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The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center
Igniting the dream of business ownership.
We work hard to make sure our clients reach their full entrepreneurial potential through our core services: free one-on-one consulting, training and programs
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Delivered by expert practitioners, these lively workshops will give you practical tips and resources to help you start, grow, and thrive in your business and career.
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Success Stories

BreakAway Meetings

BreakAway Meetings, the custom event package company, is adding fuel, focus and fun to every virtual event! Co-owners Kim and Angela began their careers working in hotel venues and events. When the Covid19 pandemic hit, the events world shifted to a virtual setting. This did not stop the innovative duo. They quickly adapted and decided to continue offering opportunities for individuals to connect with each other, this began BreakAway Meetings.

BreakAway Meetings creates customizable meeting and event packages for both hybrid and virtual attendees, offering a way for team members to connect with each other and build relationships. Kim and Angela have certainly faced their own set of challenges when starting BreakAway Meetings. The team noted “We have had so much to learn with creating our own business, so learning how to wear every hat in the business has been challenging. The SBDC has been a huge help with teaching us a lot of these new skills!” Because they offer completely customizable products, they quickly realized the attention to detail needed during the planning and logistics phases of their process.Throughout the challenges they have faced, the BreakAway Meetings team keeps customer relationships and quality products in mind. “We’re in the customer service industry and our goal is to take as much work out of our client’s hands as possible, letting them focus on the other pressing aspects of their job.” said Kim and Angela “We are always working to create a seamless process for our clients from start to finish!”  

Featured in The Denver Business Journal, 9News and a finalist in the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce 2022 Business Awards, this small business is no stranger to success. After seeing exceptional revenue growth at 700% in 2021, they are looking to the future in hopes of expanding their internal team and taking on funding opportunities. The team also noted their involvement with the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center and how its programming has both supported them and provided them valuable connections. “We have bi-weekly meetings with an SBDC consultant who provides an educated and non-biased opinion on anything that we’re working on and guides us in the right direction.” said BreakAway Meetings “Thanks to the SBDC, we feel much more comfortable running every aspect of our small business, and feel confident that when we encounter another challenge, we can get the help we need.”   

Learn more about this small business here: https://www.breakawaymeetings.com/ 

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 passionate artist with the goal to serve drummers around Colorado and bring the community together. He later recruited a talented team of individuals to uphold the mission of the company, that is, “To serve drummers from all backgrounds with integrity, exceptional product representation and a level of expertise that can only be provided by a team of passionate, experienced drummers.” With a vast selection of products and services, they uphold their promise to serve a diverse range of customers.

Like many small businesses, Rupp’s Drums must answer the question, why should I shop at a small business? In response, the Rupp’s Drums team emphasizes the nature of the products they sell and the quality of service they provide: “We believe in personalized customer service, expert product knowledge, no-strings-attached technical support, maintaining a physical retail location where customers can touch and hear our products, creating unforgettable memories for our customers, providing opportunities through global networking and operating with full transparency and honesty.”

With a passion for music, Rupp’s Drums aims to be a resource for the creative community in Denver.

You can find out more about Rupp’s Drums at https://www.ruppsdrums.com/.

 

Collective Counseling Solutions

Collective Counseling Solutions serves clients and therapists across 10 states, from Colorado to New York, by providing high-quality care to patients and being a resource for their network of therapists around the country. An SBDC client since 2018, Collective Counseling Solutions has shown exceptional growth since completing the Trout Tank Pitch Accelerator program and becoming a finalist for Start-Up of the Year at the 2022 Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Business Awards!

Founders Nicholas Mancini and Eric Hilborn got their start in community mental health organizations. The pair later took an interest in owning their own business and shifted their focus to creating an efficient experience for clients and therapists. Beginning in Denver, Colorado, Collective Counseling Solutions’ mission is to “make it simple and easy for you to connect with the skilled, licensed therapists who will accept your insurance and empathically guide you along your journey to healing and recovery.” Through the creation of their partnership and the challenges that come with starting a business, Nick and Eric recognized the value of connecting with their clients in a personal way through the support they provide. They are grateful to be doing the work that they love and enjoy seeing the positive effect it has on their community and those across the U.S.   

The start-up offers resources for those running their own private practice, taking on administrative duties to allow mental health clinicians to focus on providing the valuable services they care so much about. Those who join the collective receive support like “pro-bono start-up business coaching, billing and benefit verification services, and referral stream development.”

You can find out more about Collective Counseling Solutions at https://collectivecounselingsolutions.com.  

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 own to manufacture green coal and sell as a clean energy resource, which will directly impact poverty and climate change.

TE creates social entrepreneurship opportunities, where rural entrepreneurs own the kilns which produce green coal. As a direct replacement for traditional coal, our green coal is made entirely from renewable resources, like invasive mesquite trees. Produced and sold for profit, green coal will reduce carbon emissions while generating income for local villagers and profit for Transform Energy.

Following the mission and vision of Paul Polak, Transform Energy will transform climate change and help millions of people permanently escape poverty in the process. Paul’s business solution to poverty, which has been deployed for over 35 years now and empowers over 30 million people living on <$2/day to lift themselves out of poverty.

Transform Energy has successfully developed a radically decentralized energy option that uses selected species of biomass, effectively processed into green coal, to replace much of the current coal use without the negative impact on the climate. We use torrefaction, the science of converting biomass into a coal-like product, just like roasting coffee. This will make a profound impact in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that impact the climate.

The innovation is implementing the technology in thousands of distributed villages close to the biomass source. TE will create thousands of new job opportunities in the developing world where local entrepreneurs can own and operate the village kilns, making green coal infinitely sustainable and scalable into the future. This creation of new jobs will be in areas where poverty is deeply entrenched, effectively lifting millions more out of poverty.

For more information visit our website, www.transform-energy.com or email us at info@transform-energy.com.

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 biggest hurdles when starting Yak Hospitality Group saying, “The biggest challenge is making sure to stay unique in the market, so your business becomes a magnet to the people we wish to entertain at our social club. Truthfully, raising capital and getting the right type of financing has been the biggest challenge. We are a minority-owned business and there are many programs out there for us, but the timing of funding is everything when trying to start a project that needs lots of marketing.” After winning the Trout Tank Pitch Competition, they have gained positive exposure from much of the community and enjoyed navigating a new market by interacting with local vendors and partners.

The founders of Yak Hospitality Group look forward to the continued growth of the company saying, “We look forward to becoming the number one hospitality group in Denver. When people visit the city of Denver, they should have the opportunity to party with us, dine with us, stay at our hotels, and more importantly experience quality living and vacationing like they never have before. We are developing a dynamic value-added exclusive membership program that will allow participants to enjoy benefits in both Denver, CO and Miami, FL with affiliate partnered companies.”

With the goal of connecting individuals and creating long-lasting memories, Yak Hospitality recognizes the need to maintain a unique image for the brand. They believe with the relationships they have built and the support of the community, no hurdle is too big to overcome for their new business.

Yak Hospitality Group took home the top place at the Denver Metro SBDC’s Trout Tank Pitch Event.

You can find out more about Yak Hospitality Group at https://www.yakhospitality.com/.

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