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Trailcraft Cycles

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Family First, Business, Amazing!


















Trailcraft Cycles
Owners: Ginger and Brett Rosenbauer

Story written by: Lee Porter
Photography by: Lee Porter

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 to start Trailcraft, a bike company devoted to small ones—kids, and now, small adults.

Coming up with an idea is one thing, putting together a business is another. Brett took on the task of researching:
“I have a pretty good pulse on the market, so I feel like we saw a trend, maybe three years before it was ready, and we launched at the prime time,” he said.

Ginger set about the work of learning how to run a business. As a MSW social worker, her education didn’t help much, but when Public Service Credit Union recommended she seek help at the SBDC, she was delighted.

“I needed help with the accounting piece, with inventory and cash flow analysis,” Ginger said.
And I got it with Andrea (Grant). She’s been a great help.

“Andrea gave us a great set of spreadsheets that has had a profound effect—inventory management, cash flow analysis. This has been really helpful in going to the banks. It (made) us look really professional as a company to have all our ducks in a row. It’s meant we’ve been able to get good lending-- which has been super important to us.”

“We did a first small run of 50 frames and parts. We launched two ways, on Kickstarter and our website with Rocket Jones.” Ginger added.

“I think both Ginger and I saw this as an opportunity to create our own business that will work with our family. We can take Fridays off and go camping together. At Niner I was the original Fort Collins employee. It was a lot of work—70-80-hour weeks, so I’ve got an understanding of what it takes to start a company from the beginning,” Brett said.

“The key is that we captured a market that was emerging,” said Ginger. “We were able to see, like Niner in the 29-inch wheels, that the market timing was just right when we launched with TrailCraft. Now, the market is really taking notice.

“We’ve gone from focusing solely on little kids to 9-14 year olds with our 27” bike and now an even bigger bike designed for smaller women.”

“We have fun playful bikes for anyone who’s under 5”6’,” Brett said.

What would the Rosenbauers recommend for budding entrepreneurs? Go to the SBDC, Ginger says. “It is so amazing to me the level of professional advice and it’s free, it just blows my mind.”




Find Something New! Pop-Ups at Mesh

Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Find Something New is a Pop-up Event featuring the products of local artisans and entrepreneurs- makers, designers and developers alike.  

Mesh is located at 242 Linden Street in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins. We provide pop-up vendors with electricity,  water and restroom facilities. We require our vendors to provide their own tables and equipment. Times are subject to change but typically our pop-up's run from 12:00pm-9:00pm on Friday & 10:00am-4:00pm on Saturday. Mesh charges a booth rental fee per day based on the amount of sq. footage each vendor uses as well as a percentage of sales.

Upcoming Dates:

  • April 7th & 8th
  • May 5th & 6th
  • June 2nd & 3rd
If you are a vendor interested in participating, click here to apply!


Happy National SBDC Day!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


To celebrate the collective impact and success the SBDC has had across the state and in local communities each year, Colorado is participating in the first national SBDC Day on March 22. SBDC Day is a national movement to help share the small business success stories and notable impact SBDCs have fostered in communities nationwide.

The day will include a Governor's Proclamation proclaiming March 22, 2017 as Small Business Development Day. The Proclamation will be read by Stephanie Copeland, executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), on the steps of the Capitol.

Business has changed dramatically over the last 30 years, and the Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has been there throughout. Since 1987, Colorado's SBDC- the only statewide program of its kind -has helped aspiring and emerging small business owners achieve the American dream of entrepreneurship. Help share in the excitement by using #COSBDC #SBDCDay today!

Colorado Creates Grant Guidelines and Application Now Available

Monday, March 13, 2017
DENVER - March 1, 2017 - Guidelines are now available for Colorado Creative Industries' Colorado Creates grant program. The purpose of Colorado Creates, CCI's largest grant program, is to provide critical financial support that helps nonprofit cultural organizations and communities produce and present arts and cultural activities, bringing jobs to their communities and enhancing the quality of life. 
 
