2019 Made in Colorado
20 Years of cool stuff: companies, products and people
Twenty years ago, then-ColoradoBiz Editor David Lewis commissioned a monthly column from me called "Cool Colorado Stuff," thumbnails of four products made by Colorado-based companies.
In that time, I've written nearly 200 installments highlighting 800 Colorado-made products.
In 2012, the concept expanded into a full-blown cover story detailing even more products from Colorado companies. In the "Made in Colorado" issues to date, we've taken several different approaches, spotlighting companies, products and people. The common thread? Manufacturing in Colorado.
It's an enviable beat if you like craft beer, space exploration and custom skis.
For the eighth edition, we're back to the basics, shining our spotlight on 10 of the state's makers and manufacturers. Here's to the next 20 years covering all things made in Colorado.
Check out ColoradoBiz magazine's annual Made in Colorado award winners and finalists:
MOST ETHICAL MANUFACTURER
At the Mile High WorkShop, men and women facing barriers to employment like homelessness, addiction and incarceration are offered a second chance through an employment and job training program teaching participants the production of handmade goods. The program provides contract manufacturing services in cut and sew production, woodworking, laser etching/cutting, handmade assembly and package fulfillment.
MOST INNOVATIVE MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
Littleton-based Deep Space Systems is a private aerospace company dedicated to systems engineering that supports the design, development, integration, testing and operations of science and exploration spacecraft. Their specialties include systems engineering, spacecraft design, development, integration and testing, deep space mission operations and high-definition space-qualified cameras. In 2006, they collaborated with Lockheed Martin on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and in 2009 Deep Space Systems was named NASA's Johnson Space Center Small Business Subcontractor of the Year. In 2018, they were included in the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program by NASA, making it eligible to bid on delivering science and technology payloads to the Moon.
FOOD + BEVERAGE OF THE YEAR
Raquelita's is a Denver-based tortilla and tortilla chip company started in 1960 that is family and minority owned. Raquelita's FDA-inspected manufacturing plant is 100 percent powered by wind-generated electricity and churns out an astonishing 25,000 pounds of tortillas and chips daily. Serving companies from 7-Eleven to the Broadmoor, Raquelita's superior-quality tortillas use masa that is ground in-house, a rare practice in the industry.
EMERGING MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR
Blue Canyon Technologies is a Boulder-based provider of turnkey small satellite solutions, including nanosatellites and ESPA-class microsatellites. Specializing in precision pointing platforms based on high-performance altitude determination and control components, BCT staff has developed low cost, flight proven spacecraft systems that enable a wide range of missions for academic, commercial and government applications. Their state-of-the-art spacecraft and subsystems are developed and manufactured in their 54,000 square foot office, lab and manufacturing facility.
TOP DESIGNED GOODS OF 2019
Started in 1968, Lu-Tek has manufactured high-quality commercial window coverings for hospitality, commercial, civic, medical, education, multi-family and high-end residential projects. Having their manufacturing operation based in Colorado controls cost, quality and time efficiency. Lu-Tek's team works with its clients to develop a project from design to manufacturing, installation, programming and maintenance.