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

SUCCESS STORIES

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, leveraging technology and taking a genuine interest in every project. Now that their business is entering its teenage years, they’re focused on sustaining and growing their company.

Their business started out of necessity.

In 2005, she left her full-time career as a journalist to raise her and McDonald’s daughter. When the downturn hit, much of her freelance work dried up: “Suddenly, we were up a baby – down a salary.”

As they were figuring out their next step, people they knew were asking them to shoot projects, script or voice videos. They started by borrowing or renting equipment and slowly saving up money after each project to purchase their own gear.

By February 2006, they decided to name their venture. Fireside Production was born.

As with many entrepreneurs, Binkley and her husband were experts in their trade, but were new to running a business. They had to connect with the right people and businesses and build the right skills and support to build Fireside.

Binkley began to engage with the Chamber and Denver Metro SBDC in 2009, receiving one-on-one consulting and attending programs. They also applied for Emerging Business of the Year Award in 2011 at the Chamber’s Business Awards – becoming a finalist that year and winning the following. Today, they sponsor the event and provide video services for it.

“The relationships that we’ve built through the Chamber over the past seven years have been some of the most powerful – and meaningful – of my life,” Binkley said. “I’ve made friends. I’ve learned about myself and developed my strengths and skills. I’ve gained new insights into our community.”

As the Fireside team – now five strong – looks to the future, they’re focused on smart growth. They’ve recently added drone video to their arsenal of offerings and have developed their own apprenticeship program to grow their team, Binkley said: “We are working to achieve that delicate balance of maintaining the quality and spirit that Fireside is known for – while needing to add (and pay for) new members to the Fireside team to ensure we can continue to turn videos for our clients quickly and meet demand.”

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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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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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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Back2Basics

Brittany Winkfield is like a lot of entrepreneurs. She saw a gap in the marketplace and instead of waiting for someone else to fill it, she went after it herself. Led by a belief and desire that a Christian lifestyle magazine existed within the community, she used her creative skills, business network, and the SBDC to create Back2Basics Magazine. And she did it with the grace and style of a dedicated entrepreneur that understands how

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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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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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