50 Colorado companies to watch 2010
The second annual 50 Colorado Companies to Watch features snapshots of businesses that are thriving – and growing – as selected by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and economic development groups and chambers of commerce statewide. Read more about the process and the upcoming event, and check out our business resource guide.
SNAPSHOT: Adperio, founded in 1994, is a privately held online marketing and advertising agency based in Denver. The company offers a suite of Internet solutions for advertisers, market research firms and advertising agencies. The company was recently recognized by Inc.magazine for the third consecutive year as one of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America and named as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Colorado by the Society for Human Resource Management for the second consecutive year.
LEADERSHIP: David Asseoff is chief executive officer.
WORK FORCE: The company employs 53 full-time equivalent people and expects to reach 60 employees this year.
COMPETITIVE EDGE: Adperio is usually responsible for tracking the success of its clients' advertisements. To serve the needs of one of its biggest entertainment clients, Adperio developed a "server-side" offer-tracking technology designed to be more accurate and reliable than the pixel-tracking technology used by the majority of its competitors. The system decreased fraudulent orders, provided a better overall consumer experience and decreased the cost for each newly acquired customer.
INNOVATION: Adperio developed a plug-and-play monetization platform that developers could customize and integrate directly into their application. The platform helped Adperio establish a footprint in the Facebook application space. In 2008, the company generated more than $20 million in revenue from social media.
ADSS – ADVANCED DISTRIBUTED SENSOR SYSTEMS
SNAPSHOT: Advanced Distributed Sensor Systems is an end-to-end systems integrator that develops, fields, manufactures and maintains advanced situational awareness sensor products and communications systems for defense, homeland security, force protection and commercial applications. The Littletoncompany's sensors and communications networks deliver mission critical and real-time information for a wide range of military and civilian uses.
LEADERSHIP: Mark Seglem has been president and chief executive officer since 2009.
WORK FORCE: The company, founded in 2008, employs 15 full-time equivalent people and expects to add three people this year.
STRONG ON DEFENSE: ADSS started as a government-funded "science project" and developed into a fast-growing small business. Although remote environmental sensors have been around for years, ADSS took state-of-the-art technology, made it smaller, less energy intensive and integrated it with satellite technology so that the information the sensors supply can be transmitted to a central data repository and disseminated to those who need it.
A BIG STEP: A pivotal moment for ADSS came when it made the leap from product research and development to systems engineering, development and manufacturing. "Most R&D companies are good at R&D but typically not good at systems engineering, systems development and program management," the company says.
ALBEO TECHNOLOGIES INC.
SNAPSHOT:Boulder-based Albeo designs, manufactures and markets LED (light-emitting diode) lighting systems for industrial and commercial applications that improve profitability by reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption and maintenance costs, with increased productivity and a short payback period.
LEADERSHIP: Jeff Bisberg is chief executive officer of the company, which was founded in 2004.
WORK FORCE: Albeo's full-time or equivalent headcount is 13 and is projected to grow to 17 this year.
HIGH PERFORMER: Albeo has delivered revenue growth of 165 percent, 81 percent and 39 percent over the last three years. After the first eight weeks of 2010, shipments and backlog were at $3 million – 50 percent higher than 2009's entire annual revenue. The company is on track to grow 300 percent in 2010.
LIGHTS ON: Albeo has led the deployment of LED lighting in new markets including the first school and the first data center to be entirely fitted with LED lighting. The company's seven awards include three from the U.S. Department of Energy.
FINDING A NICHE: In late 2007, Albeo shifted from residential to industrial lighting. The payoff: an increase in average and total sales, including a single $2.1 million order.
ALEXA'S ANGELS INC.
SNAPSHOT:Alexa's Angels is an all-women jewelry and accessory company. It created the Prayer Box Bracelet, and helped launch the idea of inspirational jewelry into the independent retail community. Its clients include Bass Pro Shops, Hallmark stores and Family Christian Stores.
LEADERSHIP:Owner Beth Lang founded the Windsorcompany in 1995.
WORK FORCE: The company's full-time equivalent roster is about a dozen workers and is expected to grow by one this year.
MARKET NICHE: "We have achieved a presence in the highly competitive independent retail channel by creating innovative, original and meaningful designs in an industry known for knockoffs and competition from overseas suppliers," the company says. "We pride ourselves on creating unique products for the small mom-and-pop retail stores and giving them the edge they need to compete against big-box chains."
PIVOTAL MOMENTS: The creation of the company's Prayer Box Bracelets in 2000 fueled growth of 400 percent the following year and also allowed the company to venture into overseas manufacturing and distribution through the independent gift retail. But in 2005, popularity of the Prayer Box Bracelet declined sharply, and the company shifted its strategy. It rebranded, hired a marketing firm and a sales agency, expanded its product offerings and "moved from a barn to
ALPINE WASTE & RECYCLING
SNAPSHOT: Alpine Waste & Recycling is the largest independent, locally owned waste and recycling provider in the Denver Metro area. It specializes in meeting the needs of commercial, industrial and retail customers as well as both commercial and residential property managers. Alpine offers every type of nonhazardous solid waste collection service available, including commercial compostables collection.
LEADERSHIP:President John Griffith founded the Commerce City company in 1999.
WORK FORCE: Alpine has 94 full-time equivalent employees and expects to grow to 120 this year.
WASTE NOT: In 2006, Alpine determined that environmental initiatives would shape the waste-hauling industry's future. First, it became the only company in the Denver market to offer compost waste collection. Then it took the biggest risk in the company's history, opening the Altogether Recycling Plant, which in less than three years has grown into the state's second largest recycling plant, processing more than 4,300 tons per month of material otherwise destined for landfills.
WANT NOT: In 2008, selling these services became the priority, emphasizing recycling as Alpine's primary product. This realignment resulted in 53 percent growth in one year.
CLEAN RIDES: In 2009, Alpine became the first waste-hauler in Colorado to operate natural gas vehicles. Alpine recently signed an agreement with Clean Energy that will result in the transition of its entire fleet to natural gas over the next decade.
ASSOCIATED CONTENT INC.
SNAPSHOT: Associated Content, founded in 2005, is the largest publishing platform on the Internet that pays people based on how popular and valuable their contributions are. It attracts nearly 30 million monthly visitors and has 360,000 contributors.
