Preflight Checkout for Business Success

This intense 1-day workshop, presented by the Entrepreneurial Standards Forum and sponsored by The Business Catapult, is designed to help:
  • Entrepreneurs starting a business or thinking about starting a business;
  • Businesses that have started and need help to grow; and
  • Existing companies that want to become more entrepreneurial.

The workshop focuses on the following questions:

  1. How can I determine if I can be successful with my business idea?
  2. What are the mechanics of setting up a business?
  3. How do I fund a new business or expansion to my existing business?
  4. Should I write a business plan? If so, what should I include and how should I write it?
  5. How can I simply and effectively implement the systems to manage the money in my business?
The workshop consists of:
  • Shared best practices and references that have been developed by:
    • Bert Vermeulen, an experienced entrepreneur and successful consultant to other entrepreneurs;
    • The Business Catapult, a Denver-based network of consultants and entrepreneurs; and
    • The Entrepreneurial Standards Forum, an open non-profit Colorado-based organization that is developing standards for entrepreneurial processes.
  • An actual case study presented by successful local entrepreneurs.
  • Discussion of the participants’ specific situation and questions.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own questions, problems, and success stories to share and work on with others.

Expected Outcomes:

Participants will have a clearer understanding of:
  • What determines business success.
  • How to set up a business entity and how this affects their taxes and future options.
  • How to establish a name for their business, their products and their services.
  • How to approach funding for their business.
  • How to write a business plan based on who the audience for the plan will be.
  • How to manage the money in your business to optimize success and avoid bankruptcy.

INSTRUCTORS: Bert Vermeulen and Rita Wilhelm

REGISTRATION: Register on-line below, or register at the door. Note: registration will close after 50 participants have signed up, so sign up early!


Bert Vermeulen grew up in Boulder County; lived in Fort Collins while working for HP; managed, grew, and helped sell a manufacturing business in Longmont; and now is in the business of helping entrepreneurs. His experience includes:

  • A strong background in engineering and business.
  • Building a manufacturing business, selling it, and then buying and funding other similar businesses in Mexico, Ireland, and Hungary.
  • Working with over 30 entrepreneurial companies since 2002. Some of these have since gone out of business, some have not gone anywhere, some have muddled through, and some have been spectacularly successful.
  • Co-leading an open, non-profit organization that is developing standards for entrepreneurial processes, the Entrepreneurial Standards Forum.

Rita Wilhelm is a Colorado native and has been an entrepreneur since she left college. She is now the CEO of her her sixth major startup. These include:

  • A staffing service.
  • A gift basket business (Baskets by Rita) that was sold and still operates under that name.
  • A gift basket consulting business (Gift Basket Mentor) that helped teach the business to startups across the USA.
  • A successful website development company ( that continues to grow and prosper in this crowded market by being focused on several underserved segments.
  • A pioneering web-based service for sharing blogs and videos (
  • A newly launched community website for pets and pet owners (


Are you a member, client, or associate of one of these partner organizations?

  • Rockies Venture Club
  • The DaVinci Institute
  • Integrated Alliances
  • The Association Catapult
  • Corp21
  • The Business Catapult
  • CTEK
  • Colorado Careers
  • Asher Solutions
  • Make-It-Fly
If so, you qualify for a discounted rate: simply sign up at the Member rate.

Name Sales End Price
General Registration Ended $149
Members, Clients, and Associates of Partner Organizations Ended $119

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