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

SUCCESS STORIES

Sky Blue Builders

When Mowa Haile set out to build a business with a couple of friends, they agreed on one fundamental principle: customer service.

“The opportunity to be customer focused is what motivates us and differentiates us,” said Mowa, President of minority-owned Sky Blue Builders, LLC. “As consumers, we see the mistakes that big companies make – and we want to change that. Everything we do, we consider it from the perspective of the customer. If it doesn’t bring value or positively impact the customer, it’s a waste of time.”

Founded in 2007, SBB is a general contractor and construction management firm specializing in commercial renovation, land development and infrastructure, and general repair and maintenance for commercial and government entities. SBB services run the gamut – from erosion control and concrete asphalt paving to removal and demolition.

“We operate from a team approach,” explained Mowa, who ascribes to the Six Sigma and Lean business methodologies, as well as the Kaizen philosophy of continuous process improvement. “When we offer a customer our commitment to quality, pricing and a schedule, we stick to it. We don’t provide an estimate and then charge a lot more – we make sure our pricing is accurate up front.”

In 2009, SBB booked $175K. Remarkably, in the first quarter of 2010, the firm grew to five full-time employees and grossed $750K.

Sky Blue Builders now has about 50 employees and produced over $15 million in revenue for 2015. They continue to be a leader in the industry – committed to performing with integrity, quality and commitment.

Since Mowa started working with the SBDC, he has seen steady growth of SBB, continues to give back to the community and sits on the DMCC board of directors.

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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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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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

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Rupp’s Drums

Rupp’s Drums serves the Denver community with a wide range of music merchandise from drums and apparel to lessons and rentals. Run by a team of experienced musicians, they certainly know their stuff! Learn more about this accomplished SBDC client and finalist for Small Business of the Year at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce 2022 Business Awards below. Rupp’s Drums began back in 1984 and was later purchased in 2018 by Alex Simpson, a

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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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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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