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

SUCCESS STORIES

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 I pledged to do something about this for all others like me.”

A few months later, and after some market research, he launched Paleo Meals To Go with his mom, Dawn Anderson.

Soukup and Anderson began engaging in the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 2014 to get their business going. Then, just three years later sold Paleo Meals To Go in December to Wild Zora Foods.

Their business got the jump start it needed after winning both the Peoples’ and Judges’ Choice awards at the Trout Tank Food Frenzy: Pitch Event.

“Winning Trout Tank gave our company a lot of good exposure to investors and boosted our confidence as a company,” Anderson said. “It also helped us establish the content for subsequent pitches we needed to make.”

Quickly following Trout Tank, Anderson enrolled in Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs. She won the class business plan competition and moved onto a state competition hosted by the statewide SBDC network. Along with building a strong business plan, Anderson developed relationships with entrepreneurs in the course.

“I enjoyed the camaraderie of visiting with other business owners who had the same struggles and who could offer helpful suggestions,” Anderson said.

While learning the technical concepts about running a business – from supply chain to cash flow statements – she also gained value through the “soft” information the facilitator provided. Anderson learned about balancing work and home life, how to de-stress, take care of herself and keep things in perspective: “Owning a business is a tough job and it can be very rewarding. But there must be a balance so we can continue to live, grow, love and share our lives with our families and friends.”

Since the sale, Anderson is working with them to ensure a smooth transition, learning about mergers and acquisitions, transitioning and all that comes with the process. “That’s what it’s all about – continuing to learn and grow,” Anderson advises.

Trout Tank and Leading Edge programs are both run three times a year at the Chamber and Denver Metro SBDC. Check out our calendar for upcoming programs!

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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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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Create Cooking School

Create Cooking School has actively engaged with the SBDC community for two years by taking advantage of Leading Edge, Trout Tank, financial classes and multiple consultants within the network. And now, owners Erasmo Casiano and Diego Coconati are on the brink of opening Create Cooking School in the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver. Leading Edge played an important role in the growth of the company. Casiano learned that adapting and pivoting is beneficial to your business,

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YAK Hospitality

Yak Hospitality Group is a unique social club creating a range of activities for party-goers, music enthusiasts, foodies, and beyond. Not only are their entertainment services diverse, but their clients too, serving guests in both Denver and Miami. Learn more about the exciting work of the latest Trout Tank winner, Yak Hospitality Group: Having started other businesses before, founders Yonnick, Antonio, and Khiry were prepared to meet the challenge. They commented on one of the

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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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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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