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THE PARLOUR is a Colorado chain of salons stretching between Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver.

Led by Gene Cahill, it was started in Fort Collins in 1998 to fill a perceived gap in excellent, personal salon services.

That’s what you’ll see from the outside. Read the rest of this entry »

MESH FORT COLLINS is a great new community for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in the region.  You might know that it took over the space formerly occupied by Galvanize at 242 Linden Street.

Mesh is an expansion of an idea that’s seen success in Japan as Future Venture Capital Ltd.  FVC Americas was established last year to become the hub in northern Colorado for startups with great potential.

I’ve been following the local startup scene for several years, so it’s exciting to hear that Mesh is not just serving the high tech market.  They’re helping businesses in all industries, even those who aren’t getting all the press these days.

After all, there are great new companies in all corners of the economy.

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JDOG JUNK REMOVAL is a fascinating new business here in northern Colorado.  I had never heard of it before, so I was surprised to find out that this rapidly-growing franchise operation is already at 73 locations around the country – and counting.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Lewis this week, the new owner of the local franchise that opened in February 2017.

What’s amazing is the mission behind this company.

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logo-heart-soul-convertedJASON BRABSON IS CHANGING THE FACE of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) in Fort Collins.

You might remember that I wrote about Heart and Soul Paratransit last year, and the progress he’s made has been amazing.  If you recall, this business is dedicated to transporting infirm and disabled for medical treatment.

That’s what taxi services, Dial-A-Ride and Dial-A-Taxi supposed to do, of course, but the service is … unpredictable and unreliable.

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JESSICA VERDERAME IS ABOUT HELPING KIDS, primarily supporting their success in school.

She started out in New York as a substitute teacher, supplementing her income as a tutor with a local franchise of Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services.

That’s how she got hooked.

She ended up here in Fort Collins as an Elementary teacher and specialist in literacy with the local school district, and decided to invest in a Club Z! franchise herself.

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ARIANA FRIEDLANDER IS A MISFIT.

In fact, she’s made a business out of it!

I met Ariana a few years ago, and was inspired by her energy and creativity.  But it’s always been a bit of a struggle for me to describe what she does.

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FARNSWORTH GROUP is a very special kind of company.

A few months ago, they were recognized as a Great Place To Work, an award that isn’t at all easy to obtain.  But in a very real way, it’s something they’ve been working on for their entire history, over 110 years.

Many people equate a great place to work with the high-tech snazziness of foosball tables and idealistic millennials.  But here we have an engineering and architectural company with an honored history spanning multiple generations.  Their focused innovation is inspiring.

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REFUGE COFFEE is an amazing business based in Clarkston, Georgia, in the US. I’m going to let this video speak for itself:

 

 

They’ve structured this as a non-profit, but they don’t necessarily have to.  I’ve seen others who go the for-profit route, in order to maintain more freedom of operation.

What’s their true mission?  Selling coffee, of course.  But also job training, social network, and job creation for the huge diversity of refugees in the local area.  Coffee is the product, but social benefit is the purpose.

Go check them out!  www.refugecoffeeco.com

If someone were to create a video telling your deeper story, what would they focus on?

A NEW SOCIAL NETWORK just burst on the scene.

xocial is a system which helps people band together for common causes, projects which will improve the world.

They have a fairly simple process for ambitious people with a purpose:

  • Create a project.
  • Find supporters.
  • Do great projects.
  • Earn points.

In a way, it’s similar to crowdfunding, except it’s not about getting investment money. Read the rest of this entry »

BLUE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION is a 65 year old newbie.

OK, I’d better explain.

This great company recently re-branded after the merger of Warren Federal Credit Union and Community Financial Credit Union, creating a name which evokes their background in serving military personnel.  It also captures their culture of optimistically building toward a future of unlimited possibilities.

It makes for a cool logo, too – bonus!

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