BOULDER - Sharon King is heading up a $400,000, three-year, statewide pilot program that's designed to help 20 established companies in Colorado grow bigger.

Companies can apply to the SBDC Advanced program at the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade at www.coloradosbdc.org/consulting/sbdcadvanced.

SBDC stands for Small Business Development Center, a program with 11 offices around the state, including the Boulder Small Business Development Center. King is the executive director of the Boulder SBDC, a job she'll continue to hold.

The 20 companies chosen to participate in the SBDC Advanced program will receive analysis reports about their markets and other business information, said Kelly Manning state director of the Colorado SBDC Network, the office that oversees the program.

Each company that's accepted into the program will be required to pay a $750 fee, which will go back into a general fund used to maintain databases of businesses in the state, Manning said. The Colorado SBDC Network has a $3.5 million annual budget made up of state and federal funds.

The SBDC started soliciting applications Jan. 1, but as of yet no companies have been chosen for the program, Manning said. Companies with six to 99 employees and annual revenue of up to $50 million can apply.

King and others involved with SBDC Advanced plan to work with five new companies every six months, until they reach the 20-company mark, Manning said. The SBDC Advanced program is being paid for with state government funds.

King was chosen to head the SBDC Advanced program because of her success with Colorado Emerging Ventures, a similar statewide program, Manning said.

Colorado legislators approved $200,000 from the state budget to fund the SBDC Advanced program in its first year and $100,000 for its second and third years, Manning said. In all, 11 people who work in SBDC offices around the state have been certified to work on the program.

The state SBDC office will keep track of the growth of any companies involved in the program, whether it's in the form of new employees, additional revenue or other growth markers, Manning said. The program is scheduled to end in 2016.