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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
About Us
Free, Confidential Consulting
Our consultants care about your growth. We can help you in nearly every area of your business, whether you’re just getting started or are already in business. The best part?
It’s free.
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Training and Programs
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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LEADING EDGE™ for Entrepreneurs

The success ignitor for your business idea.

LEADING EDGE™ for Entrepreneurs is Colorado’s premier business plan program that addresses the questions every entrepreneur must answer in order to launch or grow a business.

In this 10-week course, participants learn how to analyze economic opportunities and risk for their business and create an actionable strategic business plan based on proven market research and management techniques. Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs is an interactive course, which ensures the flow of information not just from the instructor and guest speakers, but between participants as well. 

At the end of the program, you’ll have the opportunity to present your business plan
for a chance to WIN A FINANCIAL INVESTMENT for your business or brand! 

​​​​​​First Place: Class fee reimbursement up to $695 + a cash prize of $695
Second Place: Class fee reimbursement up to $695 + a cash prize of $400
Third Place: Class fee reimbursement up to $695 + a cash prize of $200​​​​​​


Payment is required at registration.

Early Bird Pricing: $550

Early Bird pricing deadline is June 19, 2024

Standard Pricing: $695

Important Dates

Free Information Sessions:
May 22 | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
June 5 | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Courses Begin:
Wednesday, June 26, 2024 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
Final Course:
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2024 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
Graduation Ceremony:
Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2024 | Denver Chamber


Contact Christopher Goetz at christopher.goetz@denversbdc.org 

Additional Benefits

Free registration to workshops at the Denver Metro SBDC while enrolled
Entry into a class business plan competition for a chance to win cash prizes and have your business plan reviewed by an SBDC consultant and a banker if you have one of the top 3 plans from your class. 
Access to an online learning platform with weekly reading and presentations, group discussion forums, financial spreadsheets and templates to build your plan of action
Free one-on-one consulting
Real time feedback on your strategic business plan 
Introduction to potential lenders at a Funding Options Panel

Meet the Facilitators


Nancy is a co-owner of APIS Business Solutions, and accounting/bookkeeping firm that also offers human resources consulting. Nancy has 25 year of experience in corporate training, human resources and vocational training. Her passion is helping business owners start or improve their businesses by understanding all the components necessary to build a strong business foundation. She takes pleasure in helping owners with strategic planning and business plan development.

Christopher Goetz

Christopher Goetz is the Program Manager for the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center. Working with the SBDC’s consultants, he manages the Business Foundations, Trout Tank, Leading Edge, and special funding and speaker programs offered by the SBDC. These programs serve to help clients pursue a career in business ownership, become community contributors, and grow their businesses to become job creators and wealth producers.

Previously, Christopher has worked around the Denver metro area creating professional development workshops at the University of Colorado, leading fund-raising events at The Wildlife Experience and The Kempe Foundation, and helping children experience live theater as the Student Matinee Manager at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He is extremely excited to be working to support the incredible entrepreneurs striving to make their lives, their community, and Colorado a better place.

In the event you need to withdraw your application to participate after submitting payment for the course, you must do so prior to 5 p.m. Friday the first week of the course in order to receive a reimbursement less $50.

 Questions? Contact Christopher Goetz and christopher.goetz@denversbdc.org 


Co-Founder of Paleo Meals To Go

Dawn Anderson

Dawn Anderson and her son Ty Soukup founded Paleo Meals To Go in 2013, to offer paleo options for outdoor enthusiasts and people on the move.

Fun Fact: She taught her cat to jump through a hoop, sit, shake, and ring a bell for her dinner!

Why Leading Edge? “The Leading Edge helped me understand the benefit of writing a business plan. I wish I had known about and taken the class at the beginning instead of three years into my business. I had no idea how much work it was going to be, but the time spent was well worth the effort due to the in-depth understanding I gained about my business.”

Founder of One Degree Health

Danielle Atcheson

Danielle Atcheson is an Executive Health Coach, specializing in integrative and functional health. In 2016, she left her Fortune 500 executive role to found One Degree Health – a wellness education company that produces personal development programming and online courses for busy professionals, grounded on her core philosophy of simple yet powerful “one degree” micro-changes integrated into your typical day can lead you towards your best health.

Fun Fact: I studied Aerospace Engineering in college. So when I say “Improving your health isn’t rocket science”, I’m speaking from experience ;).

Why Leading Edge?  “When I left corporate to start One Degree Health, I knew that the first thing I would need was a business plan, yet had no idea where to start other than googling “how to start a business”. Luckily, I came across the amazing resources available at Denver’s Small Business Development Center and their Leading Edge program.

