Colorado Companies to Watch 2021: The Helpers
Giving back manifests itself in many ways for these organizations
Living the “Colorado lifestyle” is often synonymous with activities geared toward outdoor recreation. Angler’s Covey founders and Colorado natives David and Becky Leinweber know the appeal Colorado has to recreationalists and knew there was nowhere else they would rather be when they cast their lines into the fly-fishing industry.
The company’s biggest physical development came in 2004 in the form of a new 6,500-square-foot building that allowed for more merchandise, more sales and ultimately a growth of 160% in the past 10 years.
However, when the Leinwebers made the shift from selling products to selling an all-encompassing fly-fishing experience, the company went from an industry store to a fly-fishing community.
Through its Fly-Fishing Film Tour, Angler’s Covey has raised more than $20,000 a year for Project Healing Waters, a nonprofit that provides fly fishing opportunities to physically and mentally disabled active-duty military members and veterans in the Pikes Peak region.
The company is also responsible for launching the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for outdoor recreation and those who enjoy it.
When Susan Fenske, president of Empowered Global Solutions Inc., invested in a staffing contract as the prime contractor in support of a colleague in 2005, it was nerve-wracking, as she had no previous experience in this market. But EGS not only won the contract; it remains the prime contractor for this client to this day.
Fenske’s ability to persevere through the unknown has allowed her to continue to grow and diversify the company. “Our tag line was ‘small business capability’ because I knew from early in my staffing career that to have a competitive edge over competition, we had to work faster, harder and smarter than the big staffing companies,” Fenske said.
The small-business mentality puts EGS ahead of the multi-national companies that often have employees getting lost in the shuffle. Fenske believes EGS’s size allows it to place and uphold an individualized value on all contract employees. This approach has more than paid off, as EGS shows a 99% employee retention rate. The company also prides itself on supporting and hiring veterans, and the
U.S. Department of Labor has taken notice. For three years running, EGS has earned the Vets Medallion Award, given to businesses that showcase unwavering commitment to employees who have served.
Few states rival Colorado when it comes to leading environmental legislation, which is precisely why Crusoe Energy feels so aligned and at home in the Centennial State. The business focuses on Digital Flare Mitigation- diverting waste gas to power energy intensive computing directly at the wellsite.
Crusoe Energy founders and Denver natives Cully Cavness and Chase Lochmiller are so committed to their state that they plan to hire more than 280 Colorado professionals over the next eight years.
Starting in 2020 with a team of just 14 employees, Crusoe has quickly grown and now boasts a workforce of 65 employees. The company pushes a core value of the ability to “tap into the collective genius” in order to utilize every experience and skillset each employee brings to the table.
“This practice encapsulates Crusoe’s strengths as we bring together the most experienced and competent individuals from a diverse skill set of industries including oil and gas, power generation, networking and software to meld Silicon Valley’s culture of innovation with the American Heartland’s hands-on operational expertise,” a company spokesperson said.
8z Real Estate
From the depths of the Great Recession in 2008, 8z Real Estate emerged with a set of core values meant to reinstate a pipeline of trust between the public and the real estate industry. To do this, 8z seeks agents who are fully committed to a career in real estate in order to firmly establish themselves as experts in the market.
In accordance with 8z’s continued mission to establish a trustworthy presence in the real estate industry, 8z has taken a stance against the practice of “office exclusives,” which perpetuate the inequality gap of marginalized demographics.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, 8z and associated companies developed the 8z4Life program that allowed “8z agents to provide real support for their clients,” the company says. Support of $74,572.25 in Mortgage Relief funds have helped clients stay in their homes.
Not wanting to just provide answers, but to also educate clients and improve their financial understanding of the real estate market, 8z launched the 8zKeys4Life campaign in 2021. The program teaches first-time homeowners in underserved communities the value of homeownership.
Many people struggled with addiction-related issues while confined and isolated as a result of COVID-19 last year. Workit Health provides a solution. Its telehealth and virtual addiction care services provide patients with an outlet to combat their addictions.
During March of 2020, Workit Health saw a 245% growth in appointments, which reinforces the benefits of telemedicine. By providing programs tailored to patients, rather than sending them off to recovery centers and retreats, 78% of patients reached abstinence from opioids within the second month of the program and 84% remained substance-free after 12 months. The company has also recently launched a virtual hepatitis C treatment program where prep for HIV prevention will be offered.
The Workit Health workforce is more than 80% female, an incredible rate of diversity in the male-dominated technological health-care industry. But breaking the norm doesn’t seem to be this company’s issue as it is planning to eventually grow its clinical program to national availability.
Manufacturing costs often squash million-dollar ideas before they materialize by requiring fees that companies may be unable to pay before they have sales. Kickfurther aims to solve this problem for budding entrepreneurs and salesmen who have an idea but need to first pay their suppliers.
Kickfurther is the first online inventory funding platform and only crowdfunding consignment model. Kickfurther offers the potential to receive up to $2 million in funding at 30% lower rates than other financing options. Recipients are not required to pay until they receive cash flow from sales.
Kickfurther helps fund inventory for major store brands such as Target, Amazon and Aldi. Kickfurther provides a trustworthy financial platform that continues to support you as your business grows.
Worried your funds will take too long to reach your account? Once approved, most deals are funded within a day via the community, often within minutes or hours.
The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver
The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver embodies the idea that no child is left behind, and the company includes families as well. When the firm first opened, it focused on children with life-limiting illnesses.
Today, the center also opens its doors to any child with intellectual or development disabilities, chronic illness and families with limited financial support that could otherwise not seek the help of experienced clinicians.
