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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.”

Denver Bouldering Club

The Denver Bouldering Club (DBC) started in 2009 when three local climbers – Thomas Betterton, Lee Payne, and Kevin Brown – decided that Denver’s passion for climbing and the outdoors deserved a better indoor training facility. What began as a dream to construct a small training center has now grown into one of the best climbing gyms in Colorado – a gathering place where climbers can learn, train and share their love of climbing. “It’s

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Med-Fit

Med-Fit, PLLC provides physician-supervised individualized weight management systems designed to help overweight and obese clients lose and maintain a healthy weight. Owner Dr. Angela Tran is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine and has practiced in primary care since 2007. Despite Angela’s extensive education and experience, she admits she knew very little about how to start a business when she decided to seek assistance from the Denver Metro SBDC in January of 2012. Angela

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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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Lori J Photography

Entrepreneurs are known for having to perform many different roles. Many struggle with the financial and accounting aspect of their business, while others have a hard time understanding the power of social media. For Lori Johnson, owner of Lori J Photography, she’s the first to admit that her nemesis is marketing. Lori J Photography provides a boutique photography service experience for Denver wedding photography, family portraits, and lifestyle headshots for entrepreneurs in Denver. The business

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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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YAK Hospitality

Yak Hospitality Group is a unique social club creating a range of activities for party-goers, music enthusiasts, foodies, and beyond. Not only are their entertainment services diverse, but their clients too, serving guests in both Denver and Miami. Learn more about the exciting work of the latest Trout Tank winner, Yak Hospitality Group: Having started other businesses before, founders Yonnick, Antonio, and Khiry were prepared to meet the challenge. They commented on one of the

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