"These grants support the arts organizations and artists who are critical to Colorado's economy," said Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries. "By investing in this sector's vitality, the state builds its reputation as a premier creative hub and reaps significant economic returns."
 
For the current fiscal year, a total of 180 grants were awarded in 47 counties across the state totaling $1.3M, an increase from the 162 grants awarded the prior year. The agency's grants benefit both small and large communities, and 47% of grant funds were awarded in towns and cities located outside the Denver metro area.
 
Colorado Creates has a two-year grant funding period for successful applicants. Organizations awarded in last year's cycle are eligible to submit a Mid-Cycle Report instead of a full application. Those reports are due by 4p.m. on Thurs., April 20, 2017. View a list of organizations eligible for the second year funding here.


All other applicants will complete the full Colorado Creates application, which is due by 4p.m. on Thurs., June 1, 2017 for programs and activities occurring during the two-year period between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2019. Eligible applicants can review the guidelines and application instructions for the Colorado Creates full application here.


ELIGIBILITY

Grant applicants for Colorado Creates must be Colorado 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organizations or independent components of Colorado public colleges or universities, or government agencies. Applicants must have been providing public arts or cultural heritage programs in Colorado for at least three years by the application deadline and have a minimum cash operating budget of $25,000.  

GRANT AMOUNTS & REVIEW CRITERIA

Colorado Creates awards range from $4,000 to $10,000 and are awarded annually on a competitive basis. Proposals are reviewed by panels based on three review criteria:• Artistic excellence and merit of proposed activities
Community involvement and benefit from proposed activities
Implementation capacity, such as effective planning, management, and budgeting of the organization and the project.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants seeking assistance are advised to contact Creative Industries Division counselors well in advance of the application deadline. Prior to contacting a grant counselor, applicants should read the guidelines thoroughly. Both returning and first-time grant applicants will be using an online grant system, and must be registered and approved for eligibility prior to starting the application process. Staff may be contacted at 303.892.3840 or at OEDIT_CreativeIndustries@state.co.us. 

APPLICATION TOOLS

Creative Industries staff has developed a resource handbook to assist with the application process. Online tutorials and staff assistance will also be available. Updates will be posted on www.coloradocreativeindustries.org.  
About Colorado Creative Industries
Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado's state arts agency, is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado's economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.

Front Range Community College Hosts SBDC 30 Years!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017
The Colorado SBDC Network offers free and low-cost resources to small business owners throughout the state. Each SBDC center has a local host, who is also a significant financial supporter for that center. 2017 marks 30 years since Front Range Community College has hosted both the Larimer and North Metro Denver SBDCs. 

On March 7, 2017, the City of Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell recognized this contribution with a “Thank You” proclamation, presented to Dr. Jean Runyon, Vice President of the Front Range Community College Larimer Campus.


Thank you, Front Range Community College, for your support and prioritizing small business education in Northern Colorado!




2016 Larimer SBDC Annual Report

Tuesday, March 07, 2017
 

Mike O'Connell

Larimer SBDC Director      
2016 was a breakout year for the Larimer SBDC in terms of strategic partner relationships, consulting and economic impact metrics, and local awareness of our center. 

Early 2016 saw us coordinating and integrating with the restructured Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC).We are now working seamlessly together, with the SBDC acting as a key "content provider" to the LBDC. The LBDC team has worked very hard, and brought a lot of value to the Loveland small business community. During 2016, we added consulting availability in Berthoud and Wellington, so that entrepreneurs can access SBDC services at any municipality in Larimer County. 

In November, we worked with the East Colorado SBDC and the Colorado SBDC lead center to execute the inaugural Northern Colorado Women's Small Business Conference, held at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, which was a huge success with over 350 attendees. We also continue to manage the "Recovery Colorado" disaster recovery program, with the support of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation. This grant program has provided over $2.3M to 59 Estes Valley small businesses. 

