America’s #SBDC 2018 Client Showcase Takes Center Stage on Capitol Hill

America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) celebrated and showcased 11 clients from around the country in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill February 13th.

The showcase included:
Colorado, Alt Ethos
Florida, Dignitas Technologies
Iowa, Gross-Wen Technologies
North Carolina, KBI (Kepley Biosystems)
Ohio, WaterStep
Louisiana, Tadpole LLC
Wisconsin, MobCraft Beer
Pennsylvania, Play Impossible
Rhode Island, S2S Surgical
Southwest Texas, Taste Elevated
Washington, Whooshh Innovations

Special Guests:
Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, and
Representative Nydia Velazquez of New York, Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business

“The most important part of what SBDCs do is the clients. Our impact numbers for the national economy are impressive, but what is really impressive is the hard work, ideas and success of our SBDC clients. This showcase gives a glimpse at the array of innovators and doers that SBDCs help every day all across the country,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President & CEO of America’s SBDC.

Special thanks to the SBDCs who nominated clients to participate; the 11 clients for taking the time to join us; our SBDC stakeholders and supporters; and the many SBDC leaders who joined us to celebrate. It was a true honor to have all these special people in one room, talking about the great work SBDCs do and their impact locally on the small businesses they serve.

The 63 state and regional Small Business Development Center networks provide free one-on-one consulting to small businesses through nearly 1,000 locations. Job growth for SBDC clients is nearly 10 times greater than job growth for average businesses, and SBDC client sales growth is nearly four times greater than sales growth for businesses in general.

Click here to see the event’s press release, and here for brief descriptions of the showcase clients.

Join us for more celebrations on March 21st, to celebrate SBDC Day! Learn more here.

For more information about America’s SBDC or to find a SBDC near you, go to www.AmericasSBDC.org.

2018 Client Showcase Countdown #1 – Washington SBDC Client Whooshh Innovations Moves Fish Humanely, Reliably and Cost-Effectively

Meet Whooshh Innovations, LLC (whooshh.com | @JustWhooshh)

Whooshh InnovationsWhooshh Innovations™ is revolutionizing fish passage, fish handling and seafood processing through its proprietary, proven technology — moving fish cost-effectively, reliably, and gently. The company was launched 10 years ago, with the goal of enabling the mechanical harvest of highly perishable agricultural products such as tree fruit. Soon recognizing the need to apply the same technology to move fish gently over obstacles and barriers, the company began testing its technology on live fish.

The initial success with farmed fish led researchers to explore the use of Whooshh technology to move fish over dams — as well as in processing plants where hygiene is critical. Most recently, the company has combined its revolutionary fish passage technology with sophisticated scanning and sorting capabilities that enable fisheries managers to automatically sort out hatchery or invasive species from the native wild species migrating upstream.

Whooshh systems are now deployed in Norway and have been used coast to coast in the United States.

SBDC: Western Washington SBDC Export Center (wsbdc.org)
SBDC Advisor: Sharon Sappington

“We initially approached SBDC with some caution. Could the SBDC provide us with the expertise and research we needed on a timely basis? Were we better off going at it on our own? Could the SBDC really help us with B2B and B2G? Yes, no and yes. The Government may have a reputation of not moving quickly, but our experience with the SBDC has been that they pushed us to move the business forward and were careful not to waste our time. Business planning and market intelligence is some of what the SBDC brings to the table, but perhaps just as importantly, confidence that the business decisions you are making are sound.” – Vincent Bryan III, CEO, Whooshh Innovations, LLC

Watch more Whooshh Innovations videos.

2018 Client Showcase Countdown #2 – Texas SBDC Client Taste Elevated – A Specialty Food Manufacturer & Gourmet Food Store Brings Tasty Delights to The Southwest

Meet Taste Elevated  (tasteelevatedshop.com | @tasteelevated)

Taste ElevatedTaste Elevated, founded by Lori and Benny Krieger in 2013, is a specialty food manufacturer based in South Texas. Lori and Benny also own a specialty wine and gourmet food store. The team at Taste Elevated gained national recognition for their brand after winning multiple national specialty food awards, being recognized as a top ten editor’s pick and being featured in the Wall Street Journal.

In the first four years of business, the leadership team has achieved retail distribution to some of the largest retailers in their region, such as: HEB, Whole Foods, Spec’s and Albertson’s. The company also offers a food service line of products available to caterers, prepared food sections at grocery stores, and restaurants. There are currently 24 items in their product portfolio, and that is always expanding.

SBDC: UTSA SBDC  (txsbdc.org)
SBDC Advisors: Ben Garza and Crystal Darby

“We had a vision but no idea where to start, our [SBDC] advisors provided us with the resources we needed to hit the ground running.” – Lori Krieger, Founder, Taste Elevated 

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2018 Client Showcase Countdown #3 – Rhode Island SBDC Client S2S Surgical Improves Surgery Outcomes With Their Orthopedic Devices

S2S SurgicalMeet S2S Surgical (s2ssurgical.com)

S2S Surgical is an orthopedic device company that designs, develops and sells innovative products for hand, wrist and elbow surgery. The mission of S2S Surgical is to improve patient outcomes and healthcare by developing minimally invasive surgical solutions for the upper extremity, by collaborating with upper extremity surgeons.

SBDC: Rhode Island SBDC (urirf.org/ri-sbdc)
SBDC Advisor: Joshua Daly

“Josh Daily helped us with the business plan and funding proposal so that we could obtain our SBA loan. His help was crucial in the preparation of all the documents needed for a smooth transition with the lending institution.” – Ann Marie DaSilva, VP Administration, S2S Surgical

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The America’s SBDC 2018 Client Showcase Reception will be held at 5 pm on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, in the Rayburn House Office Building Cafeteria.

Invite your Members of Congress now!

For more information about America’s SBDC or to find an SBDC near you, go to www.AmericasSBDC.org.

2018 Client Showcase Countdown #4 – Pennsylvania SBDC Client Play Impossible Introduces a Brand New Way to Play Ball

Play ImpossibleMeet Play Impossible (playimpossible.com | @play_impossible)

The Play Impossible Gameball™ puts 21st-Century technology inside the world’s oldest toy – track the speed, spin, height and so much more of every throw, catch, toss and tap, right from your smart device. With 9 (and counting!) games you can play on your own or with friends, it’s a brand new way to play ball!

SBDC: Bucknell University SBDC (bucknell.edu/SBDC/)
SBDC Advisors: Dennis Hummer & Steven Stumbris

“Bucknell’s SBDC has been a valuable resource for Play Impossible during the development of the technology for the Gameball. The SBDC helped us prepare and connect with critical early-stage investors. The SBDC connected us with engineering talent and resources at Bucknell University. The entire SBDC team has been champions for us throughout our entrepreneurial journey.” – Kevin Langdon, CTO, Play Impossible

Read the Play Impossible success story.