Checking in on the Boise companies featured in 2015
Those who watch the entrepreneurial reality show Shark Tank know one of the most interesting parts of each episode is when they feature updates on the businesses a year or two later. We’re taking a page out of their book and doing the same with the Boise companies we’ve profiled over the past year.
Let’s get started…
Executive Director Lori Fascilla has had a busy 2015. In September, Lori and her team opened their fourth early learning center to handle a massive waiting list, but also to make room for school-age children. With the additional space, they have also expanded their food pantry — the food often given to families in need — and more space for volunteers to work on projects and partnerships in the community.
“We are now able to ensure school readiness for an additional 75 kids, empower families and build strong futures for up to 200 children daily,” Lori says.
Matt Pipkin and his nonprofit Speak Your Silence doubled in size over the course of 2015. And earlier this year, they partnered with a U.S. company to offer a clothing line with the signature orange thread already stitched in.
“We’ve had a lot of success with The Fam [the monthly donor group that exclusively funds counseling], making it so that we’ve been able to end our wait list and say ‘yes’ to every single qualified counseling applicant since April,” says Matt, “However, we still haven’t hit yet our goal of funding 500 counseling sessions this year via The Fam… we’re 70% there.”
“Overwhelmed” is how Angel Moran, Guru Donut’s co-founder, describes her first retail year in the Adelmann building. With the growth of Boise’s downtown — the Grove Plaza, JUMP! and a smattering of new hotels — she’s trying getting ahead of it. In 2016, Guru Donuts is looking to expand to a bigger production kitchen to keep up with increased demand and offer their fluffy confections to shops outside of downtown Boise.
Founder Doug Joseph and his “Uber for everything” service, Locate Express, has spent 2015 finding an audience. Despite partnerships with Rodda Paint and local newspapers, Locate Express hasn’t been able to go from breaking even to profitability.
In 2016, Doug Joseph plans to wind down Locate Express.
Expansion is the name of the game for Chris Blanchard and Longdrop Cider. The company launched two of their most popular products in cans, a much friendlier format for grocery stores and gas stations. The cans are now available at Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Maverik, Whole Foods and a smattering of independent grocers in the region.
“We keep experiencing these same truths: Everything takes longer and costs more than you anticipate,” says Chris.
Since the story last October, Russ Whitney and his startup IdeaRoom Technologies are on a growth spurt. “It looks like we will double the number of clients we have in just a few months. We are also adding staff as quickly as we can identify good candidates,” Russ says.
In 2016, IdeaRoom Technologies plans to raise capital to keep up with the demand of their 3D configurator technology.
The custom action figure side gig from Beau Greener is on the move. In 2016, Beau and Credenda Studios are setting up shop in Seattle, WA. There, Beau will be making a go as a full-time freelance designer and illustrator. But don’t worry, his pop-culture-inspired designer toys will still be available to order from his website.
The iCapture team has been busy working on a new pillar of their lead capture business… they call it PowerScan. Like iCapture, users can “capture” contact information from a potential customer, but with the new PowerScan app, it does the hard work for you. Now users can take a photo of a business card or a conference badge and have it automatically transcribed to their client database.
The local computer repair shop has grown by two employees since our story last June. Still, Brooke and team have more business than they can handle and are looking to expand to a larger building in Boise and to new locations across the valley.
“I want a Tech Savvy shop every 10 miles, like a mechanic… that way, nobody ever has to just settle for the ‘one guy in town,’” Brooke says.
We’re working on new stories for 2016. Have a story idea? Let us know.