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 May 1, 1997

Entrepreneurs breathe new life into defunct firms

It always happens.

Economic losses, no matter their scale, have a habit of turning into opportunities, at least in the minds of entrepreneurs. Such seems to be the case with the pending resurrection of two defunct local companies, or at least the rebirth of significant aspects of their business.

First, former employees of Summit Biotechnology are purchasing rights to that trade name from Omaha-based ConAgra. ConAgra closed the operation last year as part of a nationwide divestiture of nonfood-related ventures. The new owners are incorporating Summit Biotechnology Inc. and hope to continue its work of producing fetal bovine serum and supplying it to researchers and pharmaceutical companies.

Similarly, the closure last year of the Innovative Cos. has created new opportunities for several manufacturers of store fixtures, both locally and from out of state. One, Capitol Interiors Inc. of Libertyville, Ill., recently opened a sales office in Fort Collins to sell store fixtures and hired some former employees of the now-defunct Innovative Cos.

Genesis Innovations Inc. and Aspen Leaf Kitchens Ltd., both of Loveland, are also working to fill the void left by Innovative Cos.’ closure, including hiring some of its 130 workers.

All these individuals and firms know a void when they see one, and the loss of a company with the stature of the Innovative Cos. cries out for correction. But what’s clear from these attempts at entrepreneurship is that even the closure of somewhat modestly sized enterprises can create opportunity for individuals and companies to capture greater market share or an ownership stake.

It’s heartening to think that when an economic crisis of a larger scale hits this region, resulting entrepreneurial spirit might be enough to soften the blow.

It always happens.

Economic losses, no matter their scale, have a habit of turning into opportunities, at least in the minds of entrepreneurs. Such seems to be the case with the pending resurrection of two defunct local companies, or at least the rebirth of significant aspects of their business.

First, former employees of Summit Biotechnology are purchasing rights to that trade name from Omaha-based ConAgra. ConAgra closed the operation last year as part of a nationwide divestiture of nonfood-related ventures. The new owners are incorporating Summit Biotechnology Inc. and hope to continue its work of producing fetal bovine serum and supplying…

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