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The city of Denver is awarding $50,000 to the local business that it considers to have one of the best business ideas. Criteria for applying include the business being 5 years or younger with up to 25 employees. This is the first time the city has offered this opportunity to Denver LLCs, C Corps and S Corps, and could be just the boost that a new company, or even someone in business a couple of years but still struggling, could really use—especially in these rough economic times.

Growing Small Business: Growing Jobs

The Denver Office of Economic Development has chosen to provide this award because they know that small businesses are the largest job creators in the country and they want to do all they can to support that opportunity.

The awards are actually called the JumpStart Biz Plan Awards and you can learn more by clicking here. Beyond just the...

If the fact that Colorado is a start-up and entrepreneurial hot-bed was a secret to anyone, it isn’t anymore. The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has ranked the top 10 U.S. cities for start-ups, based on dollars invested in young tech companies in 2011. The Denver/Boulder corridor made the list, showing up at number nine. The article in USA Today, “Top cities for technology start-ups,” points out that both MapQuest and Photobucket, which are huge start-up success stories, were born and raised right here in Colorado. Some other interesting stats on funding in our region:

· Number of start-ups funded: 395

· Total dollar amount in funding for 2011: $584.6M in 85 companies.

The article recognizes the outstanding amount of activity and collaboration considering our smaller tech community size as compared to somewhere like a Silicon...

There is some pending legislation making the rounds in Congress right now with the catchy name of Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act, or better known as SHIELD. The goal of this legislation is to put the financial burden of lawsuits on the “patent trolls” who like to use intellectual property rights to jam the courts with frivolous lawsuits. These opportunists buy patents solely to turn around and sue the innovative start-ups that created the products. Patent trolls often buy broad patents that allow them to file flimsy lawsuits against multiple companies for infringement.

One Giant Leap for Colorado Start-Up IP

Currently, the small business or entrepreneur faces the burden of cash out of their pocket to fend off, or fight, these lawsuits. The SHIELD Act would force patent trolls to pay the legal costs of the companies they sue if the case lacks a reasonable chance of success. Some are objecting to this legislation with the belief that it was put in place by powerful...


Our beaming Colorado was one of six Western states selected to be a part of a large solar project sponsored by the United States Department of the Interior. The project, coined “All of the Above,” is slated to provide power to 700 million homes over the next 10 years, and is called “the nation’s first comprehensive plan to develop solar power on public land.” Some of the details include:

· Setting aside 285,000 acres that is supposed to have minimal impact on the environment

· Development in 17 solar-energy zones in California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah will move quickly because environmental impact studies have already been approved

· An additional 19 million acres have been selected for potential development

· The initial 7 projects will produce 6,000 megawatts of energy that can power nearly...



The Colorado business community and beyond has a lot to be proud of, including being a mecca for innovation and the entrepreneurs that are the engine behind the machine.

· Goldman Sachs  will recognize Sue Allon, CEO of Allonhill, as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs of 2012 and will salute her innovation and leadership in the financial services industry at a national conference in Newport Beach, CA, in October. Founded in Denver in 2008, Allonhill is the leading national independent third-party review firm that specializes in mortgage due diligence and credit risk management.

· The Paradigm Project,  a Colorado Springs company that markets environmentally friendly cooking stoves in developing nations — which serve as vehicles for the company to sell so-called “carbon offsets” — has been named the nation’s "most promising social n the entrepreneur” in BloombergBusinessweek’s fourth annual...


GEORGE: Yeah, yeah. She’s seeing this guy, Art Vandelay.

SUSAN: So what does he do?

GEORGE: He’s an importer-exporter.

SUSAN: What kind of problems are they having?

GEORGE: Well, he uh, he wants to uh, quit the exporting and uh, focus just on importing. And it’s a problem, she thinks the exporting is as important as the importing.

                 -Seinfeld, “The Cadillac (2)

Exporting is another piece of the small business puzzle that creates jobs and helps sustain Colorado business formation. Recent statistics show that around 4,459 companies export from Colorado annually.

Building a More Competitive Colorado: The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)

Here in Colorado we have the Office of Economic Development and International Trade which sponsors several...

Pangea Organics, Simple Energy Inc, and Dabble successfully competed against seven other businesses by pitching their business plans at the i4c Campaign event on July 13th in Denver. The winning companies each received $50,000 equity investment from the host venture capital company, Galvanize, who is also offering a year's worth of rent-free workspace in downtown Denver as well as general consulting and mentoriship assistance to the winners. 

Pangea Organics, based in Boulder, distributes natural skincare and personal hygeine products online and through retail outlets like Whole Foods. Pangea's product line ranges from hand soaps to lip balms and lotions. Their winning pitch involved investing in a "social selling" plan, using home parties to sell discounted product and to increase word-of-mouth sales. 

Simple Energy is another Boulder-based startup that...

August 8-9 "Simply Crowdfunding"

If you've read my post on Crowdfunding, then you're already familiar with the opportunities and advantages that services like Seedups, Crowdcube and Kickstarter offer to promising entrepreneurs with deep social networks. These online services allow anybody with an idea to shop it around for potential investors. In the past year, crowdfunding has proven wildly successful. This two-day seminar hosted at the CU Law school is designed to bring you up to speed on the newest phenomenon in raising capital.

August 7th, 20th "Start-Up Basics"

The Denver Chamber of Commerce hosts their bi-monthly start-up seminar, offering a crash course detailing the financial, legal, and personal considerations involved in developing a new business. While it's...

The U.S. Department of commerce announced in July that Denver would be one of three metropolitan areas chosen as locations for new branches of U.S. Patent and Trademark offices.  In the past, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in the patent process is simply the backlog of patent requests that need to be approved by the sole office in Virginia. With half a million new patent requests every year, the wait time for approval is around three years.  

Getting patent office in Denver required significant lobbying by Colorado leaders in business and Government, all in the pursuit of a large economic payoff for the area. It is slated to produce a $440 million economic boost to the area as well as employing around a thousand people.  Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet sent letters from 50 prominent local business leaders expressing support. Two other US metro areas selected for patent offices are San Jose and Dallas-Fort...

Starting March 31st, 2013, United Airlines will begin its first nonstop flight from Denver to Tokyo-Narita on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock projects that this route is poised to bring over $130 million dollars in economic impact to the state annually, and many businesses are taking notice.Some firms are moving their operations to Denver to take advantage of this new direct link to the East. Arrow Electronics, a Fortune 500 electronics component manufacturer cited the prospect of Denver-Asia flights as a major decision-factor when they moved their headquarters from New York to Englewood last year.

With Japan only 12 hours away from DIA, this can bring the cost of doing business across the globe down significantly. It can...


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