Scott McCoy

Managing Partner of Cold Springs Partners

Scott McCoy is a general counsel with international cross-industry experience. He has been in the business for over 25 years with a specialization in Compliance, Commercial & Government Contracts, Legal Department Management, Risk Management, and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A).

He is currently General Counsel and Managing Partner of Cold Springs Partners (CSP) in Denver, Colorado. CSP is a private equity and consulting firm that Scott co-founded in 2016, while he also oversaw the growth of his own small cattle farm in Virginia.

He juggled his time co-managing and serving the firm in Denver with his cattle farm in Virginia for two years, but eventually decided to focus on CSP until 2020.

By 2021, Scott started as EVP and General Counsel of the Denver International Airport where he became the leader and motivator of its team of lawyers, legal assistants, and paralegals until rejoining CSP in 2022.

He led the creation and implementation of a new plan for the airport to help resolve long-standing litigation and government enforcement actions related to airport noise and conflicts with surrounding jurisdictions.

Prior to his current role, he also worked with a few other large organizations. These include serving as a counsel of ExxonMobil after he received his J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center, providing legal advice for the North American and European headquarters of Thales USA, and acting as VP, General Counsel, Secretary & Compliance Officer of Siemens GT.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, as well as a certificate from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris. He is also a member of both Texas and Colorado Bar Associations.

Now that Scott is back in CSP, he uses his knowledge and years of expertise to assist the company reach its goal of assisting small firms with professionalizing their financial operations so they may transition into high-growth.

Their investment goals are a mix of short-term market plays and focusing on hospitality investments.

What makes Scott happy is being able to have an impact on the lives of others through his work, whether his clients, employees, or the community.

As for his involvement in the community, he is an active participant in many civic and charitable organizations like The Hoffman Institute, One Colorado, and Equality Virginia.

Where did the idea for Cold Springs Partners come from?

I, along with a number of earlier colleagues, formed CSP LLC after seeing a lot of possibilities in both the legal and business consultancy industries as well as among a wide range of assets. We wanted to apply what we had learned across a variety of interests rather than being limited to one employer or client.

From there, we got started by helping a lot of small startups in terms of professionalizing their legal and business operations as well as transitioning them into high-growth mode.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A typical day for me begins with checking the status of short-term investments (where immediate action may be required) and, where applicable, advice and/or document review. Long-term investing, particularly in startups, is generally managed on a daily basis.

I make my days more productive by taking time to review new opportunities, think about how our team can best support clients, and also by communicating with my partners.

I also like to take some time out for lunch – it’s a great opportunity to catch up with friends, business contacts or just to have some downtime.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I believe that the best thing to do is to surround yourself with smart people who share your passions and who can help you vet ideas and then take practical steps to increase your chances of success.

At CSP, my colleagues and I have a process of bringing ideas to life that begins with an initial idea, followed by a development stage where we ask ourselves some key questions.

These questions include: What is the problem that we’re solving? Who is our target market? How will we reach them? How can we validate the idea?

Once we have answers to these questions, we develop a business model and begin testing it in the market.

What’s one trend that excites you?

We’re coming out of the Covid-19 era, and we’re back to enjoying dining out and socializing. While the high cost of real estate and labor is a big factor, we believe that both pressures will decrease over time.

What this means is that the hospitality industry is ripe for investment and we’re very excited about the possibilities in this area.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Keep an eye on how many things you have going at once. Make sure you don’t have too many projects, whether it’s investments, legal/consulting work, or even personal projects. It’s OK to say no from time to time. This way, you can focus on the things that are most important and that will have the biggest impact.

What advice would you give your younger self?

It’s very important to consider and be aware of the different personalities you’ll have to work with. Everyone has something to contribute, but they need someone who speaks their language to pique and inspire them.

In this regard, if you can find a way to understand what motivates people, you’ll be much more successful in working with them.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The current asset price increases are unsustainable in the long run, implying that many people may be paying too much right now. That being said, no one knows when the market will correct, so it’s important to be strategic about your investments.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Always be aware of trends, both those that are helping you and those that are working against you. This is very important because it allows you to be proactive instead of reactive. It will allow you to make strategic decisions about where to allocate your resources and how to best position yourself for success.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I use my personal network of contacts to learn about investment opportunities. Because of the trust that exists within my personal network, I am able to get information and access to opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

It’s not enough to have a great product. You have to be able to market it. Some of our worst-performing investments have failed on the marketing and not on the technical side. I’ve learned that it’s important to have a team in place that can not only develop a great product but also knows how to get it in front of the right people. From that point forward, it’s critical to pay attention to feedback and make any necessary modifications to ensure your product is a success.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think there’s a great opportunity in building an app that handles the initial conversations on dating apps for you and only activates if the other person answers a specific number of questions correctly. I’m married, but my single friends complain about the time they waste on this.

If executed properly, this app could save users a lot of time and energy and also be a lot of fun!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

It’s less than $100, but I’ve been taking a supplement called Lion’s Mane – a type of mushroom – and I’m able to recall dreams for the first time in decades.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I’ve narrowed it down to Apple Notes and Microsoft OneNote as my alternatives. I take notes on a variety of things every day, and being able to access this information from all of my electronic devices is incredibly valuable. They assist me in keeping my ideas organized and readily available when I need to recall something or communicate something to someone.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul is a wonderful guide to dealing with human emotions in a more successful and positive way. If you can learn to control your emotions, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges and stresses of life.

Aside from that, it’s just a really good read.

What is your favorite quote?

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs

I like this quote because it speaks to the importance of faith and trust. As an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take risks and trust that things will work out in your favor. If you can do that, you will be successful.

Key Learnings:

  • Having a good product doesn’t guarantee success–you also need to be able to market it well.
  • Aside from solid marketing, paying attention to feedback is important for a product’s success.
  • A personal network of connections might bring you access to possibilities and knowledge that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
  • Being aware of the different personalities and motivations of people you work with can help you get along better and be more productive.
  • Keep an open mind and accept that things may not unfold as planned. In business, this is what sets the successful apart from the unsuccessful.