Ideas aren’t everything, execution matters greatly, but starting often requires an idea and so we asked folks to think back and tell us the story of how they came up with the idea for their businesses. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite stories below.

Sweet Bee Sisters | An All Natural Skin Care Business

Our parents started beekeeping in 2009 as a hobby. After our first honey harvest, we noticed that we had a bunch of left over beeswax that we didn’t want to throw away. During that same time, our mom had heard about a Christmas marketplace just for kids at the Young Americans Center for Financial Education. She saw an opportunity for her young kids to start a business and have a new experience. We all started researching what you can make out of beeswax and we came across lip balm. We loved the idea of making lip balm, so we bought all of the supplies we needed, including tubes, caps, labels, and the necessary oils. We experimented for a couple weeks with our recipe and by the end of it, we had made enough peppermint lip balms to sell at the Christmas marketplace. Read more>>

Trisha Ventker | Editor-in-Chief and Founders of ELIFE, NoCo and Denver Luxury Magazines

When my family first moved here from Manhattan 13 years ago I noticed there wasn’t many stylish “Vogue-type” magazines in Colorado. Our local town was lacking a voice for the people. I started my publishing business with ELIFE magazine which covers Erie and its surrounding towns. ELIFE grew so quickly, I introduced another publication called NOCO which covers all of Northern Colorado. NoCo grew with leaps and bounds and then I added Denver Colorado Luxury magazine. All three have garnered close to 9 million total reader impressions over the years. Read more>>

Cora Matte | Certified Physician Assistant and Founder of Balanced Healthcare

I saw something that was not working, and I decided I could figure out a better way to do it. The traditional healthcare system is broken and no longer focused on patient care. I wanted to create a medical practice where the patients come first. Read more>>

Leighton Kohlmann | Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Co- Founder of KUBEBA

I have lived in Colorado for almost seven years and love all things outdoors; in particular hiking and skiing. I have a peanut and tree nut allergy and felt like there were no good protein bar options that were safe for those with nut allergies. I wanted something that was nutritious and easy to throw in a backpack for any adventure. All the bars I found had a bad texture, didn’t taste good, were low in protein or high in sugar. I wanted to create a protein bar that was nut free, nutritious, low in sugar, high in protein, and manufactured in an allergy friendly facility. I reached out to my business partners, identical twins Amy and Emily, who have a background in health and wellness and plant based cooking. Read more>>

Vicki Nichols Goldstein | Founder and Director, Inland Ocean Coalition

I have always loved the ocean and tried to do my part to protect it. Since I was a child, I felt connected to the ocean as I played in the surf, rode the waves, and enjoyed the bounty of the sea. As I got older, I recognized that the ocean wasn’t invincible – there were numerous problems with pollution and overfishing to name a few. I went on to get my Masters’s degree at Yale in ocean policy and found career opportunities to connect my ocean protection passion with my work. After moving to Colorado with my husband who was hired to be a facility member at CU, I realized that if I was to follow my passion, that I had to create the opportunity. In 2011, I started the Colorado Ocean Coalition and through collaborative efforts, we helped start numerous other inland chapters in the US. Read more>>

LESLIE CONZEMIUS | RN, Board Certified Health Coach, Fitness Instructor

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 13 years old, therefore living with a chronic illness for over 20 years has presented a lot of ups and downs. When I have flare ups or periods of extreme illness, I feel so depleted, hopeless, and lacking what feels like any resemblance of my true self. So, ever since I got out of the hospital when I was first diagnosed, I made a commitment to myself that I would never take my health for granted again. Over the years, I’ve worked really hard to learn how to manage my symptoms and be as healthy as possible. I studied nursing and became a health coach in order to help others who are also feeling that lack-lack of health, vibrance and sense of self. Read more>>