LEADERSHIP: Patrick Keane took over as CEO of the Denver-based company in 2009.
WORK FORCE: The company employs 55 full-time equivalent employees and expects to reach 74 this year.
COMPETIVE EDGE:Associated Content, the "people's media company," is powered by a proprietary semantic analysis tool that can determine the value of a piece of content based on a multivariate analysis and then can manage that piece of content through its life cycle.
INNOVATION: Associated Content is built atop two main pillars: algorithmic content evaluation and the community powered by it, the company says. It developed a system that can read an article and determine the value based on more than 20 signals. The system analyzes each submission to AssociatedContent.com and ensures that each of the more than 2 million pieces of content on the site is profitable. Another system allows the company to target article assignments to the individuals best able to create those pieces.
GROWTH: Last year, the company became one of the 50 most visited websites in the United States.
BACKBONE MEDIA LLC
SNAPSHOT: Backbone Media, founded in 1997, is a public relations, media planning and social media agency focused on active lifestyle brands. Its clients include New Belgium Brewery, Black Diamond Equipment, Polartec, Gerber and La Sportiva.
LEADERSHIP: Nate Simmons and Penn Newhard are partners in the Carbondalecompany.
WORK FORCE: The company employs 18 full-time equivalent employees and expects to grow to 20 this year.
NICHE: "What might be perceived by New York agencies as our weakness is actually our greatest strength – living in a small town in Colorado means that we come from a place of authenticity and credibility when promoting outdoor gear and equipment," the company says. "Our staff lives the lifestyle, uses the gear we promote on a daily basis and believes in the products we represent."
PIVOTAL MOMENT:In 1999 Backbone Media helped Black Diamond Equipment launch a new avalanche safety device, the Avalung, helping the company publicize the product far beyond the usual audience for technical climbing equipment. "With the launch of the Avalung, we realized that we could play on a global scale. We placed the Avalung on "NBC Dateline," in the Wall Street Journal, in publications around the world and even journals of medicine. It was a global phenomenon, and it opened our eyes to our reach and the true power of PR."
BACKCOUNTRY ACCESS INC.
SNAPSHOT: Backcountry Access is a privately held manufacturer that specializes in snow safety equipment and education. Snow safety equipment includes avalanche beacons, avalanche airbag packs, probes, shovels and snow study tools. All of these are used to either avoid avalanches or help rescue victims if they are caught and buried in one.
LEADERSHIP: Bruce McGowan is president of the Bouldercompany, which was founded in 1994.
NICHE:Avalanche beacons are the backbone of the business: "BCA's beacons stand out from the crowd because of their rapid processors, and they are the easiest to use. Our company's objectives aren't limited to sales and marketing. We believe our purpose includes saving lives, innovating, and being responsible members of the outdoor industry."
PIVOTAL MOMENT: The introduction of BCA's Tracker DTS avalanche transceiver, the world's first digital avalanche transceiver. Since its introduction, the market for avalanche transceivers has gone mainstream, prompting the company's competitors to develop their own digital beacons.
PROMOTING SAFETY: "Our philanthropic efforts have centered around supporting avalanche education in North America – especially to the demographic groups most at risk: youth and snowmobilers. We have donated and installed over 60 Beacon Training Parks at high-traffic ski and snowmobile destinations."
SNAPSHOT: Biodesix is a molecular diagnostic company that develops products to support clinical decision making and improve patient care. In 2009, the company introduced VeriStrat, a test based on a proprietary technology that helps physicians guide treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
LEADERSHIP: David Brunel is chief executive officer of the Broomfieldcompany, which was founded in 2005.
PIVOTAL MOMENT: Biodesix began as a small company funded by a few angel investors. Despite its small size and limited resources, the company published a landmark paper in June 2007 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that presented the development and validation of VeriStrat, its first commercial product. "This exemplified what the company and its technology were capable of," Biodesix says.
MARKETING: VeriStrat was launched in the second quarter of 2009 along with the campaign "Guiding the Way," which focuses on explaining the science behind VeriStrat and its appropriate clinical use to both health-care professionals and patients. "Since its launch, VeriStrat has received a positive reception from academic and community oncologists as well as lung cancer patients and their caregivers."
BLU SKY RESTORATION CONTRACTORS
SNAPSHOT: Blu SKY is a full-service general contractor and restoration contractor that specializes in the cleanup and reconstruction following natural and man-made disasters.
LEADERSHIP: Terry Shadwick is president and CEO of the
Centennial company, which was founded in 2004.
WORK FORCE: The company has 78 full-time equivalent employees and expects to reach 91 this year.
PIVOTAL MOMENT: Blu SKY purchased land and built a 20,000-square-foot office/warehouse, representing itself as both developer and general contractor. It also made a corporate decision to take its business model national and now has seven offices in four states.
MARKETING: Blu SKY aims for consistency in branding throughout its fleet of 50 vehicles, its golf tents, banners, marketing materials, company attire and new headquarters: "We are logo'd and immediately recognizable and visible wherever we are."
TECHNOLOGY: "Historically, restoration and construction have been slow to embrace innovation. Blu SKY sees this approach as an opportunity to distinguish itself by vigorously studying all new concepts and enthusiastically supporting its staff to become experts in emerging fields," the company says. "From differing drying technologies such as refrigerant, desiccant and thermal energy approaches to green building practices, Blu SKY has the foremost knowledgeable staff in the industry."
CETIS INC. (FORMERLY KNOWN AS TELEMATRIX INC.)
SNAPSHOT:Cetis Inc. is an ISO-9001 and RoHS-certified manufacturer of analog, SIP, DECT SIP, Digital Centrex telephones designed for hotel, hospital, university, government and general business applications.
LEADERSHIP: Dr. Bing Sun is founder, president and CEO of the Colorado Springscompany.
WORK FORCE: The company had 39 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expected to add two more in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: Cetis Inc. is the undisputed leader in hotel
guestroom telephony with 14 million telephones installed in more
than 50,000 hotels worldwide.
SOLUTIONS: The company developed the first line-powered Caller ID telephone, eliminating the need for an AC adapter. It also developed the first H2000 Series single-use hospital patient room telephones designed to reduce hospital cross-contamination risks, cleaning and repair costs.
GROWTH CURVE: Speed, efficiency, customer service, same-day shipping and common-sense solutions to business problems have helped catapult the company from third to first position in the global hospitality telephony market in less than 17 years.
