The business community’s strong participation in the Fremont Economic Development Corporation Business to Business Roundup at Florence’s historic Rialto Theater on April 16 indicates that the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well. FEDC event organizers treated local business owners and entrepreneurs with opportunities for personalized access to financing, a business to business networking tradeshow and the local favorite Bull Session Pitch Contest in a free one-day event.

Local entrepreneurs secure more than $200,000!

FEDC kicked off the event with an Access to Capital segment to help educate and connect small businesses and entrepreneurs with available funding sources in Colorado. Planner Marc Bellantoni of the Upper Arkansas Development Corporation said funders from across the state offered one-on-one assistance to those interested in securing loans for their small businesses or business ideas, and funders are working with five serious inquiries from the event totaling more than $200,000. Breakout sessions focused on venture capital, non-profit and government, private or traditional financing and Colorado Opportunity Zone and Enterprise Zone incentives.

Expanded Bull Session Contest awards $12,000 in prize money and makes an announcement!

The increasingly popular Bull Session Business Pitch Contest was expanded to include non-profit and high school divisions. When opening the Bull Session, Emcee Ed Norden announced that the FEDC’s Choice Winner from the inaugural competition last fall has raised $280,000 in funding from angel investors and the world-renowned HAX accelerator. Brock Predovich of Bravrr Inc., a diagnostic and therapeutic wearables startup, currently is in China developing technology to assess and provide therapy for bruxism disorder (unconscious teeth grinding).

FEDC’s Choice Winners (Judged by a private FEDC panel of business experts)

  • For-profit, $3,500 prize – Ian Sturgeon is President of Double Under Wonder, and CMO of Bolder Bands. He introduced NatureChase, a GPS-based game that combines the best parts of geocaching with the best parts of the classic game “Capture the Flag.” (FEDC TechSTART and FEDC Business Development Center (Business Incubator) tenant).
  • Non-Profit, $3,500 prize Dee Dee Clement is the executive director for Loaves and Fishes Ministry, a local non-profit that serves those in need within the community with emergency shelter, food, clothing, financial and housing assistance.
  • High School, $1,500 prize – Dalton Cloninger, creator of Simitry Studios, a generalized 3D modeling and animation company that is specializing in character animation and architecture modeling. Dalton is a junior in Cañon City High School. (FEDC TechSTART Intern)

FEDC People’s Choice Winners (Judged by the audience)

  • For-Profit – $1,500 prize – Gregory Carlson is the founder of Blickel, a social network of learning designed to track a learner’s progress from start to finish. Gregory is a self-taught programmer, and he and his team have been developing Blickel for the past four years. (FEDC TechSTART Tenant)
  • Non-Profit – $1,500 prize – Patrick Caulfield is Commander of Fremont Search and Rescue, the backstop for everything outdoors…and ultimately, the ones who bring people home when the things go fatally wrong.
  • High School – $500 prize – Gage Nix/Austin Hix introduced EXEOS, a business where they design and build personalized wall computers that are custom painted. (FEDC TechSTART Interns)


Thank you sponsors Unbridled, Create Cañon City, Lois Kaplan, Second-61 and Colorado Legacy Land!

Mark your calendar!!! The next Fremont Economic Development Business to Business Roundup is October 10, 2019, at The Abbey Events Center, Cañon City. For more information, contact Diana Armstrong at [email protected] or call 719-275-8601.


Here is the link to the Bull Session photo gallery on Facebook: