The Techies: Forward-Thinking Disruptors Reshaping Business
Colorado Companies to Watch pushing boundaries and moving the needle in 2018
Dating back to prehistoric times and the invention of fire, the simplest definition of technology is the development and use of basic tools. Expanding and evolving to present day, technologies have many forms, functions and effects.
Colorado has morphed and matured into a technology hub, with particular nodes along the Front Range in Boulder and Denver. But as organizations are unearthed and acknowledged for this annual Colorado Companies to Watch program, it's clear technology has no boundaries – geographic or otherwise – providing value, adding efficiency and changing lives and business beyond measure.
Denver | Since 2000 | Marketing
When a highly successful lead generation campaign was met with frustration rather than enthusiasm, 90octane’s team revised its approach. Its Lead Calendar — a tool that starts with sales goals and calculates targets for impressions, engagement and leads — evolved into a way to engage with clients based on predictability, accountability and transparency.
The company sees digital technologies such as search marketing, social media and marketing automation as catalysts for bigger changes — breaking down the walls between a company and its customers, making marketing measurable and marrying sales and marketing. Company leaders say innovations that create competitive advantage for 90octane have more to do with strategy than technology. In addition to the Lead Calendar, the company uses team leads — a dedicated team of experts from strategy, storytelling, design, technology and media who are equally responsible for client success — and “Top Pursuit Marketing,” which are programs designed specifically for clients' most valuable opportunities.
Durango | Since 2015 | Software as a Service
Founders Travis Kimmel and Ben Thompson bonded over a challenge they’d both experienced in their respective professions: how to lead software engineers effectively with objective data. They believed it was an idea worth pursuing, so they quit their jobs and began working full-time without pay on what would become GitPrime.
In July 2015, GitPrime landed its first paying customer with a $50 monthly subscription. It wasn't much compared with the contracts the company sells today, but it provided validation, gave the founders hope and proved the market wanted what GitPrime was building. GitPrime core values are to be data-driven, outcome-focused and to have a high standard of care in everything it does. Its remote-friendly culture means employees are scattered across the state in locations that are best for them and their families.
Golden | Since 2012 |Custom software development
Woodridge clients often come to the company after they’ve hit a wall and decided their problem can’t be solved — and they’ve come to the right place. Woodridge developers are engineers first, hired for overall intellect, coding talent and problem-solving capability. They eschew building websites or simple apps and savor tackling the biggest challenges they can find.
The company launches an innovative product every two months for one of its clients spanning industries from fintech to security, education and even psychology. Keeping up with such a diverse list of industries and products requires Woodridge to always be on the cutting edge of technology and custom software development. The company keeps its competitive advantage with an ongoing commitment to learning and education by investing in a Tech Seminar program where each member of the staff takes turns preparing and presenting on relevant topics to keep everyone up to speed on developments in software.
Denver | Since 2006 | Software solutions
The company considers itself a “disruption enabler” that allows clients to disrupt their own industries through its strategic planning and software development. The mobile app the company built for Pursuit, for example, is a game-changer for those who manage and hold hunting and fishing licenses.
Financial transparency and personal accountability foster a culture of trust and respect. Equally important to the 303 Software team: The Big Table, a communal workspace that seats 16; office dogs Tater, Zedo, Murphy, Finn, Marley, Daisy, Honey and Zuna; flex Fridays, where half of the company alternates Fridays off; and the Happy Hour Foundation, hosted with partner Ligature Creative, featuring quarterly happy hours to support local nonprofits.
Durango | Since 1996 | Wireless internet service provider
In 2004, AlignTec provided the first wireless internet network for a small neighborhood outside Durango, and it’s been growing ever since. Its innovative technology allowed it to offer reliable higher speeds more than a year before any other area wireless provider. AlignTec also recognized that there are areas in which wireless technology is not the best solution: In places where trees or terrain prevent a quality connection, AlignTec brainstormed a hybrid wireless/fiber network.
AlignTec is one of the last area wireless internet service providers that is 100 percent locally owned and operated. The company supports local nonprofits and charities including the food bank and animal shelter, and it recently donated a high-speed connection to the 2018 Durango Independent Film Festival.
Denver | Since 2014 | Oil & gas gathering and transport
Analyze, identify, execute, operate: That’s ARB's mantra. Using its market-leading analytics, ARB builds scalable, sustainable models and systems that allow it to quickly analyze the oil and gas market. The company combines that analysis with a team of highly experienced market professionals who identify the specific opportunity.
Since its founding, ARB has developed some of the market's most sophisticated production and supply/demand forecasting algorithms. Recently, ARB teamed up with a Silicon Valley-based group of data scientists to help develop a first of its kind “Crude Oil Network Model,” which enables ARB to quickly identify how the crude oil market will react to market shocks as well as to identify long-term trends. ARB uses this information to opportunistically buy and sell crude oil and develop early stage infrastructure to alleviate transportation bottlenecks.
Colorado Springs | Since 1998 | IT support & cybersecurity
On the verge of going under because of the recession, founder and CEO Trevor Dierdorff decided the best move would be to hire smarter, not cheaper. “We were forced to deliver at a higher level to keep our existing clients and regain market share,” he says. The strategy paid off. Referrals and client growth have led to an expansion in the Denver metro area and from Fort Collins to Trinidad as the company pivots toward a greater focus on cybersecurity and cloud services.
Four years ago, Colorado Springs-based Marian House made Amnet aware of the need for people without homes to learn computer skills to apply for jobs online. Dierdorff wrote a grant request to his Rotary Club to fund the hardware, and the Amnet team volunteered to design and implement a five-computer network. More than 300 people have found work opportunities as a result of the now-named Life Skills & Career Development Center.
Broomfield | Since 2006 | Software
With the launch of recent products ShareSecure Premium and Altvia Answers, Altvia has demonstrated its commitment to helping private equity customers “differentiate themselves in the market by unleashing the power of their relationships and data.”
“We were one of the first Salesforce.com partners that created a product developed on the force.com platform in 2010,” founder and CEO Kevin Kelly says. “Our engineering team has continued to leverage the power of the Salesforce platform while maintaining flexibility in how we package, maintain and upgrade our products so that our customers can take advantage of new features as they become available.” Altvia embraces the Salesforce concept of “1-1-1,” setting aside 1 percent of the company's profits, employees’ time and company's equity to nonprofits.
Centennial |Since 2008 | Digital workspace platforms
As a boutique startup, innovation has been the key to success for Aureus, which supplies digital workspace platforms for the legal and pharma industries. The platforms include video-sharing, chat, news and document libraries, and can be accessed seamlessly from the desktop, tablet and mobile. Anvesa, its recently launched e-Discovery product, is the only one in the market with consolidated viewer technology and dashboard-driven search. Aureus is now a Microsoft research partner and a strategic technology partner to big-name brands.