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We’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs. Here are some of their

SUCCESS STORIES

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 regarding a better way to wrap a bottle of wine. Customers can choose from a variety of distinctively designed patterns and papers suiting any occasion. CopperTops prints on responsibly sourced recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.

After launching CopperTops and entering her first retail store, Jessica enrolled in LEADING EDGE™ for Entrepreneurs at the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to craft a business plan and long-term vision for her company.

Jessica was paired with entrepreneurial mentors, providing her with valuable advice and expertise to get her business on the path to success.

“I met with SBDC financial consultant several times. He was invaluable in helping me get started putting together business financials,”

Jessica said. “Through the consultants I was connected with the guys behind The Real Dill pickles. It was also a very helpful for me to connect with them.”

Jessica graduated from the LEADING EDGE™ course – business plan in hand – and was selected to compete in the SBDC’s first Trout Tank. Seeking a $100,000 loan, Jessica gave her best pitch to over 30 lenders and investors and was awarded first place at the event.

Several months later, Jessica was approved for a line of credit. CopperTops launched a new website, submitted patent applications, expanded their product line and created a more focused brand.
Jessica’s passion – coupled with the tools and contacts she gained from the SBDC –led to a 260% increase in sales and enabled CopperTops to continue to expand into over 30 stores in Colorado including Whole Foods in Boulder.

CopperTops products can either be found in (or are coming soon to) King Soopers, Specs, Central Market and Rouses. Jessica’s hope is to grow nationally. She shared, “We are being considered within several national chains and hopefully will have exciting news to share in the coming months.”

Create Cooking School

Create Cooking School has actively engaged with the SBDC community for two years by taking advantage of Leading Edge, Trout Tank, financial classes and multiple consultants within the network. And now, owners Erasmo Casiano and Diego Coconati are on the brink of opening Create Cooking School in the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver. Leading Edge played an important role in the growth of the company. Casiano learned that adapting and pivoting is beneficial to your business,

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ECS

Jessica Acosta’s business philosophy is focused on three things: people, planet and profit. The Environmental Consulting Services (ECS) founder and CEO works to bring new jobs to the region while creating sustainable environment and financial stability. ECS, established in 2011, provides services ranging from design and development of stormwater management plans to training. Acosta launched ECS to serve and address environmental management and water quality compliance needs of private, federal, state, and local clients. “I’ve

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Future Fit Foods

Future Fit Foods is a woman-and-minority-owned food startup out of Boulder, Colorado, bringing people diverse plant-based foods that prioritize the wellbeing and happiness of people and communities. They are also the winners of the 2021 Trout Tank CPG Pitch Event. Paloma Lopez, founder of Future Fit Foods realized the change people were making was incremental because the business models, brands, and products had not been designed with today’s sustainability and nutrition needs in mind. After

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Fireside Production

“With resources like the Denver Metro Chamber and the Denver Metro SBDC – and a community of entrepreneurs and leaders who are so willing to share their insights – I have to admit, learning how to run a business has been one of my greatest joys.” Naomi Binkley, founder and managing partner of Fireside Production said. Naomi Binkley and Tom McDonald make their living telling others’ stories through video. They are committed to bringing creativity,

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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

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Briar Common Brewery + Eatery

Kent Dawson is no stranger to the hard work it takes to start his own business. He learned young as he and his brother Greg spent their summer breaks helping their grandparents tend to their farm. “Spending time on ‘The Farm’ was no picnic: this wasn’t one of those grandparents spoiling the grandkids situation. It was exhausting!” Dawson recalled. Dawson and his wife moved to Denver in 2008, looking to enjoy what Denver and Colorado

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