I love the entrepreneurial spirit here. There’s not only a drive to succeed but also to help others succeed that is unlike anywhere else in the country. And that approach is working. Just last year, clients at our Denver Metro Small Business Development Center launched 44 new businesses and created 605 new jobs.
Here’s some of the cool stuff going on with our businesses:
In case you didn’t know it – water sustains life. And, there ain’t a lot of it in the West. So it’s no surprise, that as a headwater state, we are seeing more and more emerging businesses focused on solutions to the water challenges we face. One of those is RenewWest, who we met through our first Trout Tank: H2O. During this pitch event, RenewWest wowed the audience with their focus on reforesting areas damaged by fire or disease and was the judges’ pick from all the start-ups pitching at the event. And, thanks to a cash prize of $5,000, they have since been able to travel and complete the legal work necessary to continue their work of replanting trees, protecting our water and improving our air. Apply to pitch your idea at our next Trout Tank: H2O. Apply for Trout Tank: H2O.
Linda Appel Lipsius isn’t afraid of doing things differently. The co-founder & CEO of Teatulia Organic Teas was the first import tea to the U.S. from Bangladesh and the first to receive USDA-certified organic status in Bangladesh. Linda has built a brand known for doing things better, from sustainable packaging to how they engage their 800-plus employees – offering education, health and food programs. As if she weren’t busy enough, she also started the mama ‘hood (a resource for new and expecting moms and their families) and Teatulia Tea Bar next door to Teatulia’s headquarters. Like so many entrepreneurs, she is willing to share her insights at our State of Small Business on Oct. 29. RSVP now.
Last week Guild Education was named Colorado’s most valuable VC-backed, woman-led company. Guild is innovating in the education benefits space, connecting employees to opportunities to improve their skills. In fact, so many companies have engaged Guild that 3 million workers in the U.S. are already eligible for their programs. Guild is providing a real ROI to companies: their work leads to better retention (95 percent compared to 56 percent of non-engaged employees) and creates a return on investment of 144 percent for every dollar spent. In 2017, Guild Education was named the Woman-owned Business of the Year at our Business Awards. Those awards are a way for us to tell stories of incredible businesses and nonprofits – and we’ll be opening applications for our 2020 awards later this fall. Learn more.
Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.