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Success Stories

Rodeo News

Siri Steven has a passion for life, a desire to educate, and a work ethic and determination that have made Rodeo News the successful, nationally recognized magazine it is today. “This is the culmination of all of the things I have learned in 40 years.” Good friends, life circumstances, and hard work brought Rodeo News into her life, and she has devoted herself to its success completely.

After getting her start working on the publication Fence Post, Siri moved onto Roping Newsletter in 2001. She bought the magazine that would become Rodeo News in 2002. “I had a vision of what I wanted but no idea how to get it. I lacked the business sense.” Siri turned to the SBDC for help. “I got into this from the journalism side and went to the publishing side. I needed help with the financial and business sides.” Larimer SBDC consultants helped Siri get her business plan in place, register with the State, and get the name trademarked. With the support of the SBDC, she has brought Rodeo News from a monthly publication to a national, color, glossy magazine in 10 years. “When I first started, I had a cot in my office. You have to be ready to breathe it. Be ready for the buck to start and stop with you.”

Siri has had a successful relationship with the SBDC and continues to use the support offered by staff and consultants. “There was a period of time when I was about to go under. Jim at SBDC helped me through it.” Rodeo News fills a niche; it is human interest stories cover to cover. However, the print industry is fading, and reinventing ways to encourage people with alternatives to print is challenging. The SBDC’s Leading Edge – NxLeveL class has provided Siri with the support and structure to get her ideas down on paper and re-write her business plan. With support from the SBDC in research and marketing, she is ready to take Rodeo News to the next level.

Trailcraft Cycles

When their son Elijah was three, Ginger and Brett Rosenbauer put him on a bike and he took off like a rocket. Elijah just turned seven when he got his first “real” bike, and it turned out to be heavy, and needing modification. So, it was in the hot tub of their west Fort Collins home that Ginger, a stay at home mom and Brett, an executive at the Fort Collins bike manufacturer Niner, decided

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Fernweh Hostel

Walking up to the Fernweh Inn & Hostel, you pass through a white picket fence into a well-kept yard with a random dog toy or two scattered about. The Fernweh immediately feels like home, which is exactly what owner and founder Kelsey Schwager envisioned. “My goal is to give guests an amazing experience so they’ll continue to stay at other hostels while traveling. The Fernweh provides a safe, clean and comfortable environment, which is what

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Spidertrax Off-Road

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

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Pateros Creek Brewery

When Steve Jones of Pateros Creek Brewery began the journey to turn his passion for brewing beer into a business, he may not have predicted just how long that trip might take. Much like a raft trip down Pateros Creek – an early name for the Cache la Poudre River – the route from concept to selling beer had a few obstacles in store. After trade marking a business name and announcing it, another local

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Rocky Mountain Westy

You don’t often see a growing business based on a product that hasn’t been made in almost 20 years, but twin brothers Mike and Greg LaBate built this at Rocky Mountain Westy (RMW). RMW designs, manufacturers, and sells camping and lifestyle parts to Volkswagen Vanagon “Westy” van enthusiasts and service centers worldwide. These products help the van owner upgrade or convert the Westy van, often to performance levels above the original factory model, such as

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Mulnix Veterinary

When Dr. Michelle Thomas moved to Fort Collins in 1996, as a newly-minted veterinarian from Washington State University, she landed a job as an associate with Mulnix Animal Clinic. Little did she know she would one day own and operate that business. Dr. Thomas and a couple of partners bought Mulnix Animal Clinic from the retiring founder in April of 2015. Mulnix had about 7-8 employees. She says “I found myself with a business. There

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