Month: August 2017

O’Connell Speaking at National SBDC Conference

Mike O’Connell, Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Director, will be a presenter at the National SBDC conference in September, in Nashville Tennessee. Over 1400 small business development professionals attend this annual conference to sharpen their consulting skills, and learn about useful entrepreneurial resources. O’Connell will present “My Top Six Ways That Businesses Get Into Trouble”. This information was also featured in BizWest magazine’s May 2017 edition.

The Warehouse Business Accelerator Announces New Executive Director

The Warehouse Business Accelerator Announces New Executive Director
August 14, 2017

LOVELAND, CO – The Warehouse Business Accelerator, a public-private regionally supported economic development engine, has appointed Bryan Pederson as leader and Executive Director for the organization.
Pederson began his new role in early July and brings to the Acceler
ator more than 10 years of regional business and community development experience that includes former leadership of Thrivent Financial’s community engagement initiatives in Central California and formation of the Safe at Home program with Rebuilding Together Peninsula.
“Bryan as the Executive Director is the perfect fit in our city’s economic eco system as his passions and purpose is driving business development and community engagement. His servant leadership, networking capabilities, and positive attitude make him ideal for the position,” reported Jay Dokter, founder of the Warehouse.
“The Warehouse program is distinctly different from other business incubator programs because of the maturity of the companies it serves,” Dokter said. “Companies enabled by The Warehouse are typically graduates from the incubator phase. They have a tested product and are ready to “scale up” to bring their product to market, generate revenue and hire employees.”
“I look forward to serving and partnering with the area’s stage II companies in this capacity” remarks Bryan. “I am dedicated to this sector because it is a primary driver of economic growth and creator of jobs in our communities. The Warehouse Business Accelerator plays a key role in supporting and developing company capacity to improve this region’s quality of life.”
The Warehouse’s primary funding source comes from the Loveland Business Partnership (LBP) with collaboration and support from the City of Loveland and other organizations. The Warehouse provides select incubator graduates and Stage II companies access to an integrated regional ecosystem. This includes expert advice, capital, supply chain partners, research resources, market connections, and physical resources for the purpose of accelerating their revenue growth, scale-up, and growth of primary jobs.

LBP Board Member, Douglas Rutledge, said “The Warehouse’s founders have been working alongside many of the existing entrepreneurial support entities to build out a missing piece of the regional ecosystem in Northern Colorado. Collaboration, a regional footprint, local, state, international sources of capital and tech industry cluster development are all ingredients to The Warehouse’s success.”

The Warehouse is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is eligible to receive funding through sponsorship, in-kind donations, grants and government sources.

The Loveland Business Partnership (LBP) is an organization comprised of Loveland business leaders interested in promoting and supporting business growth and opportunity within the city that provides high quality employment opportunities for current and future citizens.

Spidertrax

Spidertrax Off-Road

Owner: Thom Kingston

Story written by: Shelley Widhalm
Photos Courtesy of Spidertrax

Thom Kingston helped start Loveland-based Spidertrax Off-Road not in a garage like some startups but in a fully equipped shop at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
In 1999, Kingston and his former partner and co-founder, Eddie Casanueva, initially snuck into the school after-hours to develop and manufacture parts for the off-road industry until they got official approval and could work during the daytime. “We were manufacturing all of our parts, using the tools of the university to pull it off,” said Kingston, who has a degree in mechanical engineering.


Kingston and Casanueva moved their fledgling operation to Longmont in 2001, bringing a few parts on pallets. They relocated the shop again in 2014 into an 8,000-square-foot building at 174 12th St., SE.

Spidertrax makes products for rock crawling, a motor sport involving driving over tough, rocky terrain. The company, which produces everything in-house, develops and manufactures drive trains, axles, hub units and knuckles, all for the front and rear of the off-road vehicle.

“When we competed in racing and rock crawling, 

you couldn’t get through a day of rock crawling without something breaking,” Kingston said. “It was what happened, because it was so extreme.”
Kingston, who has a staff of 16, takes the approach of looking for causes of failure to improve his product lines, regularly meeting with top off-road drivers at competitions. He doesn’t simply design on paper or use Computer-Aided Design but employs materials, workmanship, and engineering and design principles to transform what the machines can do.

His product lines impressed the producer of “Monster Trucks,” who called Kingston last year to request design specs for drive trains, axles and other parts to use in movie stunts, along with a large inventory of spares. Kingston didn’t hear from the producer after putting in his order, so when the movie came out, he decided to email him. With an apology, the producer said what Kingston had made at Spidertrax was of such high quality nothing broke.

 “It’s nice to be able to serve and over deliver, and I try to stay on my toes for that,” Kingston said.

To continue expanding his business, Kingston began working with Robert Coffey, a Loveland Business Development Center/Larimer Small Business Development Center financial specialist, in February 2016. Kingston, who had reached a point where he needed to generate more sales to grow his business, wanted to get ideas for improving his budgeting and financing.
“The key thing Thom wanted to focus on was a financial budget because there 

 seemed to be a lot of wasted resources, and forming a budget helps you develop discipline in operations,” Coffey said. “How does that financial data give you perspective on how your company is performing?” 
 Coffey helped give Kingston direction to improve his interpretation of the balance sheet and P&L statement financial data in making sound business decisions, he said. 

“It played a very key role at the exact right time,” Kingston said. “They have been absolutely phenomenal in taking the business to the next step.”
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