Category: Software

Go Code Colorado finals set for Denver Center of Performing Arts

DENVER — Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office announced on Tuesday that the finals of the Go Code Colorado civic app challenge will be held at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts complex.

The event, in which 10 teams from across the state will vie for three $25,000 prizes, is slated for 6 to 10 p.m., May 26, in the Seawell Grand Ballroom, 1348 Lawrence St.

Go Code Colorado charges developers and entrepreneurs to make use of public data available through the Secretary of State’s office to solve business problems and make better business decisions. The top three teams win $25,000 contracts with the state to build out their apps.

Two teams each from April challenge weekends in Fort Collins, Denver, Durango, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction won spots in the finals. Fort Collins teams have a solid track record, having been among the winners each of the last two years.

This year’s finalists from Fort Collins include SWO, an application mapping verified women-owned businesses using data from the Business Entities and Trade Names databases, and Energy Tech, a surface regulation navigator for oil and gas drilling sites.

Admission to the finals event is free and open to the public and available via online registration.

SendGrid moving HQ, Boulder employees to Denver

BOULDER — SendGrid, one of Boulder’s major startup success stories, is moving its headquarters and 60 local employees to Denver.

The 7-year-old company, maker of a cloud-based email-delivery services platform, announced on Tuesday that it plans to consolidate its Boulder office and two in Denver into a larger space in downtown Denver by the end of the year.

The move is being made not only to get all of the company’s 210 Colorado employees under the same roof, but also to focus SendGrid’s rapid growth on Denver, where company officials note the talent pool is larger than in Boulder simply due to its population.

“It wasn’t really about running out of space (in Boulder) or trying to find a larger space, but rather going to where the recruiting opportunities are and consolidating around where a majority of our employee base is,” SendGrid chief marketing officer Scott Heimes said in a phone interview. “We’ve been able to attract tremendous talent in Boulder. It’s just that it’s harder because the pool is smaller.”

Founded in 2009, SendGrid moved its headquarters into a 19,000-square-foot space at 1401 Walnut St. in downtown Boulder two years ago. The company, on track for an initial public offering some time next year, opened its first Denver office in 2012 and now has 150 employees spread across two locations in Denver that total about 20,000 square feet.

The new Denver headquarters at 1801 California St. will be 52,000 square feet and accommodate up to 450 employees, Heimes said. SendGrid also employs a total of about 80 people at California offices in Redwood City and Orange. Heimes said a London office is slated to open this summer.

“We feel we’ve got several years of growth in this (new) space,” Heimes said.

SendGrid will maintain a small Boulder office space for meetings and remote working, but Heimes said it’s still to be determined whether that will be in a portion of the company’s current local office or somewhere else in town. The company has several years left on its 1401 Walnut lease, and Heimes said the company is still exploring its options with regard to that space.

To help ease the transition for its Boulder employees, SendGrid plans to start running a Wifi-enabled shuttle service between Boulder and its Denver office multiple times per day.

Heimes said keeping some presence in Boulder is important to SendGrid leaders, given that the company is a product of the Techstars Boulder accelerator and given the city’s strong innovation scene.

SendGrid’s rise in Boulder has been a rapid one. The company grew from $1.4 million in sales in 2010 to $28.9 million by 2013. Heimes said the company expects to drive $100 million-plus in sales in 2017, with year-over-year growth “well-north” of 30 percent.

The company has raised $48 million in venture capital since its founding, including a $20 million Series C round in late 2014. Heimes said there are no plans to raise further funding before an IPO, noting that the company expects to be profitable this year. He said the company is on a path toward an IPO next year “assuming market conditions are supportive of that.”

Clif Harald, executive director of the Boulder Economic Council, downplayed any negative side effects losing a headquarters like SendGrid’s might have for the city and applauded the company’s success for helping grow Boulder’s startup scene.

“I think their success is sort of a testament to the strength of not just Boulder’s startup community but the whole Front Range ecosystem of helping entrepreneurs,” Harald said. “I think this is all very positive.

