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Success Stories

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Boise, Idaho – Patrick Nauman, co-owner of Weiser Classic Candy has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 Idaho Small Business Person of the Year.  Nauman was nominated for the award by Sandy Anderson, executive director of Buy Idaho in Boise, Idaho.

Since Patrick Nauman and Keith Bryant purchased Weiser Classic Candy in 2007, the store has averaged 11% growth in annual sales.  Over the same timeframe, Weiser Classic Candy has more than doubled their number of employees from 7 to 15.  They have grown their wholesale business from 6 accounts to over 150 stores throughout the United States and Canada.  One of the driving factors in this growth is the creation of new products for their customers.  Some of these new concoctions include Idaho Chocolate Chips (chocolate dipped potato chips), chocolate dipped bacon, Idaho Sweet Taters (fudge in the shape of a baked potato), and Huckleberry Heaven (fresh Idaho huckleberries whipped with white chocolate and then... Read More

Best Bathing for Seniors

After working for Component Structures Inc. for nine years, Gary Multanen and a group of investors purchased the company in 1981.  He and his wife, Susan bought the company two years later and Gary has been the CEO steering the company’s direction ever since.  For six years the company focused on manufacturing bathing products for the modular home industry while also offering custom fabrication services.  Although the firm’s revenue grew, Gary was not satisfied with the bottom-line profitability.  Against the advice of suppliers, bankers, consultants and company managers, Gary chose to focus solely on bathing products and abandon the custom fabrication business.

About this time, Gary was assisting his aging mother and trying to accommodate her desire to safely remain in her own home.  A modification to her existing home was necessary - a bathing system that could accommodate the needs of seniors.  While considering the options, Gary realized there was a significant gap in... Read More

From the rural roots of Moscow, Idaho emerged a computer measurement and security company whose technological research has contributed to enhance our nation’s defense. With an opportunity to utilize their experience and education in electrical engineering and design technologies, John Munson and Rick Hoover created Computer Measurement Laboratory (CML) and began to pursue federal grants for technological innovation.

John was a professor at the University of Idaho’s College of Engineering when he first heard of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. It is a highly competitive grant program that encourages entrepreneurs in the private sector to conduct technological research and development for the federal government.  The grant funds critical startup and development stages of projects and enables small businesses to compete in the same arena as larger businesses.  Small businesses can also develop their technology for commercialization and profit. 

One... Read More

Who says work can’t be fun?  After several years of working in the Seattle area, Eric and David Leaman returned home to Boise to start Gameday Sports.  Both brothers had worked for a for-profit adult recreation sports company while living in Seattle and they felt compelled to start their own venture in the Treasure Valley.  They observed firsthand the pleasure that adults gained as a result of participating in noncompetitive sports in a social setting.  The Leaman’s saw the value of social networking among young professionals that takes place while engaged in fun filled activities.

Having grown up in Boise, the Leaman’s were well aware of the potential challenges of Idaho demographics.  “We had our doubts at first because people in Idaho get married and have kids early; they don’t have a lot of young professionals,” said Eric.  “Unlike Seattle, Boise is cautions in adopting something new, but when they do, they are all over it.”

In spite of some concerns about the... Read More

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