Almost all of our 2016 metrics are record high numbers for our center. We consulted with 640 clients over nearly 3,500 consulting hours, more than double our 2013 client count, and almost triple our 2013 consulting hours. We also conducted 100 trainings/workshops, attended by over 1,000 entrepreneurs. 

The plan for 2017 is to " .. do it the same, but better .. ". We will be strongly promoting three of our higher-end programs to support growing existing businesses. We will support the Fort Collins and Loveland Start Up weeks in February and April. We will again execute the Women's Small Business Conference in November 2017. Most importantly, 2017 marks the 30th year that Front Range Community College (FRCC) has hosted and significantly sponsored the North Metro Denver and Larimer SBDC centers, and we will be conducting a major campaign throughout 2017 to say a huge "Thank You" to FRCC for their support of Northern Colorado entrepreneurs. 

We have a great well-connected team that makes it all of the above happen. Terri Donovan-Keirns manages the hundreds of consulting sessions and numerous classes with exceptional competence and thoroughness. Our administrator and FRCC graduate Kat Rico has really enhanced the "face" of both the North Metro Denver and Larimer through her marketing and social media skills. Our consulting network is strong, committed, and engaged, and the best its ever been, in my opinion. I also have the privilege of being the Co-Chair of the Larimer County Workforce Development Board (WDB) this year, which supports the critical and extensive work done by the Larimer County Workforce Center. 

2016 was a rewarding year, and I look forward to working with all of you in 2017! 

Mike O'Connell
Larimer SBDC Director

Read the Full Larimer SBDC 2016 Annual Report

7 Incredible Facts About Women Owned Businesses

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Information provided by: CreditLoan

There are a dozen different reasons why women prefer to work in an environment that is surrounded by fellow women. For one, there are more benefits and leaves given to them in a company that understands that employees or spouses get sick. In a patriarchal environment, the set up for taking time off is so rigid and strict that women often have to go in when they are sick. The work schedule is not flexible at all, and there is usually no option to work from home on days when the employee is needed at home.

As a result, women who are unable to find nannies or suitable child care for their kids are forced to resign from work or find another job with a better arrangement - often below their skillset or totally out of their comfort zones.

When women create companies and establish businesses, they take these things to mind and adapt a completely different set up in the company. For example, they allow female employees to bring their kids to work, which has a day care center with qualified staff. The infants can be breastfed or visited during breaks since they are just a few rooms away from their mothers.

In case a child is ill and needs supervision, the parents can file for work from home and continue dispensing their duties and tasks even while not physically present at the office. This is important because it means that their job security is not threatened by them not being around, and they still receive pay while working at home.

We've prepared an infographic discussing incredible facts about women owned businesses to continue to inspire women who want to make a difference in the world. We hope it inspires you too!


Is Your Point of Sale System Secure and Effective?

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Retail Industry: Is Your Point of Sale System Secure and Effective?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

If you’re a retail business in 2017, chances are you’ve got some sort of electronic Point of Sale (POS) system. It might be stationary in your brick and mortar location, you may be an online retailer with a virtual POS, and if you do events you’ve probably got a mobile POS. This technology is great, but it comes with a unique set of challenges related to not only operation, but security. We have an important question for you: Is your POS system secure and effective?

          How do you know?

Without getting a degree in cybersecurity, it can be difficult to understand and keep pace with all the changes in payment processing and data security, especially for retailers who have so many other concerns on their plates. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 8% of data breeches occur within the retail industry, not accounting for credit card company breeches. These breeches put customers’ financial data at risk, and damage consumer confidence in the businesses they shop with. While large retailers make the headlines because of the volume of data compromised in these breeches, small retailers also need to be aware of what they can do to protect their customers’ information.

Join us for our next Small Business After Hours as Ali Harris, Founder and Managing Consultant for Technical Framework, discusses what small retailers need to know about POS systems and cybersecurity. He’ll provide a high level overview of different types of POS systems, how the information they collect travels, security issues this creates, and more. You’ll also have a chance to ask questions from an expert in the IT field and network with other retailers.


