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Colorado companies re-imagining business

Re-defining old models with innovation, new business structures


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1908 Brands

1908 Brands manufactures Boulder Clean natural and nontoxic laundry, dish and surface cleaners, as well as six natural food brands.

PIVOTAL MOMENTS: The company moved from non-food to food brands in 2015 with the purchase of Wholly Bites. A year later, it acquired three more companies, entered into a license agreement to distribute Pasta Jay’s sauces and launched its eighth brand from scratch, Three Bears.

DEFINING INNOVATION:1908 Brands looks at companies that no one else is looking at, ones with less than $1 million in annual revenue but with the potential to grow revenues beyond $10 million.

THE DISRUPTION FACTOR: The company builds up each of the brands under its executive, accounting, sales, marketing and operational teams. Hundreds of small struggling companies look to 1908 for assistance in healthy and sustainable ingredient sourcing, recipe improvement, manufacturing experience, brand and packaging improvements, sales support, marketing strategy and operational experience.

COMPANY CULTURE: Employees can work longer hours and shorter weeks to spend extra time with family or start the weekend early. As long as individual performance and communication are strong, team members are encouraged to suggest their own hours to fit their lifestyles and personal needs. Employee barbecues featuring Schultz’s, 1908’s barbecue sauce brand, give opportunities to gather, talk and eat.

COMMUNITY IMPACT: 1908 Brands donates 1 percent of net revenue every year to nonprofits solving the world’s most pressing environmental challenges and is hosting the 2017 1% for the Planet Give Back Gathering in Boulder. The company supports land conservation, youth outdoor leadership, ocean and waterway cleanup projects, fruit tree planting and wildlife preservation.


Catalyst Solutions

Catalyst Solutions helps health plans focus on operational efficiency, risk reduction and change management for better resiliency and adaptability.

PIVOTAL MOMENTS: Then-college student Rachel Hennig established the company at age 20 in 1999. A later shift from a pure staff augmentation model to a full-service consulting company reinvigorated the organization.

DEFINING INNOVATION: A proprietary methodology for improving results and satisfaction for clients, Catalyst Formulae, defines the way the company communicates and addresses issues on all projects.

COMPANY CULTURE:: Prank-prone Catalyst team members use any excuse to dress ridiculously and participate in scavenger hunts, escape rooms and Topgolf. A company chief spirit officer helps to coordinate activities. The company is fanatical about its core values, which include being a positive force, inspired innovators, knowledge conduits, impartial advocates and myopia free, as well as fostering a family vibe.

GIVING BACK: Catalyst Cares supports causes including the environment, health and wellness, ending poverty, natural disaster relief, and at-risk youth. Catalyst encourages employee participation by offering three days annually of paid time off for volunteer endeavors. 


Egg Strategy Inc.

Egg Strategy is a strategy and innovation consultancy that helps companies grow by creating new products, implementing new business strategies and/or creating more relevant, engaging consumer communication.

DEFINING INNOVATION: Egg is on a mission to replace outdated industry “reported” data research solutions with more accurate “in the moment” and “in the mindset” solutions that accurately capture real human behaviors/motivations. The company has built an entirely new concept-testing method based on crowdsourcing principles, accessed the daily moments of a person’s life from their vantage point, and crafted an immersive consumer journey tool to help clients make informed, empathetic, game-changing decisions.

COMMUNITY IMPACT: In 2014, Egg Strategy worked pro bono for Gov. John Hickenlooper, helping to reposition and develop “Brand Colorado.” Nationally, the company advises and provides marketing and social enterprise guidance for the National Council on Aging. It is partnering with The Center for Resource Conservation in Boulder to help build its brand and communication strategy and has been a multi-year in-kind, silver sponsor for the Boulder International Film Festival. The company volunteers once a quarter at the local Boulder homeless shelter.

ON THE HORIZON: Egg Strategy is opening its fourth North American office in midtown Manhattan. It plans include increasing focus on developing diversified forms of in-house quantitative analysis and modeling.    


PeakMed

Englewood | Since 2014   PeakMed offers membership-based health care that provides direct access to a doctor regardless of insurance, pre-existing conditions, age or illness.

DEFINING INNOVATION: PeakMed has created its own data aggregation and analytics engine to facilitate a move away from a reactive side of health care into a more proactive and preventative side.

THE DISRUPTION FACTOR: PeakMed has stepped outside the insurance reimbursement model to work directly with employers, individuals who are uninsured, individuals in high deductible health plans, nonprofit organizations and government insured individuals who have little to no access to a health care provider. Its 24/7 access uses traditional brick-and-mortar buildings, technology visits, emails and proprietary secure text messaging for health care continuity.

COMPANY CULTURE: Everyone matters, and no opinion is too small. PeakMed fosters an environment in which everyone involved understands that they are making a difference for not just for clients but also the industry

GIVING BACK:  PeakMed provides eight hours of paid time off for all its people annually to perform volunteer activities. PeakMed also offers several discount programs to U.S. military veterans. 


TouchSource

TouchSource creates electronic directory, wayfinding and public information kiosks with more than 5,000 systems across North America.

DEFINING INNOVATION: TouchSource constantly improves its software to make the interaction simple and intuitive for customers. The company spent three years creating the only fully flexible, fully configurable, cloud-based solution in its space, which means the capability to add new functionality for social media, business processes, multi-language solutions, mobile extensions or even video integration with easily configurable components.

THE DISRUPTION FACTOR: TouchSource avoids the two typical options of either being overly complex or boringly simple, bringing a highly flexible software framework to enable highly configurable products.

COMPANY CULTURE: TouchSource’s dynamic and engaging workplace features ping-pong tables, regular happy hours and seasonal holiday parties. Every employee is on a monthly bonus plan, so at month’s end, everyone works to get shipments out the door, from a senior leader driving a truck to salespeople who offer a hand in the warehouse. That team energy and camaraderie extend to annual traditions such as the Warrior Dash.

GIVING BACK: TouchSource reached out to the International Refugee Council to see if the company could help refugees from war-torn countries. A former U.S. translator from Iraq is now a full-time employee, and other team members work to ensure his success by giving him rides to and from work and donating books, toys and clothing to his family.

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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