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Colorado Business Development Foundation (CBDF)

The Colorado Business Development Foundation’s (CBDF) mission is to help develop and fund small business and technical assistance programs in Colorado. Projects include post-pandemic relief grants for small businesses, the Colorado Business Resource Book, the Innovation and Opportunity Conference in partnership with NASA, the Certified Small Business Community Program and much more. The CBDF currently has a grant application open for small manufacturing businesses in the start-up phase. Applications are due August 31.

Representatives:

Sara Knudsen, Executive Director

Sara Knudsen is the executive director of the Colorado Business Development Foundation. She is also the owner of Gold Stripe Consulting, LLC, a consulting firm which provides graphic design, digital marketing and website development services for small businesses.

Prior to this role, Knudsen was the deputy director of communications for the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, where she managed federal and state government grants totaling more than $2 million annually, including budgeting, negotiations, renewals, grant writing, narratives and reporting, contracts and financial reviews. She also managed all aspects of planning more than 10 statewide businesses training conferences, including securing speakers, sponsorships, travel, marketing and more. Knudsen was also responsible for the statewide branding across the entire statewide SBDC network, in which she standardized both print collateral and online presence.

In 2011-2012, Knudsen worked as the programs and events specialist for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Prior to this position, she was the program coordinator for the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, which is hosted by the Chamber.

Knudsen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and Spanish.

She lives in Littleton with her husband and her two daughters, ages eight and six.

5Star Bank

Founded in 1990, 5Star Bank is a locally-owned and operated Colorado business with its roots serving military personnel. With an entrepreneurial spirit, we have a depth of expertise in aerospace and defense contracting businesses providing banking and lending solutions. 5Star Bank operates three banking locations in Colorado Springs and one banking location in Metro Denver.

Participating In:

Representatives:

Aileen Berrios, Finance and Banking Specialist for Aerospace and Defense Contracting Companies

Joseph Thiede, Vice President – Commercial Banking

Shawn Early, Assistant Vice President – Commercial Lender

Collaborat LLC

Our company services the local government and small businesses in the areas of local, municipal, and federal certifications as well as business and marketing consulting. We believe that in order to achieve success, entrepreneurs need to execute on marketing tactics that follow the S.M.A.R.T. philosophy; specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and within a time frame.

Our knowledge and background in marketing, business, government certifications and resources offer our clients a path to success. We work with our clients creating marketing tactics and plans that are beneficial to the business goal. We are a local marketing firm serving Colorado, mainly the Denver Metro Area and we work with all industries.

Participating In:

Representatives:

Talia Bond, Owner, Collaborat LLC, Absolute Promo & PostNet Centennial

Talia is both a marketing expert and the owner of PostNet Centennial and Absolute Promotions. She finds fulfillment by empowering individuals and small business owners to elevate their brands and produce significant results. Talia received her MBA from Regis University, where she continues to honor the University’s mission to be of service to others. In this effort, one of Talia’s previous roles included being a consultant for the Minority Business Office for the State of Colorado where she helped hundreds of clients get certifications for government contracts. Talia is well versed in municipal certifications and understanding the path to getting government contracts. She has facilitated a myriad of workshops in Colorado and assisted with applications.

As a business owner, Talia offers additional assistance to her clients as a marketing consultant. Her clients, who are small business owners or startups not only get marketing materials but a strategy to implement their plans to grow their businesses. Outside of working with her clients, Talia enjoys keeping abreast of opportunities in Colorado to share with others.

As owner of PostNet she drives her business to success. PostNet, a marketing and shipping franchise, has been serving private and government clients with great reviews. Some of PostNet’s clients include the SBDC, MBO (Minority Business Office), The City of Longmont, The City and County of Denver, Waste Management, among other government agencies. PostNet Centennial is known for its quick turnaround and good quality of products.

Driven by fun, Talia finds fulfillment through her friendships, having a good laugh and not taking herself too seriously. She lives in Denver and has fun with her daughters and husband.

SpectrumAMT, an Ocutrx company

Spectrum Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1997 to provide quick-turn product development and manufacturing services to the aerospace, medical, industrial and commercial marketplaces.

