. “Even though I’ve been through war, it’s still unreal to see how amazing people can be. The country isn’t as divided as we think. I talk with people all day. That’s my job. 95% of the people I meet are just good people. They want to help people. And they have their own dreams and aspirations. We all just want to do things better.” In between his several business ventures and his involvement in XI, Lance still makes time to volunteer with Mt. Carmel and other organizations aiding people with opportunity gaps. Lance has a characteristic understanding of success: his goal isn’t to accumulate more dollars. He wants to live a good life and invite others into it.