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C-21 Project

Keaunna Figgers, Denver’s newest fashionista, is raising awareness of Down syndrome and doing so in style through her company The C-21 Project, which refers to the extra 21st chromosome that she was born with.

Born with Down syndrome, Figgers faced obstacles from the start – she had open-heart surgery at just 3 months old and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age. Growing up with arthritis, Figgers would spend hours coloring in coloring books and doodling. Books of her detailed artwork would stack up. Her father, Phildale Billingsley, encouraged her to turn that creativity into a business.

Figgers launched her business at just 25 years old. She decided she wanted to use her creativity to teach others about Down syndrome and bring awareness.

“I love kids with disabilities. That’s why I want to make my clothing line, to teach kids how much I love them,” she told CBS4.

Figgers says that the best part about owning her own business is getting to work with her parents and the owner of the t-shirt printing company Out of the Blue, Blue Grimes.

The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been an intricate part of Figgers getting her business off the ground. She has received help with taxes, inventory, software, trademark, marketing, website assistance and much more.

“We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful resource in our city,” Figgers mom, Jennifer Billingsley, said.

Since working with the Denver Metro SBDC, Figgers has received help from the Denver Vocational Rehabilitation to start her own small business, and is also working with Out of The Blue, another Denver Metro SBDC client, a custom printing shop in Denver to help her merchandise the items she has for sale.

For more information and to see Keaunna’s merchandise for yourself, visit c-21project.com.

Stephen and co-founder stand surrounded by microgreens. Stephen smiles holding two microgreens products.
Beyond Microgreens

Beyond Microgreens was founded with a clear mission in mind: to connect people with powerful plants and fill nutritional gaps in their diet. Although founder Stephen Cowan spent 10 years in software sales selling enterprise solutions, he felt that there was more he could do for others. “My inspiration [for Beyond Microgreens] was a trip to the jungles of Peru,” Cowan said. There, he discovered the health and vitality of plants, and how connected the

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Alt Ethos

You may have seen their installations during Denver Startup week or read their name in 303 Magazine as “Denver Artists to Watch in 2018.” Alt Ethos is introducing a new way of capturing the attention of audiences through experiential design. By combining mixed reality (MR), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create interactive light displays, people are more than just viewers – they become part of the art display. CEO Ethan Bach and

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Coppertops Paperie

When considering starting her own business, Jessica Burke was given the advice, “do something you completely love, even in the tiny details.” The only thing she felt absolutely certain she loved – tiny details and all – was paper products. Jessica’s passion drove her to start CopperTops Paperie, a company that sells personalized paper products, in 2013. CopperTops is most widely known for their patent-pending bottle wrap, which emerged from a conversation with a customer

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Transform Energy

Transform Energy utilizes a market-based approach to end poverty and climate change, creating micro franchises to generate green coal, a clean coal replacement. Worldwide there are 1 billion people living on less than $3 a day in rural villages with very limited job prospects to improve their livelihood. They buy coal to use for cooking and heating which adds to environmental hazards. Transform Energy (TE) partners with local entrepreneurs to build simple kilns which they

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Paleo Meals To Go

A few years ago, Ty Soukup went on his first multi-day backpacking trip around the Maroon Bells 14ers in Colorado. But, his biggest challenge wasn’t the terrain – it was figuring out what to eat. He couldn’t find any backpacking meal options that would fit with his Paleo diet. “I thought to myself, why isn’t someone making a backpacker meal that appeals to folks on alternative diets?” Soukup recalled. “It was in that moment that

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Big Sky Aerial Technology

In business, the sky is the limit for Big Sky Aerial Technology—literally. This start-up company captures high-resolution aerial images for use in precision agriculture, allowing farmers to analyze the health of their crops. Founded in 2015 by Ron Lester and Jerred Lane, the idea to launch Big Sky Aerial Technology was inspired by the years Lester and Lane spent working with land and air-based remote sensing technologies in the Middle East. “With some of the

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