Readers of E.P.I.C Magazine have asked the founders to launch it outside of Durango, and so this year they are working to expand.
E.P.I.C, which stands for Empowering People, Inspiring Community, is an educational publication with spirituality, health and sustainability themes, now in its sixth year.
Founders Lisa Byrne and Laurie Gambacorta were selected by the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs to create a licensing model and on Thursday they pitched investors at the Fort Lewis College showcase. The SCAPE is an intensive 6-month program that provides $30,000 in seed funding and mentorship in the areas of product development, marketing and finance.
In three years, the program has launched 15 companies that have created 40 jobs, SCAPE Director Elizabeth Marsh said in an email.
The E.P.I.C. founders aim to license 22 new magazines in five years, they told investors. Their licensing model will foster creativity, but protect the brand.
The magazines would feature hyper local, educational content, not content paid for by advertisers, like some of the competition, Byrne said.
The magazine is aimed at cultural creatives – educated thinkers who have a serious focus on spirituality and a passion for social activism. There are about 80 million people in the U.S. that fit this description and support a growing market.
The focus for licensees would be largely on print with digital components to enhance the experience, Byrne said.
The company will offer training for future publishers as well as an ongoing online learning community.
“We’ll be training them on everything from sales to how to procure local content,” Gambacorta said.
That will include training on how to have a work-life balance because they believe in the triple bottom-line, people, the planet and profits.
Check at durangoherald.com for stories this week on other SCAPE entrepreneurs.