Entrepreneur of 2017 finalists.

Author:Siebrase, Jamie
 
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GREG GAMET

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER OF DENVER CONSULTING GROUP

WWW.DENVERC0NSULTINGGR0UP.COM

AGE: 45

Greg Garnet set himself apart in Colorado's legal cannabis industry by doing what any good entrepreneur does: identifying gaps in the market and filling them.

We aren't exaggerating when we say that Gamet has been busy since 2009. That was the year he launched DANK, a medical marijuana dispensary that became one of Colorado's first recreational dispensaries on Jan. 1, 2014. While getting DANK off the ground, Gamet founded Kush Bottles, the state's leading supplier of packaging solutions to the cannabis industry.

After growing the business from 30 SKUs to nearly 100, Gamet took the company public in 2015 and jumped into his next endeavor, CannaScore, which is still the industry's only real-time compliance software system. Gamet rolled out Denver Consulting Group, too, a sales consulting company that helps cannabis stores with, well, the whole gamut--everything from training to marketing and branding. Plenty of new businesses go belly-up, and it takes finesse to succeed when you're working with startups. Garnet's insider secret is wrapped up in his policy on cash. "I never take on a bunch of debt," he says. "If you have a bunch of investor money, you can feel like you're making money when you're not." This entrepreneur prefers to use profits from a company to grow it organically. "You'll find out quickly if the business is going to be successful," he says.

JOSHUA DORKIN

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

FOUNDER AND CEO OF BIGGERPOCKETS

WWW.BIGGERPOCKETS.COM

AGE: 41

Some of the best business ideas are the ones that come from an unanswered question--or, in Joshua Dorkin's case, a series of unanswered questions.

Dorkin was a special-education teacher and first-time real estate investor living in Los Angeles when he discovered that buying land isn't anything like buying, say, a television. Dorkin had a long list of real estate related inquiries, and when he couldn't find the answers in the public domain, he started BiggerPockets, a one-of-a-kind social network for real estate investors. Before long, BiggerPockets grew from a hobby to a lifestyle business to, Dorkin says, "A business where I had no life." But hard work paid off. BiggerPockets has doubled its revenue and income every year for five years, and it has doubled its staff size, too, since relocating to a storefront in RiNo. That's not to say there weren't growing pains...

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