“Next week is Boulder Startup Week, and we’re going to be celebrating dozens of Boulder startup success stories. The bigger picture here is that we are part of an ecosystem that is thriving, especially in tech but across other industries as well. We see SendGrid’s success as a terrific example of that.”

Westminster-based Accurence moving to new Louisville facility

LOUISVILLE — Westminster software company Accurence is moving to the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville, where Denver developer Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners will build a 17,940-square-foot building for the company slated for completion early next year.

Etkin Johnson officials announced on Tuesday that they’d inked a lease with Accurence for the facility.

Accurence develops and maintains roofing software applications for insurance carriers and roofing contractors. The new building, on a 2.38-acre parcel at 305 S. Arthur Ave., will house 59 employees and provide Accurence with room for growth.

The new building will include an open office layoout and conference room as well as 1,500 square feet of warehouse space.

“Accurence was founded in the Colorado Technology Center,” Accurence president Jake Labrie said in a release. “Moving back after six years to build a facility in the business park just seems right.”

Former Otterbox CEO Thomas takes helm at Jemez Technology

LOS ALAMOS — Brian Thomas, former chief executive of Fort Collins-based Otter Products LLC, is now at the helm of Jemez Technology LLC, a security-video surveillance software firm based in Los Alamos, N.M.

Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Jemez Technology is a client of Innosphere, a nonprofit startup incubator based in Fort Collins. The company is in the process of moving some operations from Los Alamos to Northern Colorado, according to a company spokeswoman.

Jemez Technology’s product, Eagle-i Edge, is a detection system for perimeter security. It identifies and tracks objects, individuals and vehicles in high-security locations. It has been deployed in transportation, utility/energy, government facilities, Fortune 500 corporate campuses, and protection of national security monuments and interests.

“The security of our nation’s critical infrastructure is becoming an increasingly important issue given recent world events, and this trend is driving significant demand for Jemez Technology’s state-of-the-art video surveillance products and services,” Mel Duran, Jemez’s co-founder and chief technology officer, said in a prepared statement. “Brian is uniquely qualified to lead our company during a time of rapidly growing demand for mission-critical security solutions. Brian is a world-class leader and a perfect fit for our culture, values and vision for growing our company.”

Jemez Technology was founded by scientists, engineers and astrophysicists from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Thomas departed Otter in December 2014 after spending 11 years in several positions with the maker of protective cases for smartphones and other mobile devices.

At Otter, Thomas oversaw growth from $2 million to more $1 billion in revenue, and received several industry awards for his accomplishments, including Mid-market CEO of the Year in 2014 by CEO Connection, Top 100 CEOs in America by Chief Executive Magazine as well as Great Places to Work for the final two years of his leadership by Forbes Magazine. He was also at the helm when in April 2014 Otter paid $4.3 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that the company violated federal law by underpaying customs duties. The “accounting error” occurred three years before Thomas was CEO, but he resolved the issue for Otter, the spokeswoman said.

Editor’s note: This story was updated April 7, clarifying the timing of the custom duties settlement.

 

 

Knowledge Factor scores $5 million in new funding

BOULDER — Education-tech company Knowledge Factor Inc. has raised $5 million in new equity funding, according to a filing this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing notes that the new cash came from a pair of investors.

Knowledge Factor officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Founded in 2001, Boulder-based Knowledge Factor makes learning software that combines advanced brain science and big-data analytics.

Traditionally aimed at large companies for corporate training and human-resources purposes, the company has been making a greater push lately into education and test preparation as well, contracting with companies like The Princeton Review and CompTIA.

TeamSnap hires former NexGen Storage CFO Benner

BOULDER — TeamSnap Inc. announced on Monday that the company has hired as chief financial officer Pat Benner, who twice in the past three years helped guide Louisville-based NexGen Storage through sales to other firms.

TeamSnap’s chief executive and cofounder David DuPont cautioned, though, that the hiring of Benner doesn’t mean the firm is strolling around with the stated goal of being acquired. But he did acknowledge that Benner’s experience could come in handy for a company that has its own track record of making acquisitