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

SUCCESS STORIES

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 a place for strong climbers to push themselves and for passionate beginners to learn from the most experienced in the city,” says Payne.

Since its humble beginnings, the DBC has doubled in size and created eight jobs for local climbing enthusiasts. “Listening and responding to members has been a guiding principle for growth and has led to many valued and effective business and facility improvements,” Betterton says.

With incredible training opportunities including expert climbing instruction and classes, the top-notch DBC facility now features over 7,000 square feet of climbing space, 15-foot bouldering walls, a training area and workout equipment, 24/7 hour access for members, free Wi-Fi and a climbing media center.

The DBC has become a preferred place for local climbers to learn and hone their craft. And, the owners, employees and members all take pride in their space. Payne says, “Our members are amazing. They have lent a hand to everything from donated coffee pots and climbing holds to bringing in cupcakes and other baked goods! It’s their gym too, and they take pride in its well-being by giving back in special ways. Which is good, ‘cause none of the owners are very good at baking.”

Throughout the DBC’s journey, Betterton says the expert advice he received from the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has contributed to his growth and success. “We came into this with a lot of climbing-related knowledge and very little business expertise. [Jim Olp] is a great sounding board and has given me the best business advice I have ever received,” Betterton says.

Thomas says SBDC Business Consultant Jim Olp taught him “not to get discouraged when things don’t go as planned,” regardless of expenses, timing, and workload. Despite any challenges along the way, the DBC is a great example of a local business that was built from the ground up by local entrepreneurs who are passionate about their industry, their community and their energizing workspace.

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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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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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.

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Full Battle Rattle Deli

“In the military, Full Battle Rattle means that you get your gear and are ready to move out. At Full Battle Rattle Deli, we are also ready to move out, but into our communities to serve and support our veteran brothers and sisters.” Michael Gropper, owner of Full Battle Rattle Deli says. The idea for Full Battle Rattle came about after an experience Gropper had with a veteran who was homeless at the VA hospital.

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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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Discovery College Consulting, LLC

When Sara Zessar first began meeting with consultants and attending programs at the Denver SBDC in 2013, she had a company name and not much else. A former high school counselor, Zessar wanted to start a college consulting practice to assist high school students with the college search and admissions process, but she had no experience in the business world. “I knew what I wanted to do, but I needed a lot of help in

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