Author: Doug Storum

Louisville-based Rogue Wave Software acquires Akana

LOUISVILLE — Rogue Wave Software Inc., a software-development firm based in Louisville, said Tuesday it has acquired Los Angeles-based Akana, formerly known as SOA Software.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Akana specializes in developing, managing and securing application programming interfaces. Akana’s platforms allow businesses to extend their reach across multiple channels — mobile, cloud and Internet of Things.

“Today’s announcement builds on our commitment to software development, and extends these critical applications into Web, mobile and IoT,” Brian Pierce, Rogue Wave’s chief executive, said in a prepared statement. “APIs are the business interfaces, so the ability to manage and govern their use fits squarely with our product capabilities. Akana mirrors the needs in our enterprise customer base and furthers our mission to accelerate great code.”

Rogue Wave has offices in Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. Akana has offices in San Jose, Chicago, Atlanta, Rochester, Minn., New York, London, Munich, Johannesburg, Sydney and Hyderabad.

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Mad Agriculture comes away winner from FoodBytes! pitch competition

BOULDER — Mad Agriculture, a Boulder-based startup, won Rabobank’s FoodBytes! Boulder pitch competition’s Judges Choice award for its method of cultivating insects on food waste that can be used as food for animals, replacing ingredients such as soy and fishmeal.

Mad Ag, co-founded by Phil Taylor, Xavier Rojas and Rob Walcott, beat out nine other companies to win the award. It won an invitation to attend Rabobank’s Client Appreciation Events at Cipriani Wall Street in December to pitch to the audience of C-Suite executives from leading food and agriculture companies.

It also will receive legal-consultation services from law firm Holland & Hart; branding consultation with the experts at Nucleus Maximus, focusing on how best to reach consumers through branding and packaging; and consultation with Force Brands on how to recruit and build a team.

Mad Agriculture harnesses the nutrient-recycling abilities of insects to turn food waste into a protein-rich feed supplement, lessening dependence on unsustainable ingredients such as fishmeal and soy. It cultivates Black Soldier Fly larva using commercial food waste. The larva’s waste, or castings, produces a protein source that fish and chickens love to eat and also can be used as organic fertilizer to enrich soil.

“Two years ago, we saw an obvious need for a solution to two growing problems — food waste and the increasing cost of feed for farmers,” Taylor said. “Receiving the Judges’ Choice Award at FoodBytes! Boulder — from some of the leading minds in food and agriculture — confirms that the need is real, and we’re thrilled to use this platform to further our work.”

Denver-based The Honest Stand won the People’s Choice Award, and Michigan-based FarmRaiser won the Highly Commended award.

The Honest Stand is a gourmet food company that uses whole foods that are nongenetically modified to produce gourmet products that are vegan, paleo, and free of gluten, soy, yeast and cholesterol.

FarmRaiser is a healthy take on the traditional bake sale. It partners with local farmers and artisans to bring healthy, local food offerings to communities and students through fundraisers.

One hundred fifty companies from around the world applied for the competition, and 20 companies were selected to make pitches, including Fort Collins-based The Food Corridor, an online marketplace for food businesses to connect with available commercial food assets, allowing them to find and book commercial kitchens, equipment, commissaries, processors, copackers and food-storage spaces, founded by founded by Ashley Colpaart and Dan Moore.

Rabobank presented FoodBytes! Boulder in partnership with Food + Tech Connect and SF New Tech.  The event took place Oct. 26 at the University of Colorado Boulder at Folsom Field’s Byron R. White Club.

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Kindara shakes up executive team

BOULDER — Startup Kindara Inc. has a new executive team after receiving a second seed-round of funding led by Boston Seed Capital LLC.

Ira Hernowitz on Tuesday was named chief executive of the Boulder-based company after serving as interim CEO since May, when he replaced Denise Franklin, who was hired for the job in March and after two months left to pursue other opportunities.

Malte Muenke has been appointed chief technology officer, and Raychel Muenke will serve as executive vice president of the Boulder-based startup.

Kindara had raised $5.3 million in August 2015, including the conversion of $1.9 million in convertible notes, in a seed-round led by Boston Seed Capital with participation from SOS Ventures, Good Works Ventures, PV Ventures, MENA Venture Investments and 62 Mile Ventures. The most recent seed-round was about $750,000.

The privately held company declined to reveal Boston Seed Capital’s equity stake, but a spokeswoman said it was “significant.”

Kindara was founded in 2011 by Will Sacks and his wife, Kati Bicknell. Sacks has taken a spot on the company’s board of directors, and Bicknell has joined the company’s team of advisers, as the company prepares for the next step in its evolution.

Kindara’s products include mobile apps that help women track, among other things, basal body temperature, which is a key indicator of progesterone levels and ovulation. The Kindara Fertility App for iPhone and Android is designed to help women who want to get pregnant do so, as well as to provide those who want to avoid pregnancy a natural means to do so without the use of birth control. The company’s Bluetooth Wink thermometer adds convenience to those efforts by linking wirelessly to users’ mobile devices and inputting temperatures directly into the Kindara app.

Nicole Strata, founder and managing director of Boston Seed Capital, said Kindara is poised for continued growth and expansion because “the growth of WaaS (wellness as a service) bodes well for Kindara given the combined experience of the team.”

Hernowitz will oversee business growth, driving the overall brand strategy through product development, financing and operations. Previously, Hernowitz was president of Stride Rite, a children’s footwear brand. Prior to Stride Rite, Hernowitz was executive vice president for Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us and served as senior vice president of marketing North America during his 16-year tenure with Hasbro.

Malte Muenke co-founded Expertcity (now Citrix). He was behind the GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar products. Muenke will be tasked with driving innovation for Kindara’s mobile apps, web and data platform and connected devices.

