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Success Stories


Chris Runyan relocated to Stamford, Connecticut from Bentonville, Arkansas in 2009. He’d considered opening a GameXChange franchise in Arkansas before moving but discovered that there were no franchise territories available in Arkansas.  Chris pursued his passion for gaming and this particular franchise and prior to the relocation, researched job and business opportunities and discovered that while there were no GameXChange franchise opportunities in Arkansas where the franchise was founded, there were territories available in Connecticut.  

GameXChange is a franchise retail store that sells, purchases and trades new and pre-owned video games and related hardware, software and accessories.

After living in Connecticut for just one week, Chris contacted the SCORE chapter in Norwalk and developed a business plan and set up meetings with commercial lenders with their help.  After being rejected by eight banks, Chris contacted the Connecticut Community Investment... Read More

May Cookies – The Best Cookies on the Planet

Susan Nolte has always been a very health conscious woman, one that is looking to make the world a healthier place, one cookie at a time.  In 2008 she founded the May Cookie Co., an effort that came out of a vision that consisted of creating a world of healthy people who eat well, live well and smile a lot. Her next question was can this be a viable business? Originally, Susan wanted to bake and deliver delicious, wholesome cookies that had healthier ingredients than those traditionally found in stores at the time.  Over time, the concept evolved into a healthy cookie mix, which allowed her to take advantage of broader consumer appeal, wider geographic reach and a longer product shelf-life. 

Susan began by taking her vision to the Hartford Women Business Center in 2008 to align her with some business basics that would guide her through the challenging maze of entrepreneurship.  With guidance from the business coaches at the WBC she perfected her business plan, learned... Read More

L & P Gates Co. Inc.

For Bolivar Jimenez, the owner of L & P Gates Co., Inc., a full service metal fabrication company, offering valued service and quality workmanship to his customers is what success is ultimately about.   L & P Gates was established in 1991 by two brothers, Bolivar and Manuel Jimenez, who learned all about the manufacturing of custom iron gates and railings by working at their uncle’s shop in Jersey City, New Jersey before launching their own business.  L & P designs, manufactures and installs wrought iron fencing, automatic gates, metal stairs, ornamental fencing and gates, railings and structural steel.

The Jimenez brothers recognized the opportunity that Hartford presented for a business like theirs when delivering and installing in the area. Once they established a location in the city, they focused on marketing and advertising and were able to build name recognition and a solid customer base.

When the recession hit and building came to a halt in the mid... Read More


Cheryl Silva began a day care business out of her home in 1993, caring for six children, as she saw firsthand the difficulties of systems where parents earn too much income for assistance but not enough to place children in affordable pre and after school programs.


Because of her love of caring for children, she and her husband decided that this was something they would spend their lives building. In 1995 Cheryl and Manny Silva opened their first day care center, Silva’s Youth of Today, in East Hartford, CT, with 35 children, caring for infants less than one year old to children up to age five.


In 1998 they opened a second location, adjacent to 801 Silver Lane, which allowed them to accommodate a total of 100 pre and after school children. In 2000 they expanded their first location at 775 Silver Lane so the total number of enrolled children increased to 161 children with 24 staff members.


In 2002 the Silvas were looking to... Read More