January 2017
In this issue:
New Titles and New Faces at Manufacturer's Edge
Looking to Grow Your Business? We Can Help!
new_titlesNew Titles and New Faces at Manufacturer's Edge
Hiring announcements from Tom Bugnitz, CEO
Tom Bugnitz, CEO
I am very pleased to welcome five new people to the Manufacturer's Edge team and to the larger Colorado manufacturing community. Not only are we lucky to have them join us, but we are honored that they would choose to work for Manufacturer's Edge.

Stacy Feeney is our new Denver Regional Director who will spend most of her time developing new business and new partnerships in the greater Denver area. Stacy's most recent experience includes time at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade where she managed programs helping Colorado companies develop new markets internationally and at the World Trade Center of Denver where she managed outreach to Colorado companies. Stacy brings a varied background and eclectic set of skills--we know she will contribute to the growth of the manufacturing community.

Dan Majors has joined us as CFO. Dan is responsible for managing compliance, auditing, and all things related to keeping us on the right side of Federal and State rules of the MEP system and the various State programs. Dan has extensive auditing experience and has worked part-time for us as a contractor for the last four years. We are glad to have Dan officially in the family.

Tracey McCarthy has joined us as Business Manager, responsible for accounting processes, grant management and reporting, Federal MEP reporting, banking, and special projects as needed. (For example, Tracey managed our Manufacturing Day efforts last year and helped us place 5th in the country for Manufacturing Day activities). Tracey has worked as a contractor for Manufacturer's Edge for over ten years and, like Dan, we are very, very excited to have her as a formal member of the team. Her institutional knowledge is invaluable and we all sleep better knowing she is on the job.

Ali Recek is our new Director of Key Initiatives reporting to Tom Bugnitz and Sumer Sorensen-Bain and is pursuing a number of new initiatives ranging from making Colorado the #1 state for MFG Day 2017, to the "Dream It Do It" workforce development effort, to helping the beer, distilling, apparel, and outdoor recreation industries grow and reach new markets. Ali comes to us most recently from the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance and, prior to that, was with the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and Goodwill Industries of Denver. We know you will enjoy Ali's energy and dedication to manufacturing and we look forward to great things happening because of her joining the team.

Last, but definitely not least, John Blignaut is our new Growth Services Consultant. No stranger to the MEP system, John comes to us from the Indiana MEP and adds a significant new dimension to our services. The MEP system has renewed its focus on new product development, new markets for companies, and, in general, helping companies grow revenue. John comes to us with a tool kit of knowledge and methods in these areas, and will be responsible for developing, growing, and delivering our "Growth Services" practice in the coming years.

Again, we are honored that these talented people would choose to work with us and we know you will enjoy working with them as much as we do.

growthLooking to Grow Your Business? We Can Help!
by John Blignaut, Manufacturer's Edge Growth Services Consultant
John Blignaut
Have you been thinking about growing your business and revenues? If so, we are here to help! Manufacturer's Edge and the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership have expanded their service offerings to assist small-medium manufacturers with top-line revenue growth initiatives.
Manufacturer's Edge consultants and partners will work with you to understand your technologies and product line and how they may be applicable to new markets, both domestic and international. 
Projects are all customized based on your business objectives and may include: Marketing and Digital Web Strategies, Technology Driven Market Intelligence (TDMI), Market Diversification, Technology Scouting, Technology Road Mapping, Lean Product Development techniques, Exporting and Importing strategies, and Go-To-Market planning and implementation. The typical processes and deliverables are:
  • Identifying and characterizing target markets
  • Detailing technical performance and user requirements
  • Describing best options to move forward with market entry
  • Identifying key contacts and potential customers, with their contact information
  • Filling in other key knowledge gaps necessary to be successful
Such growth projects have successfully assisted electronics, plastics, and precision machining manufacturers expand into new markets and grow their top-line revenue. For more information, contact your local regional director at: manufacturersedge.com/contact-us/

first_fridaysManufacturer's Edge First Friday Manufacturing Event Series Launches February 3
Find out more about cyber security and economic espionage in a free webinar hosted by Gloria Harbold
Manufacturer's Edge is excited to launch a new manufacturing event series. Starting on February 3, we will host an event on the first Friday of each month. Each event is designed to educate and inspire Colorado manufacturers while making new connections through facility tours, mixers, webinars, and more. Be sure to register for the Cyber Security Webinar and then check our website regularly to see what we're offering next!

Cyber Security Webinar - Feb 3, 2017:

You may not even know what is at risk!  Attend the cyber security webinar so that you can recognize, prevent, and educate your workforce on threats to your company.  Ask yourself....

  • Does your organization have sensitive information?
  • Is this information properly protected?
  • Is anyone trying to get this information?
  • What would happen if they did get it?

