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

Success Stories

Backyard Soda Company

The beauty of small businesses is their ability to listen to their customers, quickly pivot and reassess. Backyard Soda Company started with a vision of a modern version of a soda shop, but after trying to bootstrap the business with a food cart in 2011, they realized they might be going about selling their product from the wrong angle. Co-owners and founders Patrick Creager and Ari Murdock officially started Backyard Soda Company in 2012, and in the last three years have seen their business boom.

It all started when Patrick was a general manager for a restaurant. He began making custom simple syrups for use in signature cocktails, and realized he had a passion for it. The syrups could be used in many different ways, and the idea for a soda shop started brewing. After the trial and error with the food cart, they decided to focus solely on the syrups. Their customers gave them feedback and new ideas of how they used the syrups, energizing their decision. “As soon as we realized we were filling a niche, it was like ‘ding’!” said Ari.

In 2013, they began selling the syrups wholesale to local retailers while gaining confidence, and they lined up 15 accounts in the first year. By 2014, they hired Libby, a former co-worker of Patrick’s at the restaurant, to help expand their sales reach. Within another year, Backyard Soda Company had 75 accounts, including regional distribution with Whole Foods. The same week they landed the Whole Foods distribution, they were named a finalist in the Martha Stewart “American Made” competition. “It was a long shot, but we figured ‘why not?” said Patrick. Ultimately they did not win, but the visibility from the contest helped them increase their online sales.

With their business growing so quickly, they sought out the assistance of the SBDC and enrolled in the Leading Edge Program through North Metro Denver. “Sometimes teaching is the best way to learn,” said Ari, and the course helped them prioritize the possibilities for their product. They also met with several consultants who helped them with learning about how to add a partner to the business, contract negotiation and figuring out how to make their business go where they want it to go.

“This is something I enjoy doing, taking a craft and turning it into a business,” says Patrick. Backyard Soda Company is excited for future growth and the potential for opening a bottling line, but they recognize one of the elements of their success is their ability to hand sell their product directly to their customers. They’ll continue to sell their cocktail, soda and coffee syrups at farmer’s markets, and continue their Sunday tradition of donating 20% of their sales to local charities in support of their local community. “We have a following now!” says Ari. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm and we feel so welcome in the community. We are very fortunate to be in Denver at this time.”

Fiesta Time Inc.

Fiesta Time Inc. is a family business that started seven years ago in Brighton, Colorado. The Jurado family opened it services with only ten tables and seventy chairs, and since then has grown to be a driving force in the party rental industry. Fiesta Time is now much more than just tables and chairs, offering a whole repertoire of frame tents, pole tents, linens, dance floors, and sound systems. Having a strong foundation is essential

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4th Kind Entertainment

In the age of YouTube and smartphones, how does a small video production company distinguish themselves from anyone who can hold a camera? In the words of 4th Kind Entertainment’s owners and founders, Curt Donohue and Jason Graisa: empathy mapping and humor. “We spend a lot of time with our clients to find out who their clients are,” says Curt. 4th Kind Entertainment, a Denver area video production company, specializes on customer discovery and injecting

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Deltech, Inc.

Deltech Inc. designs and builds furnaces for the production of scientific products, from laboratory implements to semi-conductor components. Deltech is a small, family-run company with a large impact. It began in 1968 as an engineering services company for the mining industry. The co-founders, Calvin L. Stevenson and Donald J. Drinkwater, were mining engineers. Deltech built its first furnace for Coors Tek, then known as Coors Porcelain. Their second customer was Los Alamos National Laboratories. Mary

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Nova Engineering

An affinity for science and its potential applications drove Manhar Karsanbhai to pursue his Bachelor of Science at Colorado University in electrical engineering. After spending several years gaining experience in semi-conducting, storage, and research and development with companies from Colorado to California, Manhar decided it was time for a change. “It’s a big leap going from corporate America to jumping in to business ownership,” he said. Nova Engineering was established in 1979 and Manhar took

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Key Results

Key Results is a small company with a long reach. For almost twenty years, Owner, Marge Fajardo, has worked with individual leaders globally and a variety of business groups from small local companies to large governmental agencies in Washington D.C. The ultimate goal of Key Results is to improve the interpersonal health of an organization and build on their people-power to produce better results. Prior to starting Key Results, Fajardo worked in business, government, and

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Core Progression Elite Personal Training

In 2006, Jon Cerf was graduating from Baylor University, working part time at a fitness center and had plans to go on to Med-School. He had done some work in the landscaping industry when he was in high school and had somewhat developed a fondness for the freedom of being involved independently in business. But something happened while working in the fitness world. The bright light of inspiration went off and he kept wondering how,

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