Colorado Companies to Watch 2020: The Organizers
Get your ducks in a row with these three firms
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, software developer Bonusly raised a $9 million Series A funding round, an investment that demonstrates the market’s interest in employee engagement and underscore’s the value the company brings to meeting its customers’ people challenges.
The funding, led by Access Venture Partners with participation from FirstMark, Next Frontier and Operator Partners, enables Bonusly to continue to invest in its growth by developing new products and taking advantage of opportunities.
Bonusly was founded to change the way companies think about employee recognition. It removes the bottleneck caused by managers being the only givers of infrequent bonuses and empowering everyone to recognize their co-workers.
Bonusly encourages constant innovation through its company-wide hackathons. During the events, team members can work on any project they are excited about, whether it’s to further Bonusly’s products and processes or their own skills.
“We’ve seen innovative ideas and product features come out of these hackathons that make our products more fun, more valuable and more attractive to potential customers,” Bonusly founder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks says. “These innovations, including adding GIFs to bonuses and weekly recognition digests for managers, have helped us become the highest-rated, most-reviewed recognition and rewards solution on the market.”
When NINE dot ARTS launched in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, some might have considered investment in the arts an unnecessary extravagance. Undeterred, co-founders Martha Weidmann and Molly Casey knew the transformative power of art was vital. “Art consulting and curating services have become a critical tool for companies to display humanity,” says Weidmann, who is CEO. “Connecting with local artists, curating narratives, driving brand recognition, and creating memorable experiences supports revenue growth for businesses.”
NINE dot ARTS consults on and curates art experiences for hotels, real estate developments and corporate offices around the country. The firm also uses technology to advance art and culture. In 2014, NINE dot ARTS launched dotfolio, an online platform that allows emerging artists to get their artwork in front of buyers while receiving communication and feedback from the firm’s team of expert art curators.
The 100% woman-owned NINE dot ARTS is also challenging the industry’s gender divide. In the last year, the female-led team of art consultants and curators oversaw the installation of more than 100 projects, totaling 5,000 pieces of curated and commissioned artwork. During the COVID-19 crisis, leadership started online artist forums via Zoom and Facebook Live to share ideas. NINE dot ARTS also launched an artist microgrant program.
The mission for Outside Analytics is to connect people to the outdoors with technology. In 2017, co-founder and CEO Ben Tarr moved on from a job in the aerospace industry and formed a team of like-minded creatives, developers and subject matter experts. In a few months they developed Outly web-based interactive map and tools to help people discover their next adventure on millions of acres of America’s public lands. Adventurers can use the app or website map to find areas for camping, hunting, fishing and dirt bike riding, and can even find out ahead of time which areas will not have cell coverage.
The company provides a holistic solution that combines on/off-grid mapping capabilities, user collaboration and machine learning for activity-focused prediction. Outside Analytics also has a contract with the U.S. Air Force to provide geospatial analytics and visualization capabilities for one of its remote sensing missions. Those tools are not that different from helping people find camping areas or trails, and everyone from backcountry adventurers to satellite operators can benefit from optimized processing of data and presentation of intuitive information. The company’s current focus is to get more of the technology into the U.S. government market.
This article is part of the 2020 Colorado Companies to Watch. Read more about the other winners:
THE FIXERS | THE MAKERS & SUPPLIERS | THE TECHIES | THE COMMUNICATORS & EDUCATORS | THE FOODIES | THE HELPERS