Category: Green Business

BizWest 500 highlights largest, fastest-growing companies

Purchase this new publication by clicking BizWest 500. For a preview of the content, here’s the first page.

Welcome to the BizWest 500, an ambitious undertaking that highlights the largest or fastest-growing companies throughout the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado (and the highest-paid executives).

This special edition of BizWest aggregates content that previously had been published over a span of many months, but it also represents a dramatic increase in the data that we publish on the region’s largest private- and public-sector employers.

In these pages, you’ll find:

• The Mercury 100 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the Boulder Valley, along with five profiles of interesting companies on the list.

• The Mercury 100 list of the fastest-growing private companies in Northern Colorado, along with five profiles of interesting companies on the list.

• A list of the Top 25 highest-paid executives of public companies.

• A list of the 50 largest public-sector employers, including municipalities, counties, universities, federal laboratories, etc.

• A vastly expanded list of the region’s largest employers — 200 companies listed, compared with 50 published last year.

• A list of the largest publicly traded companies based in our region. (We’ve stretched this a bit, opting to include a handful of companies that have shifted their headquarters to the Denver area or other nearby cities, but which retain a significant presence in our region.)

All told, these lists represent the largest number of ranked lists we’ve ever published in one issue, outside of our annual Book of Lists publication.

Most companies cited in these lists responded to our surveys. Others are included based on BizWest estimates, reports by economic-development agencies, news accounts or other sources. Data for the public companies and highest-paid executives lists came entirely from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

This endeavor represents many months of work by our staff, especially our chief researcher, Chad Collins. As with any undertaking of this magnitude, errors and omissions are likely. In particular, our lists of the largest private-sector and public-sector employers will continue to be refined and expanded. If you’d like to see your company included — or if you spot a mistake or other omission — please contact Chad at ccollins@bizwestmedia.com.

It should be noted that we’ve opted to include aggregated numbers for some employers, such as major health systems, as well as numbers for some of their constituent institutions, i.e., a hospital within the system.

If you have a suggestion for the BizWest 500 next year, please feel free to contact me at the number below.

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or cwood@bizwestmedia.com.

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.

 

RGS Energy signs letter of intent for new $5 million loan facility

LOUISVILLE —  RGS Energy (Nasdaq: RGSE), a residential and small-commercial solar installation company based in Louisville, has signed a letter of intent for a new $5 million loan facility.

The new loan facility will replace the company’s existing line of credit with Silicon Valley Bank. The new loan facility will be provided by Solar Solutions and Distribution LLC, a Colorado-based renewable energy solutions company. In addition to distributing standard solar products since 2009, Solar Solutions provides sustainable-energy solutions and products globally. Solar Solutions has been doing business with RGS Energy since 2010.

“We are excited about this new loan facility and expanding our relationship with Solar Solutions and Distribution,” said Dennis Lacey, CEO of RGS Energy, in a prepared statement. “This new facility will provide us with more favorable terms than our current bank line, including access to more funds through the use of additional collateral and an extended term through March 31, 2017. We expect this new facility to be in place by the end of 2015.”

Mobile-friendly websites more important than you think

Last April, Google released a major change in its search engine that will dramatically impact the online traffic for mobile-friendly websites. In fact, it is pushing responsive websites to the top of search results, while moving nonresponsive websites further down.

You may have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the hype over recent mobile website trends.

Responsive (mobile-friendly) websites are a great way to improve your online traffic, considering that more than 50 percent of searches today are performed from mobile devices.  However, the benefits of a website built for all devices can have other dramatic impacts on more than just the online experience:

Gain more traffic: Simply put, responsive websites will receive more online traffic than those that are not. You have to consider this path if you are to remain competitive with your online competitors. Google called its algorithm change in April “Mobilegeddon” for good reason.

Convert more sales: With more traffic comes more sales. By having an improved user experience, people will spend more time on your website and enjoy interacting within it. This is especially crucial for eCommerce businesses where the shopping environment must be quick, organized and efficient.

