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SUCCESS STORIES

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 into her businesses – a digital fabrication lab developed as a collaborative studio space for creative and inventive endeavors for makers of all ages – and entrepreneurialism has become her way life.

“As a maker, I owned my first business in my hometown at the age of 18. My uncle and I teamed up to open Lane’s House of Glass in Pueblo, where I spent eight years teaching stained glass, fusing and slumping,” Lane recalls.

MindCraft Makerspace is the second business devoted to educational endeavors for Lane and her business partner Adriana Santacoloma.

Lane first opened eXL Learning in 2011. She sought the advice of consultants at Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs across the Front Range. She coupled the consulting with the SBDC’s business planning course, Leading Edge.

“I rely on the SBDC to develop myself as a better business owner and operator, and I recommend this organization to anyone thinking of opening their own business,” Lane said.

Opening MindCraft Makerspace was a way for Lane to combine her passion for education and creativity. MindCraft Makerspace offers classes, workshops, equipment rental and memberships to learn about and use all tools, equipment and machinery accessible to the users – no matter the age.

“Our combination of labs, workshops and classrooms make it easy and fun for hands-on, ‘let’s make this’ kind of learning,” Lane said.

Their space is located in the newly restored Stanley Marketplace on the border of Aurora and Stapleton. The Marketplace houses over 50 independent companies under one roof.

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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The PB Love CO

“We want to feed people real, delicious food and make them happy!” That’s how PB Love CO , a Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) company describes themselves, and it’s apparent in everything they do. PB Love is committed to creating stone-ground, handcrafted, artisan nut butter, using only real-food ingredients in every jar they make. Mario Esparza had been perfecting the flavor, consistency and ingredients of his own nut butter for over 12 years,

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Under the Sky Event Rental

The idea to launch Under the Sky Event Rental came to Rebecca Anderson when she told her seatmate on a flight to Denver about her wedding. She and husband Patrick had their intimate wedding under katas—Nordic tents that resemble Native American tepees. But, she had only seen them rented in her native United Kingdom. “That planted the seed,” she said. Back in the U.K., there are roughly 30 kata rental companies, up from just seven

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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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Wong Way Veg

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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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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