SNAPSHOT: Boulder-based Chocolove makes premium chocolate bars that are high in cocoa content. The bars are sold in such prominent retailers as Target and Whole Foods Market.
LEADERSHIP: Timothy Moley is president of the company, which he founded in 1995. The company operates a factory in Boulder.
SALES NICHE: Chocolove was the first to market a premium chocolate bar in the United States. Today, the category generates annual sales of $2 billion.
CULTURE: "Working smart and working hard is the core of our culture. We have an unerring devotion to quality and service. We care and do our best so that when a customer reaches for Chocolove, opens the bar and puts a square in their mouth, it brings them a few moments of joy and relaxation. We focus on our task and then take time for our personal lives. Our workday is from eight to five. We literally usher people out and lock the doors because work is a means for living but it should not dominate our lives."
RECESSION BUSTER: "While others were cutting back and asking for handouts, we decided that the fate of our company was in our hands, and we committed ourselves to the task of working smarter and harder," the company says. "We set goals for sales growth, and we met them. While the nation debated health-care reform and companies cut benefits, we committed to paying full medical for all employees with one of the nation's most respected providers."
SNAPSHOT: Coalfire Systems provides IT audit, security and compliance management solutions to customers in the financial services, government, health-care, education, legal, electric utility and retail industries.
LEADERSHIP: President Rick Dakin co-founded the Louisvillecompany in 2001.
WORK FORCE: Coalfire employs 50 full-time equivalent employees and expects to hit 66 this year.
MARKET EVOLUTION: Coalfire was originally founded to help companies protect critical systems and sensitive data at a time when most businesses did not understand the potential of cyber risk and were not willing to pay for protection, the company says.
GIVING BACK: The company sponsors community education events where local businesses hear from both commercial and law enforcement cyber cops on the latest threats and methods to achieve better data protection. Coalfire's relationship with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, puts the company in a unique position to bring valuable resources to the community.
INNOVATION: During the recent economic downturn customers requested cheaper ways to comply with data protection laws. Coalfire developed a Web-based IT audit and compliance management platform that empowers clients to prepare for an audit through an online service, reducing testing by up to 50 percent.
SNAPSHOT: Based in Denver, Coda Coffee is an Organic Fair Trade wholesale coffee roaster. It distributes internationally to cafes, offices, restaurants and private-label distributors.
LEADERSHIP: Brothers Tim and Tommy Thwaites are co-founders and presidents. They partnered with their father, Tom Sr., to develop and launch Coda Coffee Co. in 2005.
WORK FORCE: The company added four workers in 2009 to end the year with 13 full-time equivalent employees; expanded to 17 early this year.
PIVOTAL BUSINESS DECISION: The company made a move to provide roasting and fulfillment under private labels, and today 50 percent of overall sales come from this market. Coda's three largest customers, including King Soopers and Whole Foods, have their own private label.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Coda travels to farms it buys from to ensure product quality and suitable living standards for workers.
MARKETING STRATEGY: In 2007, Coda began serving free coffee at Colorado running events. The goal was threefold: to support the community, build brand recognition and drive customers to Coda's customers' cafes. This has grown to include 15 races and has been modified with coupons handed out to spur sales.
GROWTH CURVE: Coda's annual revenue growth since its inception has topped 100 percent at times, and the company managed a 40 percent increase last year despite the economic downturn.
SNAPSHOT:Denver-based Coolerado Corp. develops, manufactures and sells innovative air conditioners that use one-fifth or less of the energy required by the most efficient conventional systems.
LEADERSHIP: Mike Luby became CEO in 2008. The company was founded in 2004 and installed its first air-conditioning system that year.
WORK FORCE: Coolerado had 48 full-time equivalent employees and expects to increase to 84 workers in 2010.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS: Coolerado received four patents for its Heat and Mass Exchanger (HMX). The second pivotal moment was the installation of air conditioners in an office building and school in 2004, leading to the prestigious R&D 100 Award and kicking off the first HMX production line. The company's development of a hybrid system that cools and dehumidifies enables it to sell in humid climates.
COMPANY STRENGTHS: Coolerado air conditioners provide energy savings of up to 90 percent compared with traditional systems. The discovery of a new thermodynamic cycle by Coolerado's chief scientist, Valeriy Maisotsenko, is the principle behind the patented Heat and Mass Exchanger that gives the company its market edge.
MARKET: Coolerado has installed systems all over the world. Its best-known clients include the city of Denver, Mile High Music Festival, U.S. military and Colorado School of Mines.
COUNTRY CREATIONS OF THE ROCKIES LLC
SNAPSHOT: Greeley-based Country Creations designs and manufactures Swiss treats that support schools and other organizations in their fundraising. The company's bakers also make gourmet breads, cakes and desserts available at select retail outlets.
LEADERSHIP: Mark and Mindy Kiefer founded the company in 2003.
WORK FORCE: The company had 41 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and plans to add four more workers this year.
GROWTH CURVE: Starting out in 2003 in a 1,800-square-foot space, Country Creations moved into a facility more than 10 times larger in 2005. The expansion served as the platform for creating more products and entering more markets that fuel growth today.
MARKET: Country Creations promotes "The Joy of Convenience" as the only company in the fundraising industry to offer fully baked braided bread. The company's products are sold to raise money for schools, churches, sports teams and other causes.
FUTURE FOCUS: Country Creations has increased its visibility through trade shows and new distributors. It released five new products in January it hopes will elevate the company from niche player to more of a strategic partner. Clients include Walmart, Aldi, Affiliated Foods, Kroger and Albertson's, as well as fundraising distributors.
E.I. MEDICAL IMAGING
SNAPSHOT:Loveland-based E.I. Medical Imaging designs and makes ruggedized, portable, diagnostic ultrasound systems for the veterinary industry.
LEADERSHIP: Charles Maloy became president in 2005. The company was founded in 1984.
WORK FORCE: The company had 10 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and plans to add one more in 2010.
MARKET EDGE: E.I. Medical Imaging is the only U.S.-based manufacturer of ultrasound products specifically for veterinary applications. The company also has pioneered the use of video headsets in conjunction with its ultrasound systems to display images in headsets for use in outdoor, bright conditions.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS: New ownership in 2005 undertook a complete rebranding and grass-roots PR campaign. The launch of its next-generation ultrasound device in 2009 came after 3½ years of R&D and allows E.I. Medical Imaging to broaden its market presence in terms of both animal species (for years its primary market had been in swine reproduction) and geography.
