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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

Back2Basics

Brittany Winkfield is like a lot of entrepreneurs. She saw a gap in the marketplace and instead of waiting for someone else to fill it, she went after it herself. Led by a belief and desire that a Christian lifestyle magazine existed within the community, she used her creative skills, business network, and the SBDC to create Back2Basics Magazine. And she did it with the grace and style of a dedicated entrepreneur that understands how important commitment to strategy is for every business.

Brittany began with the SBDC through our programs. Starting with our Start-Up Basics Track and a few individual seminars, but then went all in and signed up for the Leading Edge NxLeveL class that was facilitated in the fall. From then on, it was evident that Back2Basics Magazine was going to get started and be a successful venture.

The NxLeveL program put her into a position where she could take the natural step of leaving her job and move directly into a full-fledged commitment of making this business work. “After 11 weeks of creative thinking and business planning, I had a roadmap to guide me through the next chapter in my life,” said Brittany. The two and half month program built her confidence and understanding of how best to build her magazine and develop a logical growth plan for the business.
“If it had not been for the SBDC and the consultants who helped advise me, I would still be talking about starting this magazine and not actually working to make this dream come true,” she said. The entrepreneurial dream that she had experienced for many years is now a reality because of her effort and commitment to strategizing how best to develop the start-up, and by using the powerful resources of the SBDC network.

Back2Basics 2014 Year In Review:

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 cofounder Eric Davis began seeing Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultants in January 2016 to explore several ideas for new programs and ways to expand their team. A year later, they enrolled in Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs to learn business basics and refine their five-year plan. They credit Denver Arts & Venues for making it possible for them to take the course through their Create Denver scholarship, a partnership with the SBDC that covers half of the program fees of creative and artistic businesses.

“Not only did we learn skills necessary for strengthening the foundation of our company, we also met other entrepreneurs and strengthened our relationship with the SBDC and Chamber,” Bach said of the course.

Since working with the SBDC, Bach and Davis brought on two more teammates – Paul Elsberg and Zac Layman. They also received several awards and recognitions including “Companies to watch from Denver Startup Week” by Denverite, second place in the Leading Edge business plan competition and were selected to represent Colorado in Washington, D.C. at the America’s Small Business Development Showcase.

And, they launched the nonprofit Denver Arts + Technology (DATA) to create a community center that puts research, education, creation and exhibition together under the same roof, developing curriculum for K-12 workshops and programs, creating an immersion lab, providing a professional job training program, creating diversity and fostering world leaders in immersive 360-degree technology.

Moving forward, they look to other like-minded companies like Moment Factory, Obscura Digital and Meow Wolf: “Seeing their success, we know that the world is changing and we have a good chance of actualizing our dreams,” Bach said.

2018 is a year to strengthen their foundation, increase revenue, offer new products and develop stronger relationships in Denver and nationally.

“When people scoff at these goals, we remind them of Elon Musk and his accomplishments. We are inspired by those who have set out to take on what others consider impossible and believe the world could use more of this type of ‘insanity,'” Bach said.

Metro Denver is a city for arts and culture, with its arts and culture district contributing to $512.8 million in economic impact in 2017. In fact, its vibrancy and support for startups and the arts is what made it the perfect home for Alt Ethos, Bach said: “We look forward to supporting the ethos in Denver as a dynamic engaged city that fosters arts, culture and technology.”

If you want to learn more about Leading Edge or the Create Denver Scholarship, visit our website.

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