Our Presenter

Ali Harris - Technical Framework

Ali is a veteran of the IT world with over 20 years of experience in technology services for small- and medium-sized businesses ranging from five to 300 employees.  Ali founded Technical Framework, an all services provider of computers, networks and secure technology business solutions, in 2010.   Ali’s academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from University of Phoenix.  In his leisure time, Ali enjoys watching sports and studying emerging technologies for business.  




Veterans Day 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ron O'Herron


On Friday, November 11th, once again we celebrate Veterans Day.  As a proud Veteran, this day always holds special meanings for me and I traditionally send out my thoughts to share with anyone who cares to read them.  Sometimes the memories seem like only yesterday that I served under the Stars and Stripes. I keep thinking that it will get easier for me to write this, but it never does and this year is no exception as I reflect back on the Hero’s  that I had the honor to serve with who paid the ultimate price for freedom.  Turning 70 this past July brought about a lot of memories of days gone by.  My family decided I needed a big celebration and looking at the many old photos that they had assembled, I found myself reflecting back to those friends that I have lost.  It is difficult, if not impossible, for anyone who has not experienced the ugliness of an armed conflict and the lasting scars it leaves, to truly understand what it is like.  I thank God every day for the commitment and sacrifice made by those serving our country and their families.  When I see professional athletes refuse to stand for our National Anthem, I do my best to understand their protest; however, will never condone their method.  The American Flag, a symbol that I proudly served under, is stained with the blood of thousands who gave their all to keep it flying over this Great Country.  They were not paid millions of dollars to do it and the game they were involved in was played with bullets and not balls.  Now that I have got that off my chest, I respectfully ask you to take time to thank a Veteran and remember those that gave their all for this Country.  They served so that others would not have to. 

Thanks You.  Have a great Veteran’s Day and God Bless America.



City of Fort Collins Community Development Scholarship

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
By Stu Crair


The City of Fort Collins (CFC) and Digital Workshop Center (DWC) have announced a $10,000 partnered scholarship opportunity for the residents of Fort Collins.  Named the ‘Community Development Scholarship’, the goal of this scholarship is to “help individuals and professionals to close the technology skills gaps that may exist in the Fort Collins workplace.”

Awards for this scholarship will be primarily divided amongst several sections of the local workforce: non-profits, teachers/educators, job seekers/unemployed/under-employed, and business professionals seeking career transition.

The City of Fort Collins’ Economic Health Office has generously provided $5,000 of scholarship funds to be distributed.  In addition, Digital Workshop Center is matching this $5,000 amount for a total award of scholarship funds available set at $10,000.  Award amounts will range from $250 to $1000 per individual.

“As more educational and work opportunities require technology skills, the City and Digital Workshop Center are excited to partner to provide educational access to a broader segment of our community,” said Jacqueline Kozak-Thiel, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Fort Collins. “We want to ensure that we’re bridging the financial gap for those in our community who are seeking personal improvement and upward skills mobility.”
According to Stu Crair, owner of Digital Workshop Center, this scholarship “is designed to help as many people as possible within our local community who are seeking to improve their technology skills.  There is a serious skills gap between the local workforce and the companies hiring in Fort Collins.  We hope this scholarship will help improve the talent of the local applicant pool as our city continues to grow."

The application process will begin on November 1st and close on December 1st. Interested applicants may apply online at DigitalWorkshopCenter.com/scholarship.  A panel of DWC staff and local professional development experts will review all applications and final decisions made in mid-December.

Complete rules and requirements for eligibility are listed on the scholarship website page.

Founded in 2006, Digital Workshop Center is a locally-owned private occupational school, Adobe Authorized Training Center, and coworking hub with locations in Fort Collins, Denver, and online.  DWC offers professional development and training classes on design software programs, desktop applications, business solutions and advanced computer training concepts.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Liz White at 970-980-8091 or email at liz@digitalworkshopcenter.com.