GROWTH PROJECTION: The company expects a 50 percent revenue increase over 2009 in the coming years. Current clients include major universities and veterinary schools, government agencies, private vet clinics and large livestock companies.
EATING RECOVERY CENTER
SNAPSHOT:Denver-based Eating Recovery Center is a behavioral hospital providing comprehensive treatment for and sustainable recovery from the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia.
LEADERSHIP: Drs. Kenneth Weiner and Emmett Bishop, both experts in the treatment of eating disorders, founded the firm in 2007. Weiner serves as CEO and medical director.
WORK FORCE: Eating Recovery Center had 77 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to increase to 137 employees in 2010.
COMPANY STRENGTHS: Adults with anorexia and bulimia previously lacked access to a high-quality facility offering inpatient care in the state. Drs. Weiner and Bishop conceptualized a state-of-the-art facility devoted to the full spectrum of eating disorders.
MARKET: Men and women 17 and older with eating disorders.
INNOVATION: ERC's design is, in itself, an innovation, built on the experiences of treatment professionals and former patients. For example, restrooms are designed to look and feel more like a day spa than a hospital restroom, to inspire serenity in what is typically a shameful, stressful environment for someone with an eating disorder.
INFLUENCE: Drs. Weiner and Bishop were instrumental in the development of the Denver-based Eating Disorder Foundation, a nonprofit committed to education and advocacy. ERC's business office advocates on behalf of potential patients with insurance companies and, in most cases, develops single-case agreements – a time-sensitive and difficult process.
SNAPSHOT: Based in Boulder, Eetrex is a development-stage company formed in 2006 to commercialize proprietary power systems, battery management systems and power electronics components for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).
LEADERSHIP: Carl Lawrence has been CEO since the company's founding.
WORK FORCE: The company had 22 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to add about eight workers in 2010.
INNOVATION: Eetrex's proprietary and patent-pending inverter-charger, or "Inverger," is the first integrated development of a charger-inverter unit technology for automotive applications. Eetrex was the first company to deploy fully converted prototype Toyota Prius and Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle systems to fleet customers for testing and evaluation.
COMPANY STRENGTHS: Eetrex maintains what it believes is a three- to four-year lead in the development of power electronics and battery management technologies. The company was selected to develop an "Inverger" product for one of Detroit's Big Three automakers, slated for roll-out in 2011 and 2012. By demonstrating fuel efficiency better than 100 mpg, Eetrex was one of the first companies to show the economical and environmental efficiencies of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
SNAPSHOT: EVOL Burritos is a Boulder-based manufacturer of made-from-scratch natural and organic frozen burritos.
LEADERSHIP: Phil Anson, who founded Phil's Fresh Foods in 2002, partnered with Bear Naked Granola co-founder Brendan Synnott and CFO Thomas Spier to launch EVOL Burritos in early 2009. Anson currently is COO, Synnott is chief marketing officer and Spier is CFO.
WORK FORCE: The company ended 2009 with 26 full-time equivalent employees and expects to expand to about 33 workers in 2010.
GROWTH CURVE: Six months after launch the brand had climbed to No. 2 in the natural-burrito category.
PIVOTAL MOMENT: Phil's Fresh Foods was a made-fresh-daily delivery company and would have been difficult to capitalize and scale nationally. At the same time, Anson realized fresh Mex giants like Chipotle and Q'Doba had sparked consumer demand for premium affordable luxury, and there was an emerging opportunity in the frozen burrito space to provide a premium frozen burrito experience.
MARKET: Clients include Kroger, Whole Foods, Supervalue, King Soopers and Vitamin Cottage.
SNAPSHOT: Forensic Laboratories is a Denver-based analytical toxicology laboratory that provides testing for clinical, mental health, forensic and diagnostic industries.
LEADERSHIP: Jeffery Slater is director of operations.
WORK FORCE: Forensic Laboratories had 45 full-time equivalent employees and expects to increase to 55 in 2010.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS: The addition of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) allowed Forensic Laboratories to expand analyses with lower limits of detection. Also, losing a state probation contract to an out-of-state competitor prompted Forensic Laboratories to adjust its business plan and expand services to more profitable segments.
MARKETING STRATEGY: Forensic Laboratories has sought to help prospective end users understand the differences in toxicology labs' quality processes. The company does this through webinars, trade shows, industry publications and press releases.
COMPANY STRENGTHS: Forensic Laboratories Scientific Director Dr. James Ruth is the state of Colorado's only board-certified forensic toxicologist. The company's R&D team continues to expand testing services for drugs of abuse in human urine, oral fluid, hair and blood in order to deliver the most comprehensive drug-testing profiles.
SNAPSHOT:Boulder-based Funovation creates attractions that "require brain and brawn," most notably the patented Laser Maze Challenge, for clients such as Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Kennywood Amusement Park and International Entertainment in Kuwait.
LEADERSHIP: Erick Mueller founded the company in 2007. He is currently VP of sales and marketing. Ted Ziemkowski is CEO.
INNOVATION: After three years of perseverance, Funovation received a patent in February this year for its Laser Maze Attraction/Laser Controller. The company and its "Fungineering" team has five additional patents pending. The company has upgraded software to include game statistics. This has boosted the number of repeat plays and thus revenues.
MARKETING: In its first appearance at the industry's biggest trade show, Funovation created buzz despite a meager budget by producing yellow "Beat This!" stickers on which attendees could display their Laser Maze scores on their event badges. This simple measure stoked the competitive juices of trade-show attendees and generated a Laser Maze buzz.
GROWING SPACES LLC
SNAPSHOT: Based in Pagosa Springs, Growing Spaces produces energy-efficient greenhouses using a passive solar geodesic design for year-round growing.
LEADERSHIP: Owner Michael Parsons started Growing Spaces out of a garage in 1989.
WORK FORCE: The company employed 10 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to add one or two employees in 2010.
CUSTOMERS: The company has supplied its Growing Domes to more than 1,200 clients in 48 states and 11 countries. Best-known customers include Toyota Motor Co., Shumei Natural Gardens at Rodale Institute and Naropa University.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS: The company cites the "phenomenon of Y2K" as an impetus for people deciding to become more self-sufficient, and the company went from producing 14 Growing Domes a year, to 75. The company launched its website in 1994, putting it well ahead of competitors in e-commerce.