Look professional: Your website is often the first impression a user will have of your business.  You want your audience to be engaged and impressed by your brand, and a website built for mobile devices can do just that. It is difficult to gauge how many missed opportunities could come from a negative website experience.

Tablet and smartphone sales are exploding and have been surpassing PC purchases since 2012.  The mobile market is not going away, and neither is Google and the other search engines. Be sure that you stay ahead of the trend and remain competitive in your industry by optimizing your website to suit the needs of your consumers.

Hans Broman, a sales and marketing strategist at iPoint in Fort Collins, can be reached at hbroman@ipoint-tech.com. 

Finalists announced for 2015 IQ Awards

BOULDER — Twenty-six companies and five individuals have been selected as finalists in 10 categories for BizWest’s 2015 IQ Awards.

The competition will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. in Boulder.

In its 15th edition, the IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards honors the most innovative new products and services developed by companies and organizations based in Boulder and Broomfield counties, in the Denver/Boulder corridor, or for local divisions of national companies that were instrumental in the innovation.

A winner in each of 10 categories will be selected by a panel of judges, and audience members will select the Innovation of the Year. Starting at 5:30 p.m., those attending can network while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and then watch the “pitch slam” presentations of the finalists.

Judges for this year’s event will be Susan Graf, former chief executive of the Boulder Chamber; Jerry Lewis, former owner and publisher of the Boulder County Business Report; and Theresa Szczurek, CEO of Radish Systems Inc.

Tickets, at $39 until Friday, Oct. 2, and $49 thereafter, can be purchased online here.

Chase Bank is presenting sponsor of the event. Associate sponsors include EKS&H tax accountants, Court Appointed Special Advocates, ConnectFirst and McGladrey.

This year’s finalists, and the categories in which they’re competing:

Innovative Company of the Year

InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable the accelerated development and manufacturing of life-saving products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JumpCloud: The company securely manages and connects employee identities to their devices, applications and networks.

MinuteKey: A kiosk with a fully automated, self-service key-duplication machine that can be seen in such major retailers as Lowe’s and Walmart.

Incubator/Accelerator

Boomtown: The company provides resources and mentorship in the areas of branding and logo design, marketing, code feedback and usability testing, plus hosting and legal services.

Galvanize: Its campuses offer education courses such as Full Stack Web and Software Development Program, Data Science Immersive Program, a master’s in Data Science, a Data Engineering Immersive Program and workshops on Python, UX/UI, marketing and machine learning.

Unreasonable Institute: The institute unites entrepreneurs with mentors, funders and partners in specialized global educational institutes ranging from five days to five weeks and created to scale solutions to the world’s biggest problems such as poverty, social justice and lack of education. Labs and workshops focus on business validation and investment preparedness to take a business to a new level of growth.

Innovator of the Year

Dale Katechis: The founder of Oskar Blues Brewery in 41 states, Oskar Blues Original Grill & Brew, REEB Cycles, Hops & Heifers Farm and the REEB Ranch, Katechis is largely credited with being the first craft brewer to sell nitrogenated, canned beer in the United States. Oskar Blues also has led the industry in developing a resealable beer bottle and selling its beers in larger cans.

Bruce Borowsky and Zach Daudert: The pair co-founded and grew Boulder Digital Arts into the largest tech-training facility in Boulder County, helping individuals and companies keep up with ever-changing technology and all creative digital arts. They also introduced the new Code Craft web-development boot camp.

Christopher L. Peterson and Dr. Phillip Villella: The pair co-founded LogRhythm, a security-intelligence company that empowers organizations to recognize and respond to cyber threats through a platform that brings together SIEM, log management, network and endpoint forensics, and advanced security analytics.

Products and Services

Bioscience

InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable accelerated development and manufacturing of products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JustRight Surgical: The company develops right-sized surgical devices that access confined spaces and operate effectively on delicate tissue bundles and fine structures, allowing smaller incisions and better visibility.

