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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!

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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Safe Rids 4 Kids

Firefighter. Paramedic. Emergency responder. Over an 18 year career, Greg Durocher spent his days and nights responding to some of the most devastating collisions and catastrophes. To prevent accidents and injury, Durocher decided to learn as much as possible about child passenger safety. “As responsible drivers we can only do our very best to ensure that our precious cargo is properly restrained with the best options available,” Durocher said, “so that if a crash occurs,

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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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Coppertops Paperie

When considering starting her own business, Jessica Burke was given the advice, “do something you completely love, even in the tiny details.” The only thing she felt absolutely certain she loved – tiny details and all – was paper products. Jessica’s passion drove her to start CopperTops Paperie, a company that sells personalized paper products, in 2013. CopperTops is most widely known for their patent-pending bottle wrap, which emerged from a conversation with a customer

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C-21 Project

Keaunna Figgers, Denver’s newest fashionista, is raising awareness of Down syndrome and doing so in style through her company The C-21 Project, which refers to the extra 21st chromosome that she was born with. Born with Down syndrome, Figgers faced obstacles from the start – she had open-heart surgery at just 3 months old and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age. Growing up with arthritis, Figgers would spend hours coloring in

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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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