Raychel Muenke was the product manager that brought GoToMyPC to the marketplace.

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Gunbarrel Brewing Co. aims for early 2017 opening

BOULDER — The founders of Gunbarrel Brewing Co., Jamie Fox and his wife, Marie, have signed a lease on a 20,000-square-foot facility in the Gunbarrel area of Boulder for their self-funded brewery.

The Foxes plan to have Gunbarrel Brewing Co. up and running during the first quarter of 2017 at 7088 Winchester Circle, north of Lookout Road and west of North 71st Street.

The company will offer a wide variety of beer styles employing both traditional and innovative brewing techniques.

“We craft innovative beers expressing an extensive range of flavors that are delicate, funky or bold, inspired by ancient and modern styles,” said Jamie Fox, who is the company’s head brewer.

The facility will have a 10-barrel brewhouse built by JV Northwest of Canby, Ore., and a one-barrel pilot system that will be used for experimentation, research and development. The facility will include a large taproom and a beer garden. The brewery will host food trucks, live performances and beer-centric educational events.

The couple has acquired the bulk of their equipment over the course of the past three years while searching for a location for the brewery.

“We took our time to find a permanent location that would provide a really welcoming environment for our guests and coworkers, someplace they would truly enjoy spending time in,” Marie Fox said. The facility will allow for future growth and space for implementation of their barrel and wild ale programs.

“We recognize that there are quite a few breweries in the area,” Jamie Fox said. “We are humbled to locate our facilities among some of the finest breweries in the market. But there are also a lot of craft beer drinkers who crave variety. We look forward to offering distinctive and innovative flavors to compliment what is already being offered in the area.”

Jamie Fox a home-brewing veteran, with an education in brewing technology from the Seibel Institute. Over the course of the past 16 years, he has developed a catalog of beer recipes. Fox has a doctorate in neuroscience and decades of laboratory experience.

“I will employ laboratory testing and quality-control mechanisms from day one to ensure we are presenting our patrons with the best quality beer possible,” Fox said.

“We are so pumped about the positive feedback we’re receiving,” Marie Fox said. “Gunbarrel is our home. It is such a vibrant, tight-knit place, and we couldn’t be more excited to create a lively spot for our community and our beer to come together.”

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Minnesota-based Code 42 opens Broomfield office

BROOMFIELD — A Minneapolis-based data-security company has opened an office in Broomfield and is looking to fill jobs in cloud operations, product management and engineering.

Code42’s office in Broomfield is at 11800 Ridge Parkway.

Code42 protects end-user data for more than 39,000 organizations worldwide. Its cloud solutions enable information and technology and security teams to view, protect, manage and restore endpoint data.

President and chief executive Joe Payne said the company chose Broomfield to tap into the high-tech talent pool in the Denver-Boulder area.

The Broomfield office has open positions in product development, cloud operations, product management and engineering, and finance.

“The need for enterprise scale data protection is exploding,” Payne said in a prepared statement. “In order to keep up with the demands of our industry and customers, Code42 is expanding rapidly. We have hired more than 200 people this year and currently have more than 50 open positions.”

The company already has several customers in the region, including the University of Colorado and Ping Identity.

The Colorado office is one of three Code42 expansions in the United States, having recently opened an office in the San Francisco Bay Area and having announced plans to move into a new, expanded headquarters in Minneapolis in January 2017. The company also recently grew its footprint in Europe with new hires in London and Munich.

Code42 is backed by Accel Partners, JMI Equity, NEA and Split Rock Partners.

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Boulder-based Sovrn acquires Zemanta technology

BOULDER — Sovrn, a Boulder-based provider of tools that help online publishers present their content, said on Thursday that it has acquired technology and assets from New York-based Zemanta Inc.

Sovrn has purchased Zemanta’s Editorial Assistant and Related Posts, and the transition of the products to Sovrn should be completed by the end of September.

Financial terms of the deal between the two privately held companies were not disclosed.

The purchase does not include any Zemanta employees. Zemanta will continue to focus on its Zemanta One marketing content-distribution platform.

The Editorial Assistant and Related Posts products, with more than 260,000 active WordPress installs, enable publisher to more easily create and distribute content, according to a company statement.

“With this acquisition, we’re giving publishers editorial and content creation technology that helps them write better, more relevant and richer content,” Walter Knapp, Sovrn’s chief executive, said in a prepared statement. Knapp said the products will enable publishers to access a larger audience of readers through related content suggestions for text, images and video.

“Tools like these that place a high value on content creation and relevancy are part of our ongoing mission to provide publishers more ways to succeed.”

Sovrn has 150 employees in Boulder, plus offices in Denver, New York and London.

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Innosphere, Mergelane win $50,000 SBA prizes

Business incubator Innosphere in Fort Collins and startup accelerator Mergelane in Boulder are among 68 groups that each have won $50,000 as winners of the Small Business Administration’s third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.

The winners, in 32 states and the District of Columbia, will receive a total of $3.4 million in prizes to boost the economic impact of accelerators.

The only other accelerator in Colorado to be selected as a winner was the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs based in Durango.

SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said the competition is a way to make new connections and strengthen existing bonds within America’s small-business support network, bringing entrepreneurs and innovators together and connecting them with local and national resources that support small-business job creation and growth.

Applications were judged by more than 100 experts with entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector. The first panel of judges reviewed more than 400 applications and presentations, and established a pool of 200 finalists. The second panels evaluated the finalists’ presentations and pitch videos and selected the 68 winners.

In accepting funds, the accelerators will commit to quarterly reporting for one year. They will be required to report metrics including jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. This will allow the SBA to continue building its database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in innovative and entrepreneurial communities.

The competition is backed by the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, Office of Native American Affairs, Office of Veterans Business Development, the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Department of Education.

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