Encision: The company makes a line of innovative laparoscopic instruments designed to improve physician performance and patient outcomes, such as the AEM Burn Protection System, which eliminates stray patient burns during laparoscopic surgery.

Business

BlackSquare Technologies: The company has designed, engineered, built and now markets a patented, real time, hardware encryption and key management IT security device called Enigma.

BluFlux: The company is an RF design, engineering and A2LA-certified cellular/OTA/RF test company with a focus on helping to accelerate the release of connected products.

Atomic20: The marketing agency and shared creative workspace is dedicated to free agents and curating teams that solve design challenges.

Consumer

TECHtionary: The company offers BiEyes, an iPhone/iPad photo app that allows pictures to be taken with both cameras at the same time called SNAP or POSE. The user takes one pic and then another, and can see them in various image formats and save or share them in multiple media.

Soundwall Inc: The new medium combines art, sound and social technologies to create an immersive art experience. It offers art and creative surfaces that connect visual experience with high-quality audio.

Lunchbox Electronics: The company has created what it says is the smallest, stackable, Lego-compatible, light up bricks called Build Upons. They can light up a robot, house, spaceship or monster.

Green Business

Sustainable Power Systems: Its flagship product is a Universal Microgrid Controller, which orchestrates the operation of all components of a power system, in both standalone (off-grid) and grid-interactive microgrids.

Clean Energy Collective: A solar tech startup in 2009, the Louisville-based collective has grown to become a leading developer of roofless community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean-power generation through medium-scale solar photovoltaic facilities accessible to all utility customers.

Black Swift Technologies: The company has worked with researchers at the University of Colorado and NASA to develop a small unmanned aircraft system capable of mapping soil moisture.

Internet/Web

Conspire: The company unlocks a network by measuring the strength of its relationships — and millions of others — to uncover the best paths to people, ideas, resources and opportunities.

Fliptask: An online marketplace designed to revolutionize the way tasks and errands get done.

Earthvisionz: The company creates enterprise-level, location aware, visual data-management systems that help make smarter and faster decisions, providing unlimited data, including live feeds, overlaid onto specific geographic locations.

Social Media/Mobile Apps

SqFt: The fully transactional real estate app gives a homeowner the ability to create a professional real estate listing, send that listing out to 900 real estate sites – such as the MLS, Zillow and others – and permit buyers to schedule showings and make offers through the app.

Lassy Project: The free service gives parents and guardians the ability to notify an entire local community about their missing child or at-risk adult in seconds.

Makeena: A shopping “ecosystem” helps healthy and sustainable brands reach shoppers, and shoppers discover brands and products that meet their lifestyle preferences or dietary needs at any retailer for an affordable price. Makeena is sometimes described as “Waze meets Yelp meets eBates” for the natural products industry.

Software

Knowledge Factor: A learning software that integrates neurobiology and cognitive psychology with multidimensional big-data analytics to deliver enhanced learning outcomes and improve organizational bottom lines.

VictorOps: A real-time incident-management platform that helps DevOps pros handle incidents as they occur. The platform, called Transmogrifier, allows on-call engineers to have the solution embedded into every IT problem that comes their way. Software and sites can be kept running to begin solving problems immediately and reduce “alert fatigue” that often comes with being on call in IT.

Quick Left Inc.: Software-development services and tools specializing in web development, design, training and mobile applications. It operates Sprintly, a development management platform designed to power a more productive relationship between teams and their managers.

 

7 area B Corps recognized on B Lab’s Best for the World lists

Seven companies from the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado were honored Tuesday on B Lab’s annual Best for the World lists that recognize the top B Corps as it relates to the environment, community and workers.

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that recognizes companies that use business as a “force for good,” and have an aim of positive social impact in addition to a healthy bottom line.

Of the top 1,200 certified B Corps worldwide, the top 10 percent were recognized on B Lab’s Best for the World overall list. No local companies earned that designation for 2015, the fifth year of the lists. But several were recognized in the individual categories.

