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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.”

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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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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Sky Blue Builders

When Mowa Haile set out to build a business with a couple of friends, they agreed on one fundamental principle: customer service. “The opportunity to be customer focused is what motivates us and differentiates us,” said Mowa, President of minority-owned Sky Blue Builders, LLC. “As consumers, we see the mistakes that big companies make – and we want to change that. Everything we do, we consider it from the perspective of the customer. If it

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My Identity Doctor

What was the inspiration behind starting your business? I was inspired to start My Identity Doctor™ not to become rich, but because I believe if you truly care about customers, the quality of your product and believe in yourself, the money will come naturally in conjunction with the right business plan. No other company that employs me can pay me enough for the self-gratification of putting in a hard days work and at the end

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Snooze

On any given morning, Snooze’s retro, 50’s-style space is jam-packed with people clamoring to get their names on a lengthy wait list. The draw? A stack of sweet potato or cinnamon roll pancakes, or what some have dubbed “the best breakfast burrito in the world.” A touch of upscale flair makes Snooze owner Jon Schlegel’s fare stand out among fellow bringers of breakfast and lunch. Offerings include “Vanilla Almond Oatmeal Brulée” or “Pork’s Benediction,” a

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