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dance2b

Jennifer Tisdale learned early in her years as a consultant that creativity and business opportunity are imperative for a successful startup. Looking for a dance studio to express her own creative outlet, she explored the Denver region to see what dance studios existed and what they offered. The more she searched, the more she realized that a true business opportunity existed.

Her idea? Start a boutique fitness studio that provided daily dance classes for adults. To move that concept forward, Jennifer sought professional guidance to build a successful business.

Her first step was searching for educational opportunities in Denver’s startup community. She was thrilled when she found the LEADING EDGE™ NxLeveL for Entrepreneurs course offered through the Denver Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The 11-week course provided the structure for Jennifer to test the feasibility of her idea, analyze risk, determine her target market and build her business model.

“The Denver Metro SBDC’s course structure, content and process—including access to qualified consultants—helped me create a comprehensive business plan that secured $1.3 million in SBA 504 funding for the purchase of my studio,” Jennifer said.

Her studio, dance2b, opened in February 2014. Classes focus on classic and fusion dance styles for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers. Dance2b offers a fun, relaxed environment where dancers of all skill levels can learn technique and choreography in hip hop, jazz, salsa, ballet, contemporary, modern and more.

Along her journey, Jennifer recognized the importance of her relationships with consultants at the Denver Metro SBDC and professionals at the Office of Economic Development and Colorado Lending Source. Their assistance helped with everything from her business name and tagline to the location and financing. She continues to maintain these relationships today and looks forward to growing dance2b with their support and guidance.

In talking with Jennifer about what she would recommend to other potential entrepreneurs, she says there are six key elements: “relevant education, genuine partnerships, useful intuition, determination, a playful attitude and flexibility.”

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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Ristole

“Moving to Denver set me on a trajectory that changed the course of my life.” For Ristole CEO Jackie Adams, a woman whose life has already taken many turns, that’s saying something. Starting her career in computer programming, she quickly found the hours behind a computer screen tedious. She then applied for and was accepted to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, where she taught high school math in Swahili. After returning to

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The PB Love CO

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Safe Rids 4 Kids

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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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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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