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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.”

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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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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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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Alt Ethos

You may have seen their installations during Denver Startup week or read their name in 303 Magazine as “Denver Artists to Watch in 2018.” Alt Ethos is introducing a new way of capturing the attention of audiences through experiential design. By combining mixed reality (MR), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create interactive light displays, people are more than just viewers – they become part of the art display. CEO Ethan Bach and

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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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Rupp’s Drums

Rupp’s Drums serves the Denver community with a wide range of music merchandise from drums and apparel to lessons and rentals. Run by a team of experienced musicians, they certainly know their stuff! Learn more about this accomplished SBDC client and finalist for Small Business of the Year at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce 2022 Business Awards below. Rupp’s Drums began back in 1984 and was later purchased in 2018 by Alex Simpson, a

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