August 2014 - In This Issue:

Technology-Entrepreneurship Showcase
October 9, 2014
NIST Boulder Lab

Are you an inventor, entrepreneur, product developer, angel investor, scientist, engineer or post-doc in search of your future? Is your company looking for technology solutions to improve your products? Spend the day at the NIST Boulder Lab learning about new innovations and the resources available to help build businesses around them.

Start-ups as well as small and medium sized firms will:

  • Get clarity on rights to intellectual property that arises under government collaborations.
  • Gain insight on how interdisciplinary science and engineering can create new innovations.
  • Learn how local resources can connect you with the business, financing and manufacturing support you need to grow your business.

This showcase is where it all happens. Don't miss it!


Stay Connected - Tour Prescient 
Sept 11 @ 5:30pm - 8pm
Prescient Co.

Please join friends and other members of APICS Northern Colorado for a great networking event at Prescient Co!

Manufacturing Day 2014
October 3
MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is - and what it isn't. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Invitation to Participate in the Citywide Denver Public Schools 8th Grade Career Fair
October 22
National Western Complex

The primary objective of the event is to expose the students to the vast scope of careers available and to help them plan for their future. Only one person from your business/organization needs to register for your entire group. The registration will prompt you to list all of the individuals that are planning to attend.

Stay Connected - Tour Lexmark International
Nov 13 @ 5pm - 8pm
Lexmark International

Please join friends and other members of APICS Northern Colorado for a great networking event at Lexmark!

How To Get A Million Dollars...for Colorado Manufacturers: Part 1

by Tom Bugnitz, Manufacturer's Edge CEO
Tom Bugnitz, CEO
In 1977, Steve Martin performed a routine on Saturday Night Live about being a millionaire.  

The first lines of the bit:


"You can be a millionaire...and never pay taxes! You can be a millionaire...and never pay taxes! You say.. 'Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?' First...get a million dollars. Now..." 


Aaaaah, so the trick is to first get a million dollars. Put that way it sounds simple. But few of us have that chance.


Right now in Colorado, we do have that chance. The U.S. Department of Commerce is giving Colorado, through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership system (the network which Manufacturer's Edge is a part of), a way to bring another $1M into the State to support manufacturing programs. But there is a small catch. More on that in a minute.


A little background: Manufacturer's Edge holds the cooperative agreement with U.S. Department of Commerce to be the State of Colorado MEP Center. We have been the holder of the cooperative agreement for over ten years, and it will be renewed with our continued satisfactory performance in 2015. That cooperative agreement provides up to $655,201 dollars of Federal funding as long as Manufacturer's Edge can provide twice that ($1,310,402) in matching funds. We do this by selling education and consulting services to manufacturers in Colorado.


Compared to other states, the amount of money that Department of Commerce provides to the Colorado MEP is low... low by about $1M, when considering the number of manufacturers and manufacturing employees in the State. That amount was set in the beginning days of the MEP system, and is part of the federal law authorizing funds for MEP. The Department of Commerce on its own can't increase our funding...they literally need an act of Congress to do that. And Congress has acted.


Congress passed a law that provided for two things: 1) A way to change state funding to more closely align MEP funding to the needs of each state, based on number of manufacturers, etc.; 2) A "recompetition" of the entire MEP system.


Recompetition means, let's open up the cooperative agreement to anyone who thinks they can provide the service. As stated in H.R. 4186, the "Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2014":


RECOMPETITION. -If a recipient of a Center award has received financial assistance for 10 consecutive years, the Director shall conduct a new competition to select an operator for the Center consistent with the plan required in this Act. Incumbent Center operators in good standing shall be eligible to compete for the new award.


Check mark for us...we have been holding the cooperative agreement for 10 years. And we are in good standing. But it would take a while to do all of the MEP centers, a period of years.


From the MEP perspective, according to the MEP website:


"The goal is to complete re-competition of the entire 50 State (plus Puerto Rico) national network over three years. To ensure that this process can be implemented without disrupting the MEP system or degrading the program's performance, MEP will initiate a demonstration program in 6-10 States in Summer 2014 (emphasis added)... The demonstration program will enable procedures, milestones, and resource requirements to be tested and refined."


Colorado certainly qualified to be part of the "demonstration program", because we were underfunded by MEP standards and had held the cooperative agreement for 10 years. So, we were allowed to volunteer to be part of the demonstration program.


Volunteer to go back into a competitive bidding situation. This is like your best customer, with a long term contract who is very happy with your product and service, saying they will pay you double or triple for your product. All you have to do is let them break the contract, agree to go head to head with your competitors, and then win the business all over again.


The key word is volunteer. We had the option to say no, and just wait a few years for our turn to come around.


We said yes. Actually, we said absolutely yes, totally yes, where do we sign up? The risk is that we lose the cooperative agreement and Manufacturer's Edge goes away. The guarantee is that another $1,000,000 will come into Colorado for Colorado manufacturers. That is as close to a no-brainer as it gets.  We will always opt for the extra million for our manufacturers in Colorado.


So in the coming week or so there will be an announcement from the Department Commerce opening up the MEP cooperative agreement to anyone who wants to bid on it. Manufacturer's Edge will, of course,  be one of those organizations. We intend to win that cooperative agreement back and become a larger and stronger force for Colorado manufacturing. 


To do this, we will be reaching out to our partners, our manufacturers, our state agencies, our universities and community colleges, and any other interested parties and asking one question: How can we work together and use those extra dollars to make Colorado manufacturing stronger?


We have the opportunity, with the increased money and the match, to change the landscape for how manufacturing is supported in Colorado.  With all of our friends and partners, with increased funding from Commerce, and with the strong base we already have at Manufacturer's Edge, we intend to do just that, and continue or work to improve the quality and quantity of manufacturing in the State of Colorado.

Manufacturer's Edge Welcomes Lisa Poppaw
Meet the newest addition to the Manufacturer's Edge team
Lisa Poppaw

Hi, my name is Lisa Poppaw, and I'm the newest member of the Manufacturer's Edge team. I'm the Northern Colorado Regional Director and will be serving Larimer, Weld and Adams counties. I graduated from Woodland Park High School and the University of Northern Colorado, then moved out of state for a few years. When the opportunity to move back to Colorado arose, I jumped at it! I've been in Fort Collins for over twenty years now, and I couldn't be happier.

Before being hired on at Manufacturer's Edge, I spent several years volunteering and working in nonprofits, most recently as the Executive Director of the Foundation on Aging for Larimer County. I currently serve as the District 2 City Councilmember in Fort Collins and sit on the Poudre Fire Authority board of directors, the Legislative Review Committee, and the Ethics Review Board for the City. Last fall, I enrolled in the Executive Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Colorado, Denver. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my kids, rock climbing, hiking, cooking, and reading. I'm delighted to be joining such a dynamic and talented team, particularly when so many great things are happening within the organization. The recompete is a wonderful opportunity for Manufacturer's Edge to provide even more support for Colorado manufacturers, and I'm excited to be a part of economic development in the state I'm proud to call home.

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