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The Warehouse Business Accelerator Announces New Executive Director

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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

Wednesday, August 02, 2017
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.”

Streamlined Processes at the Development Center

Monday, June 13, 2016

by Mary Ann Huffines     
   
 






Seeking residential or commercial building services in Loveland, CO? Head to the Fire Administration Building located at 410 E. 5th Street in Loveland. You will find Fire Administration on the second floor, but the building has a new name, the Development Center. The Development Center (DC) will unite Loveland’s planning, permitting and inspection functions. If it is related to building in Loveland, you should be able to find assistance at this new center.

During the Development Center Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, June 10, 2016, Brett Limbaugh spoke about the new streamlined processes that are now in place for building development and review. There was an impressive gathering of local officials, community partners and citizens to celebrate the opening of the DC. Brett, a Colorado native, was Director of Community Planning and Development Services for Rapid City, South Dakota and replaced Greg George as Loveland's Development Services Director in March, 2016.

I had the opportunity to meet Brett at the Open House and he offered the following tips to best utilize the services of the DC:
"The best advice I would give to a prospective property purchaser or lessee would be to come in and talk with one of the planning staff regarding their business and the property or properties they are interested in buying or leasing. Apart from the basic building and zoning requirements we can also research past building permit and zoning applications to determine if there are any specific issues with the use or reuse of a property. Planners can produce a formal “Zoning Verification Letter” upon request detailing whether the use is allowed, not allowed or may require a specific application and approval process. This service will dramatically improve the due diligence phase for any property transaction and development or redevelopment.
Our new Development Center is designed to facilitate the process by combining the planning, building, transportation development, and fire district plan review processes and staff in a single location.
Our new process has eliminated the need for paper submittals of building and land use applications which can now be submitted and reviewed using electronic files.
Staff has recently hired a consultant to assist in re-writing and consolidating our annexation, zoning, and subdivision codes into a single “Unified Development Code.” This process will take approximately 18 months to complete but will be targeted at simplifying and streamlining our code and application processes. Staff will also be making several quick fixes to our code in the next several months to expedite the adoption of streamlined procedures."


     
One of the first things I noticed when I entered the DC was the impressive logo on the t-shirts that all staff members were wearing. The logo for the Development Center was designed by Andrea Maxwell of Speakeasy Studios.







A draw to the DC Open House was the dedication of the 18’ x 7’8” wall mural, “Creating Loveland,” by artist Daryl Thetford. Daryl grew up in Bradford, TN and currently lives in Chattanooga, TN. The mural was created on four aluminum panels with three coats of high gloss varnish and includes historic buildings and vintage painted advertisements on the sides of Loveland buildings.




It warmed my heart to see Nikki Garshelis, Business Services Coordinator for Development Services, roving through the crowd. Nikki was giving tours to attendees, making introductions and being a spectacular ambassador for both the DC and the City of Loveland. She began working with the City of Loveland in 2006. Nikki has been a colleague of mine for seven years and I rely on her for her vast knowledge of the services that the City of Loveland provides and information on key staff members.

New Resources Abound at the Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

 
by Mary Ann Huffines   
   

The Warehouse Business Accelerator was awarded the contract for small-business development services through the Loveland Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of 2016. The program that was in place prior to the new contract was the LCBD. The new program is the Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC). This was an intentional act to keep the name similar. The LCBD program began in 1991; Kelly Jones-Peters was a Director for the LCBD from February 2000 to May 2006. The Executive Director for the new LBDC program is Kelly Jones-Peters. Kelly has an in depth knowledge of how the center functions and brings a fresh approach to the center with her years of experience in economic development in Northern Colorado. 

The mission of the LBDC is to provide Loveland citizens and existing businesses with free one on one consulting services, sophisticated training seminars and street smart advisors in order to create a stronger more vibrant economy. 

The City of Loveland has funded the contract for small business development for 26 years. The name of the program has changed a few times…LCBD changed to Loveland SBDC, reverted back to the LCBD and is now the LBDC. The core offerings of the program have remained stable over the years. What is new and exciting about the LBDC program is the abundance of resources that are now offered to Loveland businesses.  This could only happen through a strong alignment with the Larimer SBDC program, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and the Warehouse Business Accelerator. Loveland businesses can receive free counseling with business specialists or general counselors for routine business assistance. You can check out the talented consultants at: http://www.larimersbdc.org/about-us/consultants

To receive free counseling services, register at: www.LarimerSBDC.org. If you have any questions, please call (970) 667-4106.