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LEADING EDGE™ for Transportation

Take Your Business To the Next Level!

Join the elite group of graduates that have completed an interactive business planning course designed specifically for highway design and construction contractors.

Offered by the Denver Metro SBDC and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), this 9-week course was built on the award-winning LEADING EDGE business planning curriculum and tailored by industry experts to help contractors determine the best growth strategy for their business. If you want to successfully perform on CDOT, City and County of Denver, RTD, and other government contracts, this is a great step to build capacity and gain the contacts that you need to win.

Contact Rob Rose at rob.rose@denverchamber.org or call 303-620-8045 for questions.

What To Expect

  • Create a Business Development Plan tailored to meet your business needs, goals, and objectives for growth.
  • Focus on increasing your business’s capacity to successfully perform as a sub and prime contractor on government contracts.
  • Work one-on-one with experienced business advisors to reach your goals.
  • Gain an introduction to industry mentors and prime contractors and connect with community leaders, government agencies, and other resources.
  • Attend all other Denver Metro SBDC workshops for free during the program.
  • Receive preferential enrollment consideration in the CDOT Mentor-Protege Program.
  • Graduate with recognition from CDOT, prime contractors, and more!


$650 $322.50  $200

Thanks to a CDOT Scholarship, registration is 50% off. There is a 100% reimbursement upon graduation, so the class could be totally free!

*Graduation Requirement: You must submit a business/strategy plan by two weeks after the course and attend at least eight of the nine classes to graduate.*


Info Sessions
July 7, 2021 | 5:30 PM | Register Here
July 28, 2021 | 5:30 PM | Register Here

Registration Deadline
August 10, 2020

Course Sessions
August 4, 2021 – September 29, 2021
Register Here

September 29, 2021

Contact Rob Rose at rob.rose@denverchamber.org or call 303-620-8045 for questions.

Contact Rob Rose at rob.rose@denverchamber.org or call 303-620-8045 for questions.

Drops: Any drop must be done within the first week. You will receive almost a full reimbursement – $50 will say with the SBDC to cover hard costs.


  • In business 2+ years (or equivalent industry experience)
  • Minimum of $100k in sales (for single practitioners on the consulting/professional services side, there may be exceptions)
  • May have employees or may be working alone but planning to hire
  • Able to provide a balance sheet, statement of cash flow, income statement and quarterly profit and loss statements
  • Eager to learn and committed to growing your business
  • Certified DBE/ESB/MWBE/SBE companies preferred
  • Contact the Connect2DOT Program Manager at (720) 624-6728 for exceptions if you do not meet all of the eligibility requirements.

Meet the Facilitators

Connect2DOT Program Manager

Cathy Kramer

Cathy Kramer is the Statewide Program Manager for Connect2DOT and owner of Caddis LLC, a business and marketing consulting firm specializing in small business program development and support services for companies in the transportation industry. She has 25 years of marketing and management consulting experience, working with a range of clients from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. She provides strategic direction to corporations and government agencies regarding market analysis, corporate positioning, brand strategy, integrated marketing planning, proposal writing, supplier diversity, and small business program management. She has been directly responsible for more than 50 national and international client accounts and is often asked to provide keynote presentations and training at national organizations and events.

Cathy has been a consultant to CDOT for 12 years providing technical assistance to DBE/ESB firms and supporting the development and outreach of CDOT’s DBE/ESB Programs. In 2008, Cathy was part of the team that conducted the CDOT Disparity Study which was used to determine the need for remedial programs based upon racial and gender discrimination in state highway construction contracting. As a result, she assisted CDOT staff in restructuring the DBE/ESB Programs and determining the 2013 – 2015 FHWA Overall Annual DBE Goal. She has an extensive understanding of CDOT contracting and project delivery methods and has assisted hundreds of firms in marketing their services to CDOT.

Prior to starting her own business, Cathy was a Senior Systems Analyst for a Washington D.C. management consulting company where she managed large-scale federal financial and procurement software implementations at the Library of Congress, US Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Commerce, and Louisville Water Company. She consulted with clients to re-engineer workflow procedures, define system requirements, and streamline business processes.

Cathy is currently the Program Manager for Connect2DOT, managing the partnership between CDOT and the Colorado Small Business Development Centers and assisting with business consulting, training, outreach, and technical support to contractors and consultants through 14 centers across the state. Cathy received a B.A. from Michigan State University.

Cathy is available for consulting through the Denver Metro SBDC in downtown Denver, as well as by virtual appointment statewide.

Business Planning, Strategic Growth, Technology, Government Procurement and Certifications, Marketing

Jennifer Kurtz

Jennifer Kurtz is cyber program director at Manufacturer’s Edge, the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partner for Colorado. She has worked for more than 20 years in different aspects of business: as an entrepreneur (technology consulting and landscape design), strategic relationships liaison, organizational development lead, and founding principal for Conundrum Creek Consulting. Her government procurement experience includes RFP development, proposal writing and review, program evaluation, project management, contract fulfillment, certifications, and GSA Schedule. She is affiliate faculty at Regis University (graduate courses in cyber security and project management since 2010); author of the book “Hacking Wireless Access Points: Cracking, Tracking, and Signal Jacking” (2016), in addition to book chapters and articles—and a monthly blog on practical security, “Simply Cyber”; five years as technology infrastructure manager for an international automotive manufacturer; and former award-winning director of eCommerce for the State of Indiana. She holds an MBA and PMP certification. Through the Denver Metro and Pikes Peak SBDCs, Jennifer has co-led the Leading Edge for Transportation/Construction Industry program, the Growth Catalyst Business Coaching program, and created a series of cyber-security courses for small businesses.

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