Four area companies made the Best for the Environment List. Those included Boulder-based 1908 Brands, a maker of natural and sustainable home cleaning products; Boulder clean tech company Cool Energy; Boulder-based Ecologic Designs, which makes consumer products like backpacks, messenger bags and wallets from hard-to-recycle waste materials; and Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing, which was recently named the fourth-largest craft brewery in the nation.

Boulder-based Conscious Coffees, a distributor of organic fair-trade coffees, was honored on B Lab’s Best for the Community List.

Two local companies, meanwhile, made the Best for Workers list. Those companies were Broomfield-based software firm Application Experts and Boulder-based solar installer Namaste Solar.

Newsmakers 2014: The stories that shaped our region

Who knew … That the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado would lead the country in lobbying the federal government for an open Internet, dwarfing the response of larger tech-savvy communities such as Silicon Valley?

Or that home affordability was slipping away with each passing month?

Or even that the National Center for Atmospheric Research was struggling to maintain its climate research initiatives in the face of shrinking staff and a budget that for years remained essentially flat?

These and other stories have shaped our lives, our communities and our businesses. With this inaugural edition of Newsmakers 2014, the staff at BizWest has brought you the top news stories of 2014 and the latest updates on where things stand now, with links to each below.

Jan. 10-23: Front Range wineries outpacing Grand Valley Wineries in the Front Range for the first time produced more wine than those in Western Colorado’s Grand Valley during fiscal 2013, according to the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board.

Jan. 17-30: Developer embarks on $180M multi-use plan Real estate development firm ElementProperties LLC and Sopher Architects LLC submitted concept plans with the city of Boulder in January for a proposed redevelopment of the former Sutherlands Lumber Co. site that could cost up to $180 million.

Jan. 24-Feb. 6: Otterbox moves to settle suit Otter Products LLC, the company that makes OtterBox smartphone and tablet cases, paid $4.3 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that the company violated federal law by underpaying customs duties, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado said in April.

Jan. 31-Feb. 13: Mall redevelopment clears hurdle Several months of legal wrangling between city of Longmont officials and clothing retailer Dillard’s Inc. came to a halt in January, finally clearing the way for redevelopment of the Twin Peaks Mall.

Feb. 7-20: NoCo home affordability takes a dive An index compiled by the Colorado Association of Realtors in February showed that homes are becoming less affordable for the region’s middle class.

Feb. 14-27: Boulder, Xcel feud over system repair If there was any question over whether emotions were running high over Boulder’s municipalization debate, the city answered that by leveling some serious accusations at Xcel Energy Inc. in February.

Feb. 21-March 6: NoCo factories slow to add jobs, boost wages Politicians and industry leaders called for a rebirth of American manufacturing this year, but the picture in Northern Colorado’s factories remained dismal, with overall manufacturing job numbers remaining largely flat or down.

Feb. 28-March 13: Group envisions brand for region One year after rebranding as the Northwest Denver Economic Development Partnership, the former Broomfield Economic Development Corp. continued to evolve as it attempted to provide a regional voice for businesses.

March 21-April 3: FirstNet opens technical HQ in Boulder A new federal initiative to create a nationwide wireless broadband network for police and firefighters opened its technical headquarters in Boulder in the spring.

April 4-17: Cash-only pot sales irk state, owners Tax collectors have been almost as frustrated as owners of pot shops as they wrestle with how to collect taxes in an ancient way – cash only.

April 18-May 1: Thousands in area face ACA penalties April estimates by the Colorado Health Institute showed that more than 58,000 people in Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld Counties would likely remain uninsured despite the Affordable Care Act, and thousands would be subject to penalties.

May 2-15: Private railway wins federal grant As hundreds of Colorado businesses scrambled to get loans to help rebuild their flood-ravaged companies late last year, Pat Broe, one of Colorado’s wealthiest businessmen, was slated to receive a nearly $1.7 million federal grant to repair his privately held rail network.