MARKETING STRATEGY: The company's most successful campaign is its "Tour of Domes" each April in Pagosa Springs when six Growing Dome owners open their domes to the public, displaying fresh herbs, flowers and vegetables when outside it is still snowy. People come from as far as Santa Fe., N.M., and Colorado Springs for the tour.
HIGH COUNTRY KOMBUCHA
SNAPSHOT: High Country Kombucha, based in Eagle/Gypsum, produces a bottled tea beverage from fermented mushroom, adopted from ancient Himalayan culture.
LEADERSHIP: Edward Rothbauer and Shane Dickman started making Kombucha out of Rothbauer's house in Avon and formed the company in 2004. Today, Rothbauer is president and CEO; Dickman is vice president.
WORK FORCE: High Country Kombucha employed 31 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to employ 37 in 2010.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS: The company started out in 2004 producing about 20 bottles a day for locals. In 2006 it started a grass-roots distribution campaign in Colorado and California and set up more than 100 retail accounts. In 2007, the company landed a national distributor and began development of its current facility, where it now produces more than 14,000 bottles a day for 1,300 retail locations. All processing, culturing, herbal preparations, bottling and packaging are conducted in-house at the Gypsum facility.
GROWTH CURVE: High Country Kombucha believes it is barely covering demand with its 14,000-bottle-per day output and is looking to expand to a larger facility in the next three months.
SNAPSHOT: Based in Steamboat Springs, Honey Stinger produces honey-based energy gel, energy bars, protein bars and organic energy chews.
LEADERSHIP: Company President Bill Gamber teamed with his father, William, a honey industry veteran; Bob Stahl, a food product developer; and John Miller, a professional beekeeper, to launch Honey Stinger in 2001. Gamber is also the founder and president of Big Agnes, a Steamboat Springs-based camping gear manufacturer that was a Colorado Company to Watch last year.
WORK FORCE: The company had eight full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to add two in 2010.
MARKETING: A small, self-funded company, Honey Stinger took a decidedly grass-roots and low-budget approach to marketing at the outset. Recently it has broadened its distribution to include Whole Foods, REI, Fleet Feet and Road Runner Sports and others, and as a result the company is seeing increased sales that will enable it to increase its marketing spend in the near future.
PIVOTAL MOMENT: The company announced in late April that famed cyclist Lance Armstrong had joined the Honey Stinger ownership group and would be involved in future product development and endorsement of Honey Stinger energy gels, bars and organic chews.
SNAPSHOT:Boulder-based InDevR develops advanced life science instrumentation and assays for analysis of viruses and other microorganisms. The company's goal is to revolutionize microbiological analysis with affordable, easy-to-use instrumentation and assays that deliver reliable results in less time and at less cost than traditional methods.
LEADERSHIP: Kathy Rowlen has been CEO since 2008. The company was founded in 2003.
GROWTH PATH: InDevR has raised more than $8 million in early-stage grant funding and has moved aggressively toward product commercialization. InDevR designed and beta-site tested a new instrument it believes may well revolutionize virus quantification, the Virus Counter. The commercial version of the Virus Counter was launched in January.
MARKET: InDevR estimates the virus-quantification market at about $1 billion. Its entry point is in the area of vaccines, where it expects its Virus Counter to speed up key steps in vaccine development and production as well as reducing costs.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS: In 2006, InDevR received a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop novel pathogen detection methods. In 2008 InDevR received $2.4 million in Phase II funding from NIH to commercialize the company's Virus Counter instrument. InDevR launched the Virus Counter product line in January, a full year ahead of schedule.
INFINITE POWER SOLUTIONS INC.
SNAPSHOT: This Littleton-based clean technology company founded in 2001 is the global leader in developing, marketing and manufacturing solid-state, rechargeable thin-film micro-energy storage devices for a variety of micro-electronic applications.
LEADERSHIP: Raymond Johnson is president and CEO.
MARKET NICHE: THINERGY Micro-Energy Cells are the world's most powerful batteries for their size and outperform all other micro-batteries. Extremely small, flexible and powerful, these ultra-thin MECs are reliable and safe.
GREEN SCENE: The THINERGY Micro Energy Cell is a clean, green energy storage and micro-powered device that's uniquely suited to leveraging harvested ambient or renewable energy. These MECs deliver a renewable, green energy solution that is unrivaled in its ability to store energy harvested from ambient environments, such as solar, heat or vibration energy. The products are infinitely rechargeable, which significantly reduces the amount of battery product that would end up in a landfill.
TEAM TALK: Management provides open and timely communications of important details in regard to the company's position in the marketplace, financials and strategic plans.
SNAPSHOT: This Fort Collins-based company is focused on developing life-saving vaccines to protect against emerging infectious diseases worldwide, including many that impact children and adults in developing countries.
LEADERSHIP: Dan Stinchcomb is CEO of the company, founded in 2005
WORK FORCE: 20 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
SAVING LIVES: More than 15 million people worldwide die each year of infectious diseases. Vaccines represent the most cost-effective solutions to improving global health. Vaccine development is currently under way for dengue fever, hand, foot and mouth disease, and Japanese encephalitis.
COLLABORATIVE POWER: Nationally, the company collaborates with researchers at the CDC in Fort Collins, Colorado State University, the University of Colorado, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Texas and the National Institutes of Health. Internationally, Inviragen collaborates with a vaccine manufacturer in India and with researchers in Singapore, India and Colombia.
TEAM TALK: Inviragen strives to identify employees who have the requisite laboratory skills in biotechnology, and also share a passion for finding solutions to public health problems. The shared mission to solving public health problems unifies the team, and employees take the time to help each other in and outside the laboratory.
IP5280 COMMUNICATIONS LLC
SNAPSHOT: IP5280 Communications is a next-generation phone company offering everything a business needs to communicate over an Internet connection.
LEADERSHIP: Jeffrey Pearl and John Scarborough are managing partners of the Englewoodcompany they co-founded in 2005
WORK FORCE: 25 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
COMPANY STRENGTH: The company specializes in business-grade Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP services. Colorado is considered a United States hub for telecom, and IP5280 is poised to re-energize the telecom sector not only in Colorado, but across the country.
