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Success Stories

Boulder’s Best Organics

Sure, visitors to Boulder enjoy the Flatirons, the creek path, and the Pearl Street Mall. But they also enjoy Chocolove dark chocolate, Justin’s peanut butter, and Pangea lotion. Locally made products define the unique character of Boulder just as much as the town’s natural setting. This inspired Arron Mansika to form the company Boulder’s Best Organics.

Boulder’s Best Organics creates gift collections of the finest organic items exclusively from Boulder based companies. Mansika chose to include only certified organic items to ensure high quality, and because of the tremendous health and ecological benefits. It helps that Boulder is the focal point of the organics industry, spawning some of the largest natural foods companies in the world and home to dozens of smaller manufacturers. Boulder’s Best Organics now carries nearly 100 items from twenty four companies.

Mansika didn’t want his to be just another gift-basket company though. Instead, the organic collections arrive in Presentation Boxes, which has proven key to the company’s success. Easy to stack, ship, and reuse, the boxes are so user friendly that many business customers order several dozen at a time so they always have a gift ready to give whenever they need one. Further, the boxes feature watercolors of picturesque scenes, and are fully recyclable.

With a basic business plan, Mansika walked into the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), where director Sharon King and consultant Chuck Hunker provided everything from technical skill to moral support.

In less than a year, the company was chosen to provide 2,400 gifts to the county’s fifth largest employer, secured an exclusive contract with one of the county’s largest real estate brokers, and earned Top-Ten Eco-Gift by a national magazine.

Mansika also completed the SBDC’s Leading Edge series, spoke on the Boulder Chamber’s “Power Panel,” and personally presented a gift collection to then-Governor Ritter.

Sales are certainly not limited to tourists or local businesses. With Boulder’s recognition as a leader in healthy living and high quality products, Boulder’s Best Organics receives online orders from all over the nation. And since people are free to “Create Your Own Collection,” the company is sure to deliver exactly what the customer wants.

Since this story was written, founder Arron Mansika sold Boulder’s Best Organics to new owners who have continued to grow the venture significantly.

Black Swift Technologies

Boulder-based company Black Swift Technologies was founded by three PhD students from the University of Colorado. The three men were inspired to start the company from their work in the field during their studies. At CU, they learned how to chase storms and collect data using old military equipment, which is relatively complicated to use. They set out to simplify the process with unmanned aircraft systems and Black Swift Technologies was born. Although they are

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Stratom

Stratom Inc., founded by Mark Gordon in 2001, is a Boulder-based unmanned robotics engineering and manufacturing firm. Stratom provides integrated solutions and products to government and commercial clients around the globe. Prior to founding Stratom, Mark worked in Sr. Management for various high tech companies. There he witnessed the volatility of the high tech industry and its move to outsource many of its products and services to foreign markets. Mark decided that he wanted to

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Art Parts Creative Reuse Center

The nonprofit world can be difficult to enter, so when Denise Perreault was in the beginning stages of starting her own nonprofit, Art Parts, she looked to the Boulder Small Business Development Center for guidance. The SBDC helped Denise and her co-founders figure out the most crucial aspects of their new business. “In our four-year founding and planning phase, the most daunting task was setting a realistic budget, as we had no experience there. The

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Boulder Acupuncture and Herbs

Boulder Acupuncture and Herbs is a small business that is founded, run and owned by Norah Charles, an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. What makes Boulder Acupuncture and Herbs unique is that Norah works primarily with patients over 70 years old. Norah treats senior clients with a host of difficulties, including chronic pain, depression, and isolation. In addition to her acupuncture, Norah uses over 300 Chinese herbs for distinct wellness purposes. Starting a business is not

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AOW Handmade

Annie Oakley Waterman is an entrepreneur and owner of AOW Handmade. AOW Handmade, founded in 2015, is a unique business that connects artisan enterprisers from all over the developing world to buyers in the United States. Whether it is textiles, silver, brass, paper maché or other materials, Annie seeks out socially responsible producers and helps them to sell their products to the western world. Annie’s favorite places to find her goods are in Mexico and

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Brewmented

We brew what we teach and we teach what we brew — and we’re gonna have fun. — Bill Campbell, Brewmented Oftentimes, a good business opportunity can be found by looking at an established industry in new and unique ways. For Bill Campbell and partner, Vlad Aleksiev, Brewmented was a solution to converting craft beer drinkers and wine/mead/cider affectionados to home brewers and winemakers. A home brewer since the 1970’s, Bill Campbell has watched the

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