Resource Roundup: Boulder SBDC
Earlier this week Ryan Cook did a great job of mapping out the Boulder entrepreneurial community to give us an idea of the breadth and depth of the resources that are available to it. I thought I’d highlight one or two of them every now and then in a series we’ll call Resource Roundup.
I’ll get us started with the Boulder Small Business Development Center (SBDC). DISCLOSURE: I’m employed by the Boulder SBDC. Hey, start with what you know (and I’m a little short on time this week). It’s a non-profit economic development organization backed by the SBA, Boulder Chamber, City of Boulder, and slew of other sponsors, designed to help plan, launch, and grow businesses throughout Boulder County. Clients include your favorite retailer on Pearl Street to the nanotechnology startup you’ve never heard of.
The Boulder SBDC offers inexpensive workshops, free and confidential one-on-one consultations, and connections to other valuable resources to entrepreneurs and businesses. This organization is a great place for general business needs: understanding financials, developing a business plan, conducting market research, pursuing loans, and more. This is especially the case for any of you who don’t quite feel ready to go out to pitch to investors or want to learn more about business fundementals. One of its strengths is that most of its employees, instructors, and consultants are or have been entrepreneurs themselves (100% of them these days).
The key to getting the most out of the Boulder SBDC is to be proactive and to understand that it can’t do the heavy lifting for you. The center handles a huge volume of requests for one-on-one consulting and serves the needs of a wide variety of businesses, so expect the burden to be on you to get things done. Another thing to note is that while many of its instructors and consultants are experienced attorneys, CPAs, and the like, the Boulder SBDC is not designed to be a replacement for hiring professional services providers.
By the way, if you’re looking for some pointers on how to land your first investor, you may want to check out How to Pitch an Angel, which is coming up next Tuesday the 22nd. At the end of the event, a few brave souls will be pitching to a panel of angels to get feedback for all to see and learn from.
With that said, the Boulder SBDC has quite a bit to offer. To find out how they may help address your specific needs:
In future Resource Roundups, I’ll highlight some of the other events and organizations that support the Boulder entrepreneurial community.