May 16-29: Banner Health, others sue MediCare A new rule designed to reduce costs and limit charges to outpatients so irked the hospital community that many institutions – including Banner Health, which has a heavy presence in Northern Colorado – jointly filed suit in April against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

May 30-June 12: Life science VC deals hit post-recession high First-quarter venture-capital deals for life sciences companies were the strongest they’d been since the Great Recession started in 2007, with biotechnology and medical device companies raking in $1.4 billion nationwide.

June 13-26: Employers shifting health-care costs to employees A study produced by Seattle-based health-care analytics company Milliman Inc. last spring showed that employees’ health insurance costs rose faster than those of their employers as the employers shifted more of the burden to combat increasing premiums.

June 27-July 10: Gessler rule stifles B corp signups Many Colorado companies failed to register as public benefit corporations, despite a new law providing for the socially responsible designation, because Secretary of State Scott Gessler office has said it would require those companies to disclose their financials.

July 11-24: JBS fine highlights meatpacking dangers JBS USA agreed to pay $100,000 in fines to settle safety and health violations handed down by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration in May, according to federal documents.

July 25-Aug. 7: Oil, gas firms dig deep for new water Applications to the state of Colorado to use deep underground aquifers for oil and gas development in Northern Colorado surged, reflecting the new lengths that oil and gas companies have gone to obtain the scarce resource in the South Platte River Basin.

Aug. 8-21: Area voice strong for net neutrality The fierce debate over net neutrality hasn’t occurred without plenty of input from Coloradans.

Aug. 22-Sept. 4: More cities eye broadband bandwagon Local governments in 2014 stepped up their interest in creating municipal broadband Internet networks that they believe are critical to their communities’ economic health.

Sept. 5-18: A year later, a long road back from floods One year after the historic 2013 floods ravaged Boulder County and much of Northern Colorado, residents and officials were touting local communities’ resolve, celebrating the repairs that had been made, and at the same time girding for the long recovery still ahead.

Sept. 19-Oct. 2: Fort Collins, Loveland eye independent airport commission Business people welcomed an effort by the city managers from Loveland and Fort Collins to develop the framework for a new commission that would include residents of the cities to help govern the airport.

Oct. 3-16: Recovery spurs cities’ spending surge Municipalities across the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado have spent roughly $2.1 billion in 2014, up about $200 million, or 11 percent, over last year.

Oct. 17-30: As budget stagnates, staff shrinks at NCAR The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), one of the world’s premier climate research institutions, has been struggling to maintain its ground-breaking scientific initiatives in an era of stagnant budgets and a staff that has shrunk to its lowest level in more than a decade.

Oct. 31-Nov. 13: Local clinics snared in DaVita settlement DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. said in October it agreed to undo a Colorado joint venture involved in an illegal kickback scheme that included clinics in Boulder and Longmont as part of a $389 million settlement with the Department of Justice stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit filed in Denver federal court.

Nov. 14-27: More injections sought despite quakes NGL Water Solutions DJ LLC, the company operating the fracking-fluid disposal well linked to earthquakes near the Greeley Airport late last spring, asked the state of Colorado if it could boost by 20 percent the amount of water it can inject underground despite ongoing low-level quake activity captured by a new state monitoring program.

Nov. 28-Dec. 11: Credit cards hacked? Who pays ’em back? As credit card breaches at some of the country’s major retailers continued to capture headlines in 2014, the battle between banks, credit unions and retailers over who is responsible for reimbursing consumers whose credit cards have been compromised heated up.

Dec. 12-25: Local drillers see shares tumble as oil price drops Stocks of oil companies that drill wells in Weld County have plunged with declining oil prices, potentially leading to lower capital spending in 2015.

Advanced Energy earns 1Q profit

FORT COLLINS – Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) said Monday that its earnings rose to $14.7 million during the first quarter vs. $6.8 million during the same period a year earlier.

Advanced Energy, headquartered in Fort Collins, makes solar and thin-films products. Company revenue rose to $141.9 million from $111.8 million.

First-quarter earnings fell, however, from the $34.4 million in net income posted during the fourth quarter.

