Author: bwstaff

Colorado Tech directory published

Colorado Tech - 2016The latest edition of Colorado Tech, a directory of technology companies in Colorado, has been published by BizWest Media LLC, in partnership with the Colorado Technology Association. The directory includes more than 2,500 tech-related companies, concentrated mainly along the Front Range.

Companies are categorized by area of specialty, including contact information, services, etc.

“Colorado Tech highlights one of the most important employment sectors in the state,” said Jeff Nuttall, publisher of BizWest. “No other publication includes as much data on Colorado’s technology scene. We look forward to continuing to work with the Colorado Technology Association to expand this powerful database.”

Copies of Colorado Tech will be sent to regional subscribers of BizWest, as well as to companies listed in the directory. Additional copies will be distributed through the Colorado Technology Association at events throughout the year.

A digital edition of Colorado Tech is available here.

An Excel spreadsheet of the directory is also available for download at

Fort Collins-based St. Renatus gains FDA approval for dental anesthetic

FORT COLLINS — St. Renatus LLC, a Fort Collins-based biopharmaceutical company, has received FDA approval for its first product, a dental anesthetic.

Kovanaze allows dental anesthesia to be administered through a nasal spray without using a needle. It is designed for use in procedures involving most of the upper teeth.

“For more than 100 years, the dental industry has delivered dental anesthesia using a needle injection. Now, through the efforts of a dedicated team, we have developed a revolutionary needle-free method for delivering pulpal anesthesia,” said Steve Merrick, St. Renatus’ chief executive.

Kovanaze is intended for use in dentistry as a topical anesthetic, delivered in the nasal cavity to achieve pulpal, or tooth nerve, anesthesia.

St. Renatus was formed in 2008 and has raised approximately $40 million in funding to pursue the development and approval of the nasal mist.

Hardware developed by CU Boulder launched by SpaceX rocket

BOULDER — High-tech space hardware designed and built at the University of Colorado Boulder for biomedical experiments was launched aboard the commercial SpaceX Dragon capsule to the International Space Station early Monday morning.

A Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX carried the Dragon capsule into space from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Developed by BioServe Space Technologies, a center headquartered in the aerospace engineering sciences department, the hardware will support experiments ranging from the mitigation of bone loss in space to the effects of low gravity on stem cell-derived heart cells.

The BioServe hardware includes a customized laboratory microscope that will allow researchers on the space station to observe differences between biological structures that have similar levels of transparency, said BioServe’s director Louis Stodieck. In addition, researchers and students at the NASA-sponsored center developed an atmosphere control module that will enable the successful culturing of mammalian cells in orbit.

The bone loss mitigation experiment is being directed by University of Minnesota professor Bruce Hammer to test the accuracy of a new device that simulates microgravity for cell and tissue cultures by manipulating magnetic fields in space.

The heart experiment, led by doctoral student Arun Sharma of Stanford University, is designed to measure shape and behavior changes in heart cells in microgravity, research that has implications for both astronauts and people on Earth.

Lightning Hybrids scores big order from early customer

LOVELAND – One of the earliest adopters of Loveland-based Lightning Hybrids LLC’s hybrid conversion systems for medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles has doubled down with an order for 32 more units.

The new order from Kiessling Transit, a Massachusetts company that provides shuttle service for health-care transport, follows an order of 35 units in mid-2015. Kiessling was also one of the first companies to do a pilot run of Lightning Hybrid’s systems on its buses back in 2013.

Lightning Hybrids makes an “energy recovery system” that can both be installed on new vehicles and retrofitted onto existing vehicles. The ERS applies a hydraulic system to the driveline of a vehicle to regenerate braking energy. Pumps and a lightweight accumulator brake the vehicle, store the energy, and then use the stored energy to apply power to the wheels. The system has helped Kiessling increase fuel efficiency by 25 percent on its Ford E-450 passenger buses.

In addition to decreased fuel costs, Lightning Hybrids also touts its systems, which sell for between $16,000 and $30,000 each, as being able to extend brake life and provide better low-end torque.

