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

SUCCESS STORIES

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 been in construction for the last 10 years, and I started at the bottom,” Acosta said. “Owning my business is something I always wanted to do, and when I had reached my level of growth at my current company, I decided to start on my own.”

That’s when Acosta first turned to the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She leveraged the business training, certification classes and one-on-one consulting to navigate business ownership. “The SBDC partnered with me in creating a road map to where I wanted to go with my company and how I would to get there,” Acosta said.

She also took advantage of the SBDC’s Connect2DOT program, a partnership between the Colorado SBDC Network and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), designed to help small businesses in the transportation industry become more competitive and successful in bidding and contracting.

ECS recently won a contract to participate in a project at Denver International Airport and is expected to participate in the North Metro Rail Line project for RTD, which will enable Acosta to hire more full-time inspectors and provide additional services.

Acosta’s positive attitude, resourceful nature and persistent goal to build a reputable legacy keep her focused on ECS’s growth.

“We provide excellent service and take a vested interest in our clients. This is a growing market and is becoming more regulated. The most important advice I can give clients is to invest in their company’s reputation by hiring ECS,” Acosta said.

Since 2011 ECS has increased revenue by 30% each year and has grown to five employees. ECS is projected to double revenue in 2014.

As the youngest member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver and a 2014 member of the Denver Business Journal’s 40 under 40, Acosta strives to be an example to empower Latina women in the Denver community through her professional endeavors as well as her community involvement. A personal goal for Acosta is to establish an annual golf tournament to raise funds for non-profit organizations delivering educational programs to Denver’s youth.

Acosta advises other small businesses who want to gain the tools to create the long term relationships that make a company successful to start at the SBDC. She said, “ECS would not have been possible without the help of the SBDC consultants.”

When asked what advice she has for other small business owners, Jessica’s answer reveals her robust ambition, “Persistence is key.”

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Open Road Snacks

In January of 2007, Karen and Tim Bradley were looking for an opportunity to combine Tim’s expertise in consumer packaged goods, finance and operations with Karen’s background in graphic design, marketing and sales. That’s when they acquired Rocky Mountain Popcorn Company. “We work really well together and we wanted to use both sides of our collective brain,” Karen said. “With our experience in brand management, we recognized that, while Rocky Mountain Popcorn was proven in

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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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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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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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When Lisa Wong stepped foot into the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center in 2011, her dream of starting a food truck in Denver was just that – a dream. Wong envisioned herself running a business that would marry her love for vegetarian food with her passion for building community. Two years later, her dream became a reality. But Wong’s dream didn’t come to life without hard work. In the fall of 2012, she enrolled

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