CEO Garry Rogerson said despite first-quarter solar-inverter seasonality and new products that pressured margins, Advanced Energy extended its reach with new product lines in new places during the first quarter.

Advanced Energy acquired two companies, HiTek Power Group and AEG Power Solutions GmbH, since January.

The company ended the quarter with $122.7 million in cash and marketable securities, a decrease of $27 million due to the acquisition of AEG Power Solutions.

“With the completion of two successful acquisitions since the beginning of the year, we continue to generate and deploy our cash effectively,” Rogerson said in an earnings statement issued after the market closed. “Overall, our business model is expanding our opportunities for future growth as we add adjacent power conversion products and new markets and continue our focus on reducing costs to drive year-over-year profitability.” 

The company’s precision power product sales totaled $82.9 million during the first quarter, up from $61.8 million during the same quarter last year. Solar inverter sales rose to $58.1 million vs. $50 million during the first quarter of 2013. 

Advanced Energy said its customers are seeing a decline in second-quarter orders. The company expects sales of $135 million to $145 million during the second quarter and earnings per share of 26 cents to 31 cents.

Advanced Energy gained less than one point to close at $21.39 on Monday.


United Way creates Small Business Recovery Fund

FORT COLLINS – In response to the historic floods that hit Northern Colorado in September, United Way of Larimer County has created a Small Business Recovery Fund to provide financial aid to small companies.

The fund is intended to help the estimated 350 businesses in Larimer County that are struggling in the aftermath of the flood. The Small Business Recovery Fund was created in partnership with Blue Ocean Enterprises and the Richardson Foundation with support from the Bohemian Foundation.

The fund focuses on helping rebuild by distributing lump-sum recoverable grants of $5,000 to $50,000 to qualifying businesses.

Recoverable grants are those that recipients are encouraged to repay in full or in part within five years or when their businesses return to viability, according to a release. The money recovered can then be redistributed to other businesses impacted by this or a future disaster.

To apply for a grant from the Small Business Recovery Fund, businesses must meet the following criteria:


  • Headquartered and/or operating in Larimer County prior to Sept. 12, 2013, excluding the area covered by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce Recovery Fund
  • Employ more than two and less than 100 employees
  • Operate as a viable business for at least six months prior to Sept. 12, 2013, as demonstrated by financial statements and references
  • Be current on state and federal taxes and in good standing in Colorado and the state of formation, if not formed in Colorado
  • Be able to demonstrate impact by the floods and need in order for the business to return to viability

An independent volunteer panel of business leaders will review the applications and make recommendations about which companies should receive funding.

Applications are due by Jan. 24 and can be downloaded here.

New Belgium pledges $10K to water initiative

FORT COLLINS – New Belgium Brewing made an on-the-spot pledge of $10,000 to a new initiative that will help determine an organization’s water footprint and identify strategies to reduce water consumption and impacts on water quality.

The pledge was made during the second-annual Net Zero Cities conference, according to Judy Dorsey, executive director of the Colorado Clean Energy and Colorado Water Innovation clusters, two Fort Collins-based organizations dedicated to finding solutions to energy and water challenges.

Earlier this year, the Colorado Water Innovation Cluster began fundraising for a project called the Net Zero Water Planning Template aimed at making companies aware of their water footprints and helping find ways to reduce that footprint.

Water footprints include not only water used directly out of a tap, but also the amount of water used to produce various goods and services.

The template is needed because many organizations have identified water management as an important issue to tackle, according to the water cluster.

The Colorado Water Innovation Cluster has presented the idea to several groups, including the Water Smart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas, and is working to garner pledges and bring together experts to refine the process.

The project’s official kick-off is schedule for winter 2013 and spring 2014.

During one of the sessions at the Net Zero conference, Jenn Vervier, director of strategy and sustainability at New Belgium, decided to pledge $10,000 to the project, making the brewery a platinum sponsor of the Net Zero Water Template, Dorsey said. New Belgium officials could not be reached for comment.