Hickenlooper dubs Aug. 1-5 Tech Week in Colorado

DENVER – Gov. John Hickenlooper has proclaimed the week of Aug. 1-5 as Tech Week in Colorado to highlight the entrepreneurs and companies that are helping transform the state into a major tech hub.

Tech and “tech-enabled” businesses around the state are being encouraged to host events during the week – ranging from happy hours to demonstrations to pitch contests to tours.

Those events can be submitted for promotion through Businesses can also submit stories on the site of how Colorado has helped grow their companies.

In addition, the Colorado Technology Association will host its second annual Colorado Tech Tour, stopping in five regions over five days for events and stops at local businesses.

“We know technology underpins much of Colorado’s economic progress today, and will increasingly do so in the future,” Hickenlooper said in a news release. “Tech week is a catalyst for showcasing the real impact of technology in our lives, and in helping make Colorado one of the nation’s premier technology-inspired hubs.”

More information on Tech Week and the Tech Tour can be attained by contacting the CTA at 303-592-4070 or

Hickenlooper’s Brazil trip includes stop at Level 3 data center

BROOMFIELD – As part of his four-day trip to Brazil this week, Gov. John Hickenlooper made a stop at Broomfield-based Level 3 Communications’ data center in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Wednesday.

Hickenlooper traveled to Brazil as part of a delegation of 54 Colorado business, academic and civic leaders attending the 2016 Biennial Summit to Brazil to help showcase Colorado’s business environment to foreign investors.

Hickenlooper toured Level 3’s toured Level 3’s data center, network operations center and distributed denial of service scrubbing center in Sao Paulo to learn more about the company’s cybersecurity services.

Level 3 owns 17 data centers in Latin America, including three in Brazil. The Sao Paulo scrubbing center, opened earlier this year, mitigates against cyber attacks to help customers recover from malicious activity. It’s Level 3’s ninth such center worldwide.

“Seeing firsthand Level 3’s data center gave me great insight into how they identify, research and detect malicious cyber activity,” Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement. “It also reinforced how the efforts we have underway in the state of Colorado will help protect global businesses of all sizes against increasing cyber threats.”

Hickenlooper’s trip continues today and Friday and includes a tour of Projac, Latin America’s largest audio-visual production center, and a visit to Espaco NAVE, a startup incubator.

13 local firms named to Colorado OEDIT’s ‘Companies to Watch’ list

DENVER — Nine companies based in the Boulder Valley and four in Northern Colorado are among the 50 Colorado Companies to Watch for 2016 that were announced Friday evening.

Seven of the companies are based in Boulder: Agribotix Inc., Astra LLC, Avid4 Adventure Inc., Purely Elizabeth, Quinn Snacks, SnapEngage and Kindara Inc.

Sustainable Supply in Broomfield and Liqid Inc. in Lafayette made the list.

Companies in Northern Colorado include Canyon Bakehouse and Good Day Pharmacy in Loveland, CPP Inc. in Fort Collins and All Phase Restoration in Windsor.

The 50 winning firms are second-stage companies. They were honored for innovation and economic impact. Chosen from more than 1,000 nominations, the winners represent a range of industries and are recognized for their success and potential for growth, community involvement, philanthropy and corporate culture.

In 2015, this year’s winners employed 1,913 full-time employees and are expecting to create 380 new jobs in 2016. They combined for $503 million in revenue in 2015 and are expected to earn $679.9 million in 2016.

The awards program was launched in 2009 by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in conjunction with the Edward Lowe Foundation and community partners from across Colorado.

2 CSU researchers win Boettcher Foundation biomedical grants

FORT COLLINS — Two Colorado State University researchers who study tiny organisms and their roles in viruses and cancer have received awards that will fund three years of research for their laboratories.

Rushika Perera, an assistant professor of virology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Tim Stasevich, an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in CSU’s College of Natural Sciences, each received $225,000 Webb-Waring Biomedical Research awards through the Denver-based Boettcher Foundation.