TEAM TALK: The managing partners run a fast-paced, hard-driving work environment while maintaining an upbeat work culture. Thus, turnover is low, and talent is high.
CARING FOR COMMUNITY: During IP5280's Climbing For Kids, 125 climbers summited a 14,000-foot mountain, raising $50,000 for The Children's Hospital and the Kempe Foundation. The company is also involved in environmental work through pine tree replenishment efforts, and is part of an alliance with Plant-It 2020.
GROWTH CURVE: IP5280 recently announced the availability of a cloud computing infrastructure, called CLOVER, or CLOud OVer Enterprise Resources. "Cloud" refers to shared Internet infrastructure, while Enterprise Resources are hosted applications such as e-mail and voice supported by the IP-based infrastructure.
LEFT HAND BREWING CO.
(INDIAN PEAKS BREWING CO.)
SNAPSHOT: Left Hand Brewing Co. brews and sells craft beer.
LEADERSHIP: Jon Eric Wallace is president of the Longmontcompany, founded in 1993
WORK FORCE: 31 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
COMPANY STRENGTH: Recognized among competitors as a high-quality brewery with a wide range of well-brewed beers that have received numerous awards at the world's most competitive beer competitions, including the World Beer Cup, the European Beer Star awards and the Great American Beer Fest.
GREEN SCENE: A more efficient brew house and steam boiler was installed in 2008. Spent grains are sent to cattle farms, and cardboard, paper, glass and shrink-wrap to Eco-cycle. Left Hand was the first business in Longmont to receive a city and state grant to help install a solar photovoltaic system.
CORE VALUES: The company is involved in supporting many local nonprofits and fundraising events. Employees sit on several boards, including the Colorado Shakespeare Festival Advisory Board, The Imagine! Foundation Board, the Our Center Board, and the Colorado Brewers Guild Board. Left Hand supported nearly 160 fundraising events through donations in 2009 and hosted 10 fundraising events at the brewery.
SNAPSHOT: Location3 Media is an interactive marketing company focusing on search marketing, social media and creative services.
LEADERSHIP: Andrew Beckman is CEO of the Denvercompany, founded in 1999.
WORK FORCE: 40 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
COMPANY STRENGTH: Developed Media Agent, an advanced tracking and reporting system. Media Agent allows the company to measure the performance of paid search marketing campaigns, allowing it to provide clients with detailed reports about the performance of their campaigns.
TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES: The company helps other businesses market their goods and/or services online and on mobile devices, thus it relies on the advancements made by search engines, mobile devices and other technology.
WORK AND PLAY: A work-hard, play-hard attitude makes Location3 Media a challenging and rewarding place to work. Tireless, dedicated workers excel at every project, and are rewarded for hard work. Company sponsors an annual ski day at Arapahoe Basin, and celebrates successes at frequent happy hours and parties.
M&E PAINTING LLC
SNAPSHOT: M&E Painting provides residential and commercial painting services throughout Colorado.
LEADERSHIP: Matthew Shoup is president of the Loveland-based company, founded in 2004.
WORK FORCE: 16 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
COMPANY STRENGTH: In 2008, the company created myMandEpaint.com, an inter-company customer management tool. Every member of the company uses this site to track the customers' jobs from start to finish. The site tracks customer history, estimator calendars and sales closing ratios. It also tracks key vital metrics for the company such as average job sizes, sales metrics, job and individual crew profitability.
MARKET NICHE: Effective sales and marketing models make M&E Painting profitable and give the company a competitive advantage locally and statewide. These strategies allowed the business to expand to Denver and Colorado Springs.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Free Paint Makeover campaign offers free services to those in need in the community. Employees also involved in the Colorado Make A Wish Foundation, and host a Christmas giveaway to help several families have a memorable holiday.
TEAM TALK: Company's team members believe in quality, integrity, superior service, value, entrepreneurship, follow up, follow through, and growth.
MILE HIGH ORTHOTICS LAB (A&M LABS)
SNAPSHOT: Manufacturer of custom medical grade orthotic devices for the medical field, including podiatry, orthopedics, physical therapy, and other medical fields around the world.
LEADERSHIP: Greg Armstrong and Mark McMahon are owners of the Commerce Citycompany, founded in 2007
WORK FORCE: 10 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
COMPANY STRENGTH: Computer Aided Manufacturing system offered scanners to doctors, eliminating the need for messy plaster, and giving doctors more time to spend with patients.
MARKET NICHE: Only orthotic lab that carries the Walkwell Brace, which is an ankle-foot orthosis that has three patents pending and is licensed by Johnson & Johnson. Mile High Orthotics Lab is the exclusive distributor of The Walkwell Custom AFO. The ability to wear the brace with a typical sport shoe helps the patients conform to the doctor's orders and results in a higher success rate for the patient.
FAMILY FIRST: At Mile High, family comes first. Employees are offered the flexibility that many families need today. Extra warehouse space has been used for a handball court, a basketball hoop and a workout room.
SNAPSHOT: MyWireless is a retailer of wireless phones and has been designated as a Verizon Wireless premium retailer selling cellular phones, accessories, broadband Internet cards and Netbook computers.
LEADERSHIP: Andrew Brown, owner and CEO, and Jim Somerville, president of the Steamboat Springs-based company.
WORK FORCE: 94 full-time equivalent employees in 2009.
COMPANY STREGTH: Brown started the company in early 2004 with one store and five employees. Today, My Wireless has grown to 28 locations; 26 stores throughout Colorado, one in New Mexico and one in Wyoming.
ADVERTISING PAYS: Challenged by numerous competitors selling similar products, MyWireless has found a way to stand out though its light-hearted advertising campaign. MyWireless has wrapped more than 40 cars in bright colors. Vehicles range from 1929 Model A's to 1947 panel wagons, 1939 Harley Davidsons to little Nash Metros, each having its own unique design and branding MyWireless with a fun flare.
GIVING BACK: Working with The Children's Hospital and Moose Barrow, founder of The Mickey Barrows Endowment, MyWireless raised more than $20,000. Also raised money for the Red Cross Haiti Fund, and is the official sponsor of the NHL Players Association, and official sponsor for the Harlem Ambassadors Basketball Show, a fundraiser in Steamboat Springs for the Boys and Girls Club.
