Roger was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University with a Science and Natural Resources degree in 1982. Roger spent years working various jobs in the health and environmental industries, until eventually returning to Colorado in 2001 to pursue his own paper shredding business, Northeast Colorado Total Document Management (NECTDM).
In 2010, Roger’s wife had planted a plant in their yard. The pot she used to plant it claimed to be biodegradable, however, after nearly one year in the soil, the pot was still fully intact. Roger wanted to find a solution to this issue, so he began to experiment with the paper shreddings he had been collecting through NECTDM. This process led to the beginning of what is now DocuPots!
After experimenting with his paper shreddings, Roger successfully created a pot! He and his wife tested the paper pot, and found that it was indeed biodegradable, and served as a viable alternative to plastic pots.
DocuPots are 100% biodegradable and made from recycled materials. Roger elaborates,
“A Jiffy pot, even after 5 weeks in the soil, is still a Jiffy pot! If a plant is pot-bound for too long, it’s less likely to flourish. DocuPots allow plants to grow and find their happy place! Our pots break down and allow for a better root system, so your plant can actually go into the soil. It makes for a much happier, healthier plant.”
Roger found that in a greenhouse, a DocuPot can be expected to last 2-4 months, and is gone within six weeks of being planted in the ground. Learn more about DocuPots here!
Experience with Rural Colorado Workshop Series
In 2021, Roger attended the Demystifying Entrepreneurship: Rural Colorado Workshop Series (RCWS) in Sterling, Colorado. The Demystifying Entrepreneurship RCWS takes a pragmatic approach to entrepreneurship using a highly interactive setting and flexible, scalable sessions. In each workshop, small businesses, start-ups, and local governments gain the tools they need to solve business and organizational challenges through an entrepreneurial mindset.
Roger comments on his experience,
“The instructors were great! They really got us out of our comfort zones, and it was exciting collaborating with other entrepreneurs”
The Demystifying Entrepreneurship Workshop Series will return this summer, for updates on specific dates and locations, check out the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship’s website.
Initially, Roger was creating the paper pots by hand. However, as he began selling the pots and demand increased, he needed to find a way to produce them at a faster rate. Roger conducted research and found a special machine that could create the pots. Obtaining this machine proved to be extremely difficult due to cost, shipping complications, and the overall size of the machine.
After several months, Roger was able to get the machine and set it up. The machine drastically sped up the production of DocuPots.
Advice for Current Students
Roger provides the following advice for current students,
“Try not to do everything on your own. It’s best to have a team or partner who you trust alongside you to bounce ideas off of. This way, you can figure out whether or not what you’re doing makes sense. ”