The foundation announced this week that the scientists will join the 2016 class of Boettcher Investigators, 10 early-career researchers who are getting established in their fields. The foundation will support their work as they become competitive for major awards from federal and private sources.

For the past three years, Perera has run a lab at CSU’s Foothills Campus, studying how dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika viruses behave in their mosquito hosts. Stasevich’s lab develops fluorescence microscopy techniques to image proteins in living cells in order to better understand genetic processes and subsequently control and correct gene misregulation. His team will study how epigenetics in particular contribute to cancer development.

CU Boulder researchers to develop energy-saving window film

BOULDER — The University of Colorado Boulder has received a $1.8 million grant to develop a window coating that could improve buildings’ energy efficiency.

The grant came from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

The CU team is using liquid crystals, widely known for their technological use in smartphones and flat-panel high-definition televisions, to create a transparent, solid film that is thermally insulating, soundproof and resists water condensation. Associate physics professor Ivan Smalyukh and mechanical engineering professor Ronggui Yang lead the team.

“Buildings consume about 40 percent of the energy expended annually in the United States,” said Yang in a prepared statement. “We think we can dramatically increase the energy efficiency of windows without compromising transparency and other functions.”

The liquid crystal-based aerogel — a synthetic, porous and ultralight material — can be created by using rodlike, cellulose nanoparticles, each with a diameter nearly a million times smaller than a grain of sand, said Smalyukh. Derived from food-industry waste or glucose with the help of a specific bacteria grown by the team, the rodlike nanoparticles spontaneously self-assemble into a liquid crystal, he said.

A key step in the process is to replace the water in the liquid crystal material with air, transforming it into flexible aerogel film.

“The material will be lightweight, insulating, mechanically stable, flexible and inexpensive,” said Smalyukh.

The cellulose-based liquid crystals are designed to self-organize and can be “pre-engineered” to assure transparency in the visible light range and high reflectivity in a selected part of the infrared spectrum that keeps the buildings cool or warm as needed. Dubbed “Air Film” by the team, the aerogel material is more than 99 percent air.

Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers will be involved in the effort, said Smalyukh, who also is a fellow at the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.

The grant is part of DOE’s Single-Pane Insulating Efficient Lucid Design, or SHIELD, program, which is expected to accelerate the development of materials that could halve the amount of heat lost through single-pane windows without replacing them, said Yang.

Air Film will have the ability to be laminated on the surface of existing windowpanes. The team aims to produce films that consumers can easily apply, which would decrease costs by eliminating professional installation labor expenses.

The CU-Boulder grant was one of 14 grants totaling $31 million for window-efficient technologies awarded by Energy Department officials. Experts estimate that retrofitting widows rather than replacing them could reduce heat loss and save roughly the amount of electricity needed to power 32 million U.S. homes each year.

In December, the DOE awarded another CU-Boulder research team $4 million over three years to develop an inexpensive, paintable coating to retrofit energy-inefficient windows. The infrared-reflective coating is expected to drastically reduce cooling costs for both residential and commercial structures, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Colorado Technology Association names Boulder exec CEO

DENVER – Andrea Young – chief information and chief technology officer at Boulder-based BI Inc. – on Tuesday was named new CEO of the Colorado Technology Association.

The CTA represents Colorado’s tech sector both on local and national levels to give the industry a voice on legislative and public policy issues.Andrea Young

Andrea Young

Andrea Young


Young will begin her new role June 6. She replaces Erik Mitisek. Gov. John Hickenlooper earlier this year appointed Mitisek Colorado’s chief technology officer, and Mitisek in March also accepted a post at the University of Denver.

Young, a DU grad, has served on the CTA board since 2010 and has chaired the board since 2013. Prior to BI, she served as chief information officer for Janus Capital in Denver.

“I am truly humbled and honored to be selected to lead the next evolution of CTA’s impact within the Colorado economy,” Young said in a release. “I believe with the support of an incredible team, partner network, membership, and board, my passion and experience will further the legacy to drive the mission of fueling Colorado’s economy, through technology.”