Kirk has always been deeply involved in and committed to the entrepreneur, startup, and small business communities. He grew up in a family where running your own business was the norm. Kirk's great-grandfather ran a small sand mining business off his farm. Kirk's grandfather founded and grew D&J Gravel in Fowlerville, MI until he sold it at his retirement. Kirk's father was involved in founding several small businesses, encompassing HVAC services, financial services, law firm management, motor oil, and an airline.
Kirk himself has also stayed active with the more corporate side of his practice. He is an inventor, with four issued U.S. Patents that list him as the sole inventor and two more applications that are currently in prosecution. He also has founded two for-profit businesses, which are in the process of bringing new technologies to market.
Following a Legacy of Startups
Kirk's grandfather's company in Howell, MI (he's the "D") was a gravel pit supplying concrete, sand, and gravel that was used in the construction of many roads in the area. He can still recall all the toy cement mixers he received growing up.
Colorado Law Centers Management Corporation
This is the first company Kirk remembers his father's owning. Although it sounds like Kirk's father was an attorney, Kirk is actually a first-generation lawyer in his family - his father worked in management. Kirk's allowance while growing up was for janitorial services to various law offices. He could supplement it with what he got for recycling the aluminum cans that he found in the trash.
Filter Services Colorado Springs, Inc.
This is the company Kirk really grew up in. It was a commercial HVAC filter service that also supplied specialized filters for various air handling machines such as paint booths. He spent many hours doing homework and hobbies in warehouses and empty conference rooms, and he spent more than a couple of weekends traveling in the car while his dad had to visit a remote client. Kirk even tested some of his father's products for a high school science fair project one year.
A Startup of His Own
Preemie Pacer, LLC
Kirk is a co-founder of Preemie Pacer, which is working to bring to market a baby bottle specifically designed to meet the needs of (generally premature) babies that have not mastered the suck/swallow/breathe routine necessary for them to consume safely on their own. Believed to be the first device of its type, Preemie Pacer is pleased that its first patent application has been allowed.
In March 2017, Preemie Pacer was the recipient of an National Institute of Health (NIH) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant and is now in the process of producing refined prototypes.
- Inventor, U.S. Patent 9,078,103, Systems and Methods for Interacting with Virtual Nodes within a Geographic Area (July 7, 2015)
- Inventor, U.S. Patent 8,678,623, device for allowing hand transport of a Jack-o-Lantern (March 25, 2014)
- Inventor U.S. Patent 8,469,553, device for allowing hand transport of a Jack-o-Lantern (June 25, 2013)
- Inventor U.S. Patent 8,220,972, device for allowing hand transport of a Jack-o-Lantern (July 17, 2012)
- Inventor U.S.S Patent Publication 2015/0230059 Motion State Notifying Device & Method (August 13, 2015)