Leading Edge was exactly what I needed to take my idea from a thought-bubble to reality. Through our weekly workshops and peer discussions, my instructor and classmates really helped me get clear on the ins-and-outs of my business model. I also appreciated how well-rounded and holistic the curriculum was – one week we’re discussing the entrepreneurial mindset, and in the next, we’re learning social media and tax laws, all while building out our business plans. I highly recommend Leading Edge to anyone wanting to validate a business idea or looking for how to improve or expand their existing business.”

Founder of Illuminating Purpose

Kristyn Cozad

My company is Illuminating Purpose (illuminatingpurpose.com, illuminatingpurpose@gmail.com). I am a Paterson Life Plan facilitator and a coach/speaker with the John Maxwell Team. I help people to get crystal clear as to their purpose and core values so that their lives have great impact and fulfillment. Through clarity of vision, clients begin to reflect the best of who they are created to be.

Fun Fact: My guilty pleasure is travel and experiencing different cultures. I’m never more in my skin than when I’m in a different country experiencing it for the first time.

Why Leading Edge? “Leading Edge was pivotal for me and for the trajectory of Illuminating Purpose! In the course of writing a business plan I gained so much more than I could have imagined. Through the process of writing the plan, I started to get really clear on WHY I do the work I do, the benefits of my work to my clients and an ability to communicate clearly the value and need for my company. Being in a community of entrepreneurs fueled my creativity and I will be forever grateful for what I’ve learned from the program. I felt incredibly supported in learning how to run a successful business. SBDC has an endless supply of resources for the small business owner and is a great asset to the Denver community.”

Founder of PB Love CO

Mario Esparza

Mario Esparza created PB Love to provide handcrafted, artisan nut butter, that is 100% real food product, to deliver a “ridiculous” eating experience.

Fun Fact: He is a classically trained musician and he plays the clarinet.

Why Leading Edge? “Leading Edge helped with confidence and introduced me to an awesome and kind group of people that provided me with some very needed moral support!”

Founder of Point of Balance

Natalie Franciose

I am in the business of helping people feel their best, through customized Acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutritional support.

Fun fact: I am in the circus!

Why Leading Edge? “Leading Edge helped me to focus my vision and access the true essence of what I am doing so that I can eloquently deliver my medicine to the people.”

Founder of The BARley Colorado Craft & Draft

Justin Keys

Justin Keys owns a bar in Steamboat Springs that focuses on Colorado made brews, spirits and wine.

Why Leading Edge? “I am a Colorado guy who worked for Fortune 500 companies my whole life, until one day I threw it all to the wind, quit my career to work on starting a brewery, and happened upon Leading Edge and the SBDC at just the perfect time.

Leading Edge did so much for me. It taught me how to think differently, and how to flush out ideas and details. I learned how to build a very effective business plan that saved me over a million dollars when it convinced me not to move forward with the brewery. Leading Edge also taught me the power of the pivot, which led me to buying a craft beer bar in Steamboat Springs. Looking back on it, I never would’ve been happy unless I moved forward with my original idea, but LE taught me that you can be even happier when your idea changes.

I now own a bar in Steamboat Springs that focuses on Colorado made brews, spirits, and wine. We only buy one of each keg so our menu changes almost daily. The Barley is a place for locals and tourists alike, where you’ll always find something new to try, and it will always be served with a smile!”

Co-Founders of Sangre Azul

Sonja Leigh & Ruben Cedera

Sangre Azul celebrates life & friends by crafting crave-able mouth-watering Premium Cocktail Juices to enjoy when out and at home. In business since Cinco de Mayo 2016 it is sold in Argonaut, SoBo Liquors, Boulder Wines and served at Tap XIV and Hayters.

Why Leading Edge? “With the help of the SBDC Leading Edge and a solid business plan… we are soon to expand operations and increase sales revenue by selling in additional targeted locations!”

Founder of VISKA Consulting

Chris Love

Chris Love is Partner & Chief of Technical Services at VISKA Consulting. They have made it their mission to help business leaders and organizations realize the path to their greatest success.

Fun Fact: Chris can be heard on Pandora with The Remus Tucker Band on their new single Lonely Mile.

Why Leading Edge? “This program helped me think about my business in ways that I had not previously. I was able to put together a business plan and get feedback from instructors as well as peers, which was very insightful and helpful.”

Founder Just Be LLC

Matt Marshall

Matt Marshall is founder of Just be…LLC, a company that offers consulting and coaching to help organizations and individuals in the architecture, engineering & construction (AEC) industry envision, define, align with and achieve their full potential.

Fun Fact: Had his “15 minutes of fame” early in his life as a member and featured soloist of the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Men’s Chorale.

Why Leading Edge? “This class was the “bootcamp” I needed in the early stages of my venture. The simplicity and structure of the business canvas, the weekly commitment to work “on my business” collaboratively with other participants and the diverse backgrounds of the experts brought in to share their stories and answer questions were invaluable to me.”

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