The Denver Strategic Partnership Coordinator, Gloria Harbold, will talk about identifying risk and how to keep your hard work and people safe. The FBI Strategic Partnership Program works to determine and safeguard those technologies which, if compromised, could result in significant economic and national security losses.

Find our more and register for the Cyber Security Webinar 
AIAI Grant Applications Open
Find out if you are eligible for up $15,000 in grants from the Colorado Advanced Industries Acceleration Program
The Advanced Industries (AI) Export Grant is a Colorado financial assistance program for aspiring and current Colorado exporters. The grant program supports small and medium-sized business through funds to offset international business development and marketing costs. The grant is funded by the Colorado Advanced Industries Acceleration Program.

Grants are capped at $15,000 per business to reimburse for costs associated with projects, activities or services. Approved applicants pay for the project up front, then submit proof of payment to be reimbursed 50% of the approved expenses. Grant program applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funding runs out.

Applicant Eligibility Checklist

Colorado company participant must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for the AI Export Grant. The business must:
  • Be an Advanced Industry company: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Bioscience, Electronics, Energy and Natural Resources, Infrastructure Engineering, Information Technology
  • Be new to export or expanding to a new export market
  • Employ fewer than 200 employees globally
  • Have its headquarters located in Colorado or have at least 50% of its employees based in Colorado
  • Have at least two years of domestic sales experience
  • Have a commercialized product or service that is ready to be exported
  • Must be registered and in "Good Standing" with the Colorado Secretary of State
  • Company must show a profit during the last fiscal year
  • Company must apply directly to grant program. No third party consultants, agents, or representatives may apply on behalf of a client company or their own consultant firm. A participant is defined as a company, not an individual employee of a company
Find out more about the Export Accelerator Program
watchAre You a Colorado Company to Watch?
Applications due by February 19, 2017
Completing this application enters your company into a pool of candidates for the prestigious Colorado Companies to Watch Award recognizing 50 high-growth, 2nd-stage companies. You do not have to be nominated to complete an application. You can apply directly.

There are two rounds of judging. Preliminary Judging selects up to 100 top finalists. These finalists will be provided with a notification for a second round application. The second round application will ask about the company's pivotal moments, impact in the community, obstacles to growth, culture and more.
The 50 Winners are then selected by a judging panel of industry, non-profit and government leaders from Colorado. The information you provide is used by the judging panel to select awardees. If your company is selected, some parts of your application may be used for publicity purposes, including a profile about your company in ColoradoBiz Magazine highlighting the program in June 2017. If your application contains information that should not be used in that manner, please check the Do Not Disclose box in the corresponding section.
The judging panel that will review this information is subject to a Non-Disclosure Agreement and Code of Conduct. Both must be signed prior to viewing any application information. Members of the Colorado Companies to Watch staff will process this information and are under strict confidentiality terms.
If you have questions, please email CCTW@coloradocompaniestowatch.org.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for selection as one of the Colorado Companies to Watch Awardees, the enterprise must meet the following for the year ending 2016.
  1. Be privately held (not publicly traded and not a subsidiary or division of another company)
  2. Be a commercial enterprise not a nonprofit
  3. Be past the startup stage
  4. Be facing issues of growth, not survival
  5. Employ 6 to 99 full-time equivalent W-2 employees, including the owner
  6. Have between $750,000 and $50 million in annual revenue or working capital in place from investors or grants in 2016. For purposes of this award, revenue includes sales receipts as well as equity investments, grants and other forms of funding in 2016 that were used as working capital. 
  7. Be headquartered in the state of Colorado
  8. Have not won this award in the past
  9. Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow based on evidence such as:
    • Employee or sales growth
    • Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership
    • Sustainable competitive advantage
    • Other notable factors that showcase the company's success
Find out more and apply
eventsUpcoming Events
Visit our website for a complete calendar of
manufacturing events taking place around Colorado
NIMS Certification Breakfast and Learn
Jan 12, 2017
The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) was formed in 1994 by the metalworking trade associations to develop and maintain a globally competitive workforce. Come hear Jim Wall, Executive Director of NIMS, talk about how NIMS can help your business. 
Manufacturer's Edge
First Friday Event: Cyber Security Webinar
Feb 3, 2017
The Denver Strategic Partnership Coordinator, Gloria Harbold, will talk about identifying risk and how to keep your hard work and people safe. The FBI Strategic Partnership Program works to determine and safeguard technologies.
Find out more
Colorado Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) Seminar
Feb 15, 2017
RSVP: By February 10th
The Seminar will Feature:
  • Components/Criteria of the ELP Program
  • Meeting ELP members
  • Learning how to apply to the ELP