Our goal is to build long lasting relationships with our customers based upon our exceptional team of engineering and manufacturing talent, and to help solve challenges through innovative and cost-effective ideas with commitment to quality.

Participating In:

Representatives:

Mitchael Freeman, COO

Mitch Freeman’s tech journey started early at his father’s PC Designs. He saw personal computers’ untapped potential and aimed to make them both powerful and entertainment hubs. Teaming with his brother and experts, he developed computer systems in the late 1980s, finding success with clients like The Williams Companies. Mitch played a crucial role in advancing computers through research and development, including pioneering Streaming Mobile Video in 1994. Additional innovations include Surfcams digital ID systems, medical solutions and fire safety tech. Currently, Mitch holds pivotal roles as the COO of both Ocutrx and Spectrum AMT, with a remarkable track record of leadership, innovation, and business development.  

Greg Fisher, Director of Operations

Greg serves as Spectrum AMT’s Director of Operations. He holds degrees from California Lutheran University, Colorado Technical Institute, and Arizona State University. With over 25 years of experience, he excels in managing multi-functional teams for commercial and government contracts globally. At Spectrum, he has driven business growth, developed operational plans, outsourced HR activities, and achieved compliance with cybersecurity standards. Greg previously directed Electronic Manufacturing Solutions at Cobham Semiconductor, increasing revenue by 30% annually. He’s also been a Finance Manager at Honeywell and led pricing efforts at Lockheed Information Systems & Global Services, implementing process improvements and overseeing significant contracts.

 

Jim Gatzimas, Chief Business Development Officer

Jim Gatzimas is currently the Chief Business Development Officer at Spectrum AMT. In this role, he leads business development and sales implementation efforts, focusing on supply chain efficiency and partnerships in the US/EU and China. With two decades of experience, Jim specializes in strategic sales, business development, and embedded technology. Previously, he served as SVP of Sales and Executive Consultant at Qualcomm’s Thundercomm, achieving significant sales growth and on-time project deliveries. Earlier, he led engineering services at Bsquare North America and held roles in embedded machine vision after serving in the US Navy.

Kevin Griffin, CFO

Kevin Griffin, CPA, serves as CFO to Ocutrx and Spectrum AMT, bringing with him over 35 years of accounting expertise. Formerly with Walmart, Tyson Foods, and the Oklahoma Tax Commission, he’s skilled in GAAP/GAAS accounting, tax, and auditing. His roles at Walmart included overseeing tax returns and sales tax for Sam’s Club. As Comptroller and CFO at Stevens Media Group, he consolidated 20 radio stations, managed finances, and secured loans. Now in Colorado Springs, Kevin implements financial strategies for Ocutrx’s growth and oversees its consolidation with Spectrum.

Mobilize

Mobilize is a Colorado-based data analytics and AI company with extensive experience creating software for large enterprise clients. We know that organizations’ toughest problems aren’t solved by tools—they’re solved by people with the right tools. With that in mind, our ever-growing team of experts makes purpose-built solutions for users that create breakthroughs out of barriers, collaboration out of chaos, and direction out of data.

Our flagship product, the VISION Joint Innovation System, is a SBIR success story now in each branch of the Department of Defense. With each new tool and feature designed to integrate with VISION as an ecosystem, we are showing the value of cohesive data and setting the standard for collaborative innovation for federal agencies.

Participating In:

Representatives:

Robert Fehlen, Chief Revenue Officer

Robert is the Chief Revenue Officer of Mobilize. He is our numbers and scale nerd with a rich history in private equity and startups.

He has a proud military lineage, with his father, mother, grandfather, and great-grandfather (among others) serving in conflicts that include Pearl Harbor. This legacy inspires Robert in our engagement with the military, government, and beyond in support of our nation’s security interests.

He has consulted top-fifty banks, more than twenty tech/small business startups, and multiple Shark Tank companies. As a former head analyst of a $2.5 billion private equity portfolio, Robert brings a wealth of experience to Mobilize’s audacious goals for growth and scale.

Stacey Kessler, Director of Customer Success

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