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Success Stories

Atlas Devices Equipment Photo

“Build Batman’s utility belt.” That was the challenge put to Nate Ball, Daniel Walker and Bryan Schmid in 2005 when the young researchers joined a competition between the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) and West Point to design tools to address real world problems faced by soldiers and first responders. Their solution was a Powered Ascender which can lift two people about 30 stories up a rope in seconds. The team founded Atlas Devices shortly after to continue to develop and launch this and other products.

Starting a new business presented new challenges for the ambitious founders, as they had no experience in the market they were entering. After learning how to navigate the defense and rescue sectors and succeed in creating access solutions for military personnel, Atlas Devices worked to enter international markets. The first foreign market the company decided to enter was Canada’s, but there were complications the team did not expect.

This is where the... Read More

Massachusetts Small Business of the Year: Golden Cannoli Shells Company, Inc.

Owners: Valerie Bono, Maria Malloy, Eric Bresciani, Edwin Bresciani

Address: 99 Crescent Avenue, Chelsea, MA 02150


In the mid-1960s, Cousins Francesco Bono and Angelo Bresciani traveled to the United States from Argentina with a plan to learn English, start a business and live the American dream.  In 1970 after working at various bakeries in Boston’s North End, they secured a storefront and started their first bakery in Arlington, Massachusetts, specializing in coffees and pastries. Their first bakery was such a success that they soon opened a second. While in their two small storefront bakeries, Messrs. Bono and Bresciani began making cannoli shells and fillings to supply their stores. These shells became wildly popular, and the cousins began producing larger quantities in a vacant building in Somerville, Massachusetts for their stores and for other local businesses. They named the business Golden Cannoli.

Having only an elementary formal education,... Read More

Suchi Mumford has always been the hands-on type attracted to hands-on art, and now that she has opened her own clay pottery and glass studio, she is thrilled to own and manage a business around something that she has loved since her childhood.   


Mrs. Mumford started Indigo Fire Studio in Belmont, Massachusetts in 2012. She had always loved working with clay pottery, but a career in international aid took her overseas and kept her busy working with education and adoption programs. After marrying and having two children, international work was no longer a good fit and Mrs. Mumford decided to open her own business. That first year was stressful, and Mrs. Mumford said, “I wish I had started Indigo Fire before having children. Finding balance can be difficult in that first year. But at the end of the day, it’s a great fit.”


Before starting her business, Mrs. Mumford approached the Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) for help in 2011, and later... Read More

Keeping the Edge

Every company talks about the value in listening to its customers, but no company takes that creed more seriously, or more literally, than Keep the Edge Studios. Keep the Edge is a recording studio where according to its founders, “all musicians should feel welcome.” The studio aims to provide a creative and inspiring environment for all musicians needing a space to record, while also upholding industry standards for sound fidelity, consistency and creativity.


Keep the Edge Studios was founded in 2009 by two Berklee College of Music graduates, Keith Asack and Kim Pfluger. Mr. Asack has been recording since age 14 and is also an accomplished songwriter. Ms. Pfluger is a singer, guitar player, and guitar repair technician as well as a graphic designer, web designer, and artist. The two business partners met while in school, and decided to start their business when they were only 20 years old. The pair started the recording studio in a small, 525 square foot space in... Read More