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

SUCCESS STORIES

Beyond Microgreens

Beyond Microgreens was founded with a clear mission in mind: to connect people with powerful plants and fill nutritional gaps in their diet. Although founder Stephen Cowan spent 10 years in software sales selling enterprise solutions, he felt that there was more he could do for others.

“My inspiration [for Beyond Microgreens] was a trip to the jungles of Peru,” Cowan said. There, he discovered the health and vitality of plants, and how connected the local communities were to their environment. This trip spurred a passion in Cowan to connect and educate others on the health benefits of plants.

It was this passion that led to the creation of Beyond Microgreens. Cowan describes himself as a “first-time entrepreneur,” and his business journey has had its ups and downs. For Cowan, one of the most challenging aspects is the loneliness that can accompany starting and running your own business, especially in the initial stages. However, Cowan says he’s also had the benefit of meeting one of the greatest teachers he’s ever had, and he’s made some of his best friends through this work. Meeting passionate people and learning along the way has taken his business acumen to a new level, “it’s basically my MBA,” said Cowan.

While there have been challenges, Cowan found success with Beyond Microgreens, winning the Social Impact Startup of Colorado award in 2021, and recently winning Trout Tank: Food Frenzy with the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

After attending classes at the Denver Metro SBDC, Cowan learned how to “simplify the business.” Some of his biggest takeaways have been scaling different parts of his business so that internal operations cover everything from cleaning, shipping, marketing and more. He now also also recognizes when to lean on partners and what his role entails. All these lessons have helped influence the future growth and development of Beyond Microgreens.

Cowan recently finished his second round of Trout Tank: Food Frenzy. He says he initially enrolled a second time because he was considering a new business path, but after exploring options and learning more about small business development, Cowan simplified Beyond Microgreens instead.

Looking to the future of Beyond Microgreens, Cowan says he’s excited about bringing on an integrator and co-founder to focus on internal operations, while Cowan can focus more externally. He also looks forward to having a more quantifiable impact environmentally and within individuals’ health.

A message that Cowan wishes to emphasize with the public is to eat more plants, and to understand the power and magic of photosynthesis. Plants eat light, and when you eat plants, you are filling yourself with that light, and he hopes to spread that.

Lori J Photography

Entrepreneurs are known for having to perform many different roles. Many struggle with the financial and accounting aspect of their business, while others have a hard time understanding the power of social media. For Lori Johnson, owner of Lori J Photography, she’s the first to admit that her nemesis is marketing. Lori J Photography provides a boutique photography service experience for Denver wedding photography, family portraits, and lifestyle headshots for entrepreneurs in Denver. The business

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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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Transform Energy

Transform Energy utilizes a market-based approach to end poverty and climate change, creating micro franchises to generate green coal, a clean coal replacement. Worldwide there are 1 billion people living on less than $3 a day in rural villages with very limited job prospects to improve their livelihood. They buy coal to use for cooking and heating which adds to environmental hazards. Transform Energy (TE) partners with local entrepreneurs to build simple kilns which they

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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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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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Med-Fit

Med-Fit, PLLC provides physician-supervised individualized weight management systems designed to help overweight and obese clients lose and maintain a healthy weight. Owner Dr. Angela Tran is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine and has practiced in primary care since 2007. Despite Angela’s extensive education and experience, she admits she knew very little about how to start a business when she decided to seek assistance from the Denver Metro SBDC in January of 2012. Angela

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