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Sarah Tuneberg Changes how we Respond to Emergencies

This Top Techie uses software to help plan for catastophic events





Colorado native Sarah Tuneberg dedicated more than a decade to emergency response management, from Hurricane Katrina to the Waldo Canyon Fire. During that time, she saw the response system as broken and ripe for innovation. 

“I’m an international expert on how we meet the needs of people with disabilities and other historically under-represented groups in a disaster,” Tuneberg says. “Whether it’s a local apartment building fire, wildfires in Northern California … the same number of people suffer disproportionately. It’s a political problem and a will problem.” 

She launched Geospiza – a now-year-and-a-half-old Denver venture – to meet the needs of those people during such catastrophic events. 


Tuneberg wrote the original model for what later became Geospiza using a statistical process that she now calls “inefficient.” Shortly thereafter, her technical co-founder, Craig Kalick, came onboard. Geospiza was accepted into the 2018 Techstars Boulder accelerator program. 

The software platform aids emergency managers, legislators and businesses in making data-driven decisions to reduce risks. The platform scours data from the census, weather, traffic and other resources in real-time to deploy emergency management plans. Geospiza can also analyze building records to determine which locations are at the greatest risk during such events. 

Since launch, “we’ve been going gangbusters,” Tuneberg says. 


Geospiza is in talks with Colorado municipalities and government organizations to integrate its emergency management, among other partnerships and growth opportunities. 

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Gigi Sukin

Gigi Sukin is digital editor at ColoradoBiz. She can be reached at gsukin@cobizmag.com.

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