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Factotum Brewhouse

The concept of Factotum Brewhouse was first imagined when siblings Christopher and Laura Bruns met their other brother and sister for dinner. As it usually goes when the four congregate, several beers were consumed and before long the idea of a homebrewer-driven craft brewery began to materialize.

No strangers to the craft beer scene, Christopher and Laura began racking their minds, trying to think of any brewery—local or otherwise—that truly focused on homebrewers. Was there anybody allowing amateur brewers to create their own recipes on commercial equipment? Was there any place where the everyday man or woman could brew a beer that would later be served to the public? They were drawing a blank; no such establishment existed.

This communal brewery idea remained just that—an idea—for ages until Christopher and Laura finally decided to act upon it. The first obstacle, though, was the lack of a business background. While both Brunses hold several college degrees between them, nary a one had a thing to do with business. As luck would happen, Laura read of another local brewery in the same position, another brewery with a passion for beer but inexperienced in all other facets of the brewing industry. So, they enrolled themselves into a program to help bolster their entrepreneurial acumen. That program was the Small Business Development Center’s LEADING EDGE Business Planning course.

Thinking that, if it worked for them, it’ll work for us, Christopher and Laura signed-up for the 10-week course. There, they learned just about everything they needed to know about running a business from advertising to legal matters to the culminating event: writing a complete business plan. The SBDC made what seemed an insurmountable task an easy, weekly assignment by dissecting each part of the plan, having students focus on one section at a time. To the uninitiated, a business plan seems a daunting tome of statistics and technicalities but, through the SBDC’s guidance, it was a simple, step-by-step process. At the end of the course, the Brunses had a plan they could be proud of; in fact, when their plan was entered into competition against their classmates’ plans, the Brunses won second-place.

Beyond the actual classwork, Christopher and Laura also found the networking between students and between instructors invaluable. Many connections were made through LEADING EDGE and the Brunses feel fortunate to have the support structure that was built for them by the SBDC.

Christopher and Laura further honed their business and brewing skills at the Brewery Immersion Course at the Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery in Ridgway, CO. Since then, they have overcome innumerable hurdles including finding a location, obtaining permits and licenses, and construction but, after years of work, Factotum Brewhouse is, as of February 2015, at last open and sating the thirsts of Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood.

Come visit Christopher and Laura at Factotum Brewhouse where you, too, can drink community-crafted beer.

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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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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Moss Pink

A love of flowers led Jil Schlisner to buy an existing flower shop in 2006, rename it and build her business by creating inspirational, beautiful atmospheres for clients. She believes people should wear flowers more often, in the form of corsages and boutonnieres—and on ordinary Wednesdays, not only proms or weddings. Moss Pink Flora & Botanicals, located on E. 23rd and Dexter streets in Denver, provides clients with beautiful shopping environment, as well as personal

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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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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

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MindCraft Makerspace

“An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.” — Reid Hoffman Entrepreneurs are passionate risk-takers who make an impact on our economy, and they‘ve made Colorado a top-five state for startup activity and for innovation. Entrepreneurs know it takes a lot more than an idea to make a business come to life. Brenda Lane is co-founder of MindCraft Makerspace knows just that. Lane has poured herself

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