Those who work with patients and represent the company abide by the core values of service, integrity, empowerment, respect, excellence, community collaboration, stewardship and inclusiveness. Between 2015-2020, the firm added four therapeutic service lines, and with the level of services and families being served on the rise, the workforce of the center has also grown.
“The need for mental and behavioral health services has never been greater, at a time when therapists are leaving Medicaid and some insurance panels in high numbers to serve private-pay clients,” Kelly Bianucci, the company operating chair said. “This is the driver of our growth, and we are aggressively hiring to realize this growth.”
When you want something done the right way, sometimes it’s easier to just do it yourself. Eon CEO Dr. Akrum Alzubaidi essentially founded Eon on this principle. Noting there wasn’t any technology that allowed him to identify and track patients with incidental pulmonary findings, Dr.Alzubaidi created a solution himself.
Eon Health’s first product, EonDirect, set the precedent for lung cancer screening and incidental pulmonary nodule. In 2019, Eon Health took its technology a step further. Launching Essential Patient Management (EPM), Eon now has the ability to screen for incidental abnormalities and track incidental findings for lung, breast, pancreas, thyroid and other actionable findings.
The importance of Eon’s technology cannot be understated. The company has impacted more than 200,000 patients’ lives, identifying over 54,000 essential patients who could have otherwise been overlooked.
Eon offers a trifecta rarely found in health-care IT solutions. Patient value, financial value and operational value all realized within a short time.
As a cultural and natural resource consulting firm, it makes sense that Espinoza Consulting Services (ECS) is based in the rural San Luis Valley. Built on the idea of giving back, Espinoza Consulting wanted to create a positive impact on the struggling local economy.
Since starting in 2010, it has become one of the largest commercial employers in the county. Due to its location and woman and minority ownership, ECS capitalizes on their low overhead costs and their Small Business Administration certification to stay competitive in the federal market.
“Our ability to perform on contracts allows agencies to rely on us for certain services, knowing they will get a quality product, regardless of location,” Dee Ann Espinoza, the company’s CEO said.
ECS’s federal contracts have allowed La Jara to benefit as the money trickles down from the company into the community. Sponsoring events such as La Jara Glory Days, Higher Ground BMX, and the Bureau of Land Management’s youth Archaeology Days, ECS has firmly established itself as an important player in the growth of the local community and economy.
Discount Dumpster Rental
One of the marks of a promising company is its ability to rise to every occasion and opportunity that is presented to it. Discount Dumpster’s choice to make every employee adaptable to various positions within the company has been exactly that. When faced with a hole in the workforce, the company decided to educate and grow employees’ skills in all facets of the company, with a focus on making each employee “moldable.”
Not only changing the game in the way it develops employees, Discount Dumpster is also trying to change the impact of its dumpsters on the environment. By planting trees for every dumpster sold and routinely donating to the National Forest Foundation, the company hopes to offset the CO2 emissions that come from this industry and set it apart from competitors.
“Giving back to the environment is not a competition about who is better, it is a way of coming together. We hope we become the leading example for other companies to follow in these footsteps,” a company spokesperson said.
Recognizing services the public needs and providing opportunities to make it happen is inherent to a company’s growth. So, when an employee recognized that commercial trucks were one of the most in-demand items on the original Fluid Market sharing platform, the creation of Fluid Truck was born.
Adapting to the technology available, Fluid Truck’s edge on other rental companies is its platform. Its transition to an entirely online rental process has made lines, store hours and mountains of paperwork a thing of the past. With 24/7 rental options and vehicles located throughout Denver that can be picked up and unlocked via the Fluid Truck app, the process of finding and renting commercial vehicles has never been easier.
This efficiency has certainly garnered a response from Fluid Truck’s customer base, as the company saw sixfold growth in 2020 and is anticipating 1,500 new jobs to be created over the next eight years. Not restricted to just Denver, Fluid Trucks operates in 40 markets across the country.
“Our mission is to re-imagine the way we utilize trucks as a resource by building a sharing community and leveraging the latest innovations in technology to save you time and money,” a company spokesperson said.
While some companies are intimidated by complexity, BillingPlatform thrives on it. BillingPlatform allows clients to tailor their billing models directly to their customer’s needs. What sets BillingPlatform apart from competitors is the versatility of the services that can be provided.
The adaptive nature of this company’s technology has brought forward many recent accolades, such as the Business Intelligence Group’s Company of the Year award and a placement at No. 197 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list. Expansion into new markets and locations is a catalyst for BillingPlatform’s growth of revenue, and it is the technology’s ability to aid in “helping customers digitally transform the monetization process,” as the company puts it, that truly sets it apart from competitors.
Committed workforces are often behind emerging companies, and BillingPlatform is no different. All who are involved with the company are encouraged to embrace a team-first and detail-orientated culture. BillingPlatform considers innovation to be a key component of the company’s DNA, and at its current rate of progress it is easy to see why.
The creating of MoveIt has become an integral part to understanding robotic sciences in all facets of application, and when PickNik created it with the help of an open-source community, the company made it free to use for anyone.
Now the application is being utilized in undergraduate programs around the world and throughout various industries, as robotics continue to evolve.
Taking notice of the importance of this technology, NASA awarded several grants to the PickNik team, which allowed it to venture beyond solely providing robotics engineering services. The company also does not forget the communities that helped it get to where it is now; it frequently helps to grow the open-source community.
A strong culture is at the center of what PickNik does, and it is embodied by the company’s CEO Dave Coleman, Ph.D., who sees to it that every new employee understands the Culture Onboarding deck. PickNik is based in Boulder, but it employs people from all over the globe. So, when COVID-19 forced companies to begin the transition to remote work, PickNik was ahead of the game, as that was what had allowed it to grow faster from the get-go.