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DirtTRI Magazine Takes Trout Tank


DirtTRI Magazine Takes the Trout Tank

After months of pitch-training, five entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a room full of judges, lenders, investors and the community of Denver. Each company brought their own unique products to the plate - from collaborative dry-erase squares that are soon to go digital, to custom hand-made aprons for restaurants such as Rioja and Ophelia's. Two awards were given at the Trout Tank - the popular vote and the judges' pick. Melissa Gallic of Union Stitch and Design won the popular vote and Jimmy Archer and Will Kelsay of DirtTRI Magazine won the judges pick. 

DirtTRI Magazine is an online magazine that has made off-road multi-sports its passion. Will and Jimmy are both professional off-road athletes that are sharing their expert experience with the public. Olivia Rollene, marketing and program coordinator at the SBDC took a few minutes to interview Jimmy and Will at the event. 

Q: What is your reaction to winning the Trout Tank?

Jimmy: “I feel stunned – I was literally making notes as to what everyone was doing well!”
Will: “I was in complete shock. We are so excited about what we are going to do, but it’s really hard to communicate a vision with someone. It is exciting that people got and understood that. We are the experts in what we are doing, and you can trust us.”

Q: What is a take-away from working with the SBDC?

Jimmy: “The real benefit of being a part of the SBDC and being involved was the not-sexy cool stuff that you always hear about but the things that are the foundation to developing a successful business. How to manage your taxes, how to hire someone – what does that mean down the road, how do you set up your business structure. All of those things that are absolutely fundamental. That was just huge for me because I know now so much more than I knew 3 months ago.”

Q: What would you tell someone that is interested in being a part of the Trout Tank?

Will: “Anyone that has a type of business and wants to see it succeed, you need to be here. There’s so many things that we didn’t even know until we got here that they really helped establish what it takes to be a successful business. We don’t have holes in our business plan now.”     

Q: What has this process taught you?

Jimmy: “Right now in the finals, you have five very different companies and I see takeaways from each of the other four from what we’re doing. You look at what they are doing and then think ‘we could apply that.’ Just being in there and getting feedback and hearing feedback that people are giving other companies”

Will: “A lot of these other people are experts in their field. But you can tend to get the blinders on a littler. But when you have all of these different people from the different walks of life coming together, the ideas just start flowing.”

Jimmy: “Especially when you are a small business starting up, you are so focused and you know everything that you are doing inside out. But you haven’t seen it from someone else’s perspective – getting someone’s opinion is huge and it just changes your paradigm in what you are doing and makes you a better entrepreneur. It helps your growth and foundation”

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