SNAPSHOT: netFactor Corp. provides several products driving new levels of sales performance from Internet marketing for the business-to-business market.
LEADERSHIP: Christopher Jeffers is CEO, and Daniel Grote is CFO of the Greenwood Villagecompany, founded in 2003.
MARKET NICHE: The company's core VisitorTrack technology platform integrates search engine marketing, business intelligence and Web analytics into a powerful application. In short, company representatives say, "It's like caller ID for your website."
BY THE NUMBERS: More than 50 percent of the prospective customers who try VisitorTrack during a trial purchase it. Revenues have grown by more than 230 percent during the past two years.
GIVING BACK: The company's leadership team and employees work to help children by supporting Toys for Tots and Trauma Buddies, a program for sick and injured children at area hospitals. NetFactor also supports the Susan G. Komen foundation and participated in the Race for the Cure.
COMPANY CULTURE: netFactor is dedicated to providing rewards and recognition to associates in tangible and creative ways. Associates receive a 100 percent company health-care program, and compensation is at or above the top of the market. Friday socials bring employees together, as do lunchtime bowling tournaments.
NEUMANN SYSTEMS GROUP INC.
SNAPSHOT: NSG is a technology and product development company focused on two areas: chemical processing and emissions control; and high-energy laser systems.
LEADERSHIP: David Neumann is CEO of the Colorado Springscompany founded in 1997.
WORK FORCE: 56 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: NSG's NeuStream technology exemplifies innovation through development of new technology, product innovation, use of new technology to enhance an existing traditional industry and has a sustainable competitive advantage. A NeuStream emissions control pilot plant at Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) is the culmination of two years of laboratory-to-commercial scale development and operation.
SMALLER IS BETTER: The NeuStream systems are 90 percent smaller, more efficient and less expensive than conventional systems.
GREEN SCENE: For two years, NSG has had a public-private partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities and the city of Colorado Springs to provide the community lower utility costs, a cleaner environment, increased jobs, and a sustainable, green industry. The company's most recent advances led to a NeuStream pollution control system for greenhouse gas and pollutant control from fossil-fuel burning power plants.
OPX BIOTECHNOLOGIES INC.
SNAPSHOT: OPXBIO is using biotechnology to convert renewable raw materials into biochemicals and biofuels.
LEADERSHIP: Charles Eggert is president and CEO of the Boulder-based company.
WORK FORCE: 35 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
ALL ABOUT SCIENCE: OPXBIO was founded in 2007 by Dr. Michael Lynch and Dr. Ryan Gill from the University of Colorado for the development of bio-based chemicals and fuels. From the beginning, the goal of the company was to create a sustainable enterprise. This meant not only being environmentally sustainable in its operations and creating environmentally sustainable products, but also creating sustainable profits with substantial employment growth.
MARKET NICHE: The company uses its proprietary EDGE (Efficiency Directed Genome Engineering) technology to rapidly develop microbes that can produce biochemicals and biofuels from renewable feedstock such as sugar or biomass. OPXBIO's first product will be bioacrylic, followed by biodiesel.
GREEN SCENE: For bioacrylic, OPXBIO's process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent over the standard petroleum-based process.
GIVING BACK: Most employees of the company are either scientists or engineers with advanced degrees. As a result, the company has a strong commitment to the development of the sciences.
PAGE 1 SOLUTIONS LLC
SNAPSHOT: Page 1 Solutions provides website marketing services to attorneys, plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists and ophthalmologists throughout the United States and Canada. The company writes, designs and programs websites for clients and then markets them through search-engine optimization, pay-per-click management and social media.
LEADERSHIP: Daniel N. Goldstein is president of the Golden-based company, which was founded in 2001.
WORK FORCE: The company employed 56 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to grow to 67 this year.
COMPETITIVE EDGE: A recurring revenue model system is based on monthly fees to clients for guaranteed first-page search engine results. "This created the environment for consistent growth that contrasts with website marketing competitors that only get paid once for each new website they build," the company says. The company also requires clients to add new pages and blogs to their websites to improve search-engine results.
INNOVATION: Page 1 Solutions switched from a Microsoft Access-based MIS system to SalesForce.com and created a custom application called TaskForce, which help the company manage all its projects. "TaskForce allows employees and management to determine the status of each project at any time and eliminates delays and mistakes."
SNAPSHOT: PLAYTIME designs and manufactures innovative play areas that positively impact businesses by enhancing the family experience.
LEADERSHIP: Mike Evans is president and CEO of the Englewoodcompany, which was founded in 2001.
WORK FORCE: 55 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to grow in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: Each PLAYTIME play area is designed to drive traffic and enhance a brand. Whether the company is enhancing a local McDonald's PlayPlace or installing a breakfast set for a mall, the emphasis is on creating unique destinations.
PLAY TIME: Company features two play areas for customers to see and for employees to show off. The vault is the finance and accounting department; the ballpark is the sales department; the creation chamber is the design department; and area 51½ is the production studio, complete with a simulated eye scanner required for entry.
GIVING BACK: PLAYTIME has financially supported Brent's Place with company-sponsored teams running in their annual Kids Cure For Cancer event. In 2009, the company installed a playground in the new Brent's Place at the Fitzsimons Medical Center. PLAYTIME also works with various Ronald McDonald Houses, installing anti-bacterial play areas, which are so important to children with life-threatening illnesses.
PRODUCT ARCHITECTS INC.
SNAPSHOT: Product Architects Inc. innovated the sport bottle industry in 1994 with the first insulated plastic bottle, Polar Bottle. Product Architects has a commitment to producing an American-made product using environmentally safe materials and practices with high standards of quality control, inventory and waste management.
LEADERSHIP: President Judy Amabile co-founded the Bouldercompany in 1994.
WORK FORCE: The company had 30 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to reach 34 in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "Prior to Polar Bottle there was not an effective, affordable insulated sport bottle on the market. The introduction of colored foil liners and patterns increased the options for individual customers and custom programs."
SOLUTIONS: Polar Bottle keeps liquids cold longer. The bottle's longevity is enhanced by the ability to thoroughly clean the bottle, valve and cap, which are covered by three patents.
GROWTH CURVE: When Dick's Sporting Goods placed its first order in 1995, the business went from "nothing to something." Other clients include REI, Sports Authority, LL Bean and the Container Store.
SNAPSHOT: QualVu delivers streamlined Web-based solutions for consumer research, replacing traditional focus groups. By connecting brands and consumers around the globe via Webcam, QualVu delivers more compelling and actionable business intelligence to drive better decision making.
LEADERSHIP: CEO John Williamson founded the Goldencompany in 2007.
WORK FORCE: The company had 22 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, projected to reach 110 in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "QualVu is the first company in the world to develop a breakthrough solution for conducting Web-based consumer feedback, allowing businesses to take their qualitative research online – without losing the "face-to-face" connections crucial to qualitative research."
SOLUTIONS: QualVu innovation allows any user with an Internet connection to provide Webcam-based feedback at the press of a button, resulting in speed, cost and global reach advantages. Other innovations allow video data to be converted to business intelligence within hours (vs. days and weeks with traditional methods).
GROWTH CURVE: Clients include Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft, Kimberly Clark, Unilever, General Mills, Midas, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Young & Rubicam, DISH Networks, Chrysler, Adidas and Clorox.
RED CANYON ENGINEERING & SOFTWARE
SNAPSHOT: Red Canyon is a NASA contractor and subcontractor to top military and government agency prime contractors that specializes in real-time flight and ground software, hardware and system design.
LEADERSHIP: Barry Hamilton has been president and CEO since 2000.
WORK FORCE: The Denver company had 35 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to add 15 more in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "Red Canyon Engineering and Software (RCES) has carved a niche in the heavens by specializing in the design and development of cutting edge software that flies interplanetary spacecraft. Since its inception in 2000, RCES has written, tested and integrated over 300,000 lines of real-time flight and ground software for 13 NASA missions."
SOLUTIONS: In 2001, RCES won the Deep Impact contract with Ball Aerospace during which RCES engineers worked on flight and simulation software for altitude determination and control, inertial reference unit, and Deep Space Simulator. The contract more than doubled its employees and enhanced its reputation in the Colorado aerospace arena.
GROWTH CURVE: RCES has doubled both its revenue and number of employees over the past two years and is projected to grow by another 80 percent to 100 percent in 2009.
REGIS LEARNING SOLUTIONS
SNAPSHOT: Regis Learning Solutions (RLS) develops strategic decision-making simulations for large companies and government agencies.
LEADERSHIP: Founder Michael Vaughan has been president/CEO since 2008.
WORK FORCE: The Goldencompany had 30 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, expected to reach 36 in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "Its custom simulations are changing the way organizations learn and innovate. UPS, McDonald's, Ernst & Young, Hyatt Hotels and the Air Force, among others, are using RLS simulations to prepare their leaders and staff to pursue new global strategies faster than ever before."
SOLUTIONS: The company's innovations include Cornerstones – an interpersonal skills self-assessment for leaders, provided with customized reports; BRIDGE – a customizable sales simulation that teaches strategic selling in a competitive and teamwork-driven environment; and SimPort – a simulation framework technology that assists in creating cost effective simulations within a short time frame.
GROWTH CURVE: Regis Learning Solutions has grown 62 percent since 2007 and has been profitable every month for more than two years.
RIVADA NETWORKS LLC
SNAPSHOT: Rivada Networks delivers leading-edge wireless solutions for Public Safety and Rural Broadband users.
LEADERSHIP: Declan Ganley is founder, chairman and CEO.
WORK FORCE: The Colorado Springs company had 28 full-time equivalent employees in 2009 and expects to add 24 more in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "Rivada Networks has literally changed the face of Public Safety Communications by introducing low cost, open architecture technologies to enhance a traditional industry which was very resistant to change."
SOLUTIONS: Rivada effectively eliminated the need for expensive radio tower-based infrastructures and introduced high speed wireless IP voice, video and data access for first responders regardless of location. This resulted in the nation's first Public Safety private enterprise cellular network. Using the same technology, Rivada won a $30 million federal grant to deliver broadband service to impoverished communities in Alaska.
GROWTH CURVE: Clients include Civil and Federal Public Safety Communications, police departments in New York and Los Angeles, the states of Alaska and Louisiana, U.S. Northern Command, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard Bureau.
RTL NETWORKS INC.
SNAPSHOT: RTL Networks Inc. delivers a full range of products and services focused on helping its Department of Defense, Federal Government and commercial customers increase productivity and maximize performance and security of their operational assets.
LEADERSHIP: Richard Lewis is the owner, president and CEO.
WORK FORCE: The Denver company had 54 full-time equivalent employees in 2009, expected to reach 62 in 2010.
MARKET NICHE: "RTL Networks Inc. has significantly differentiated itself by creatively and intelligently utilizing customizable, collaborative technologies like Microsoft SharePoint to provide additional functionality and tools for every customer engagement. One popular implementation of SharePoint is to provide a Customer Engagement Portal, which allows clients to better monitor contract progress, compliance and review areas of concern, including vacancies/hires, problem resolution, training materials and schedules."
SOLUTIONS: A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system has been implemented and configured, better enabling RTL front-line employees and executive staff to track opportunities from the initial "Prospecting Phase," all the way to the "Deal Closing" stage.
GROWTH CURVE: RTL's average annual growth rate from 2003 to 2009 has been more than 100 percent.
SKA BREWING CO.
SNAPSHOT: Ska is a microbrewery and distributorship in Durango that makes beer for local and national distribution.
LEADERSHIP: David Thibodeau is president and co-founder.
WORK FORCE: The company has 27 full-time equivalent employees.
MARKET NICHE: Ska was the first craft brewery on Colorado's Western Slope to bottle its beer, and it bought the nation's second small-scale canning line available to small brewers and one of the first automated small-scale canning lines. Canned beers are now its fastest growing products.
SOLUTIONS: "Filters and a device that helps eliminate beer-spoiling air greatly increased the shelf life of our products and thus enabled us to begin wholesale distribution outside of Colorado."
GROWTH CURVE: After maintaining growth of 10 percent to 20 percent for each of the last 13 years, Ska increased capacity with the construction of a new facility in 2008 and recorded 46 percent wholesale growth with overall 38 percent growth the following year.
INDUSTRY: Ska is the only Colorado craft brewer acting as a wholesaler for more than 150 other brands of beer, which allows the company to offer a wide variety of craft and imported beers to its retailers.
SOURCE OFFICE PRODUCTS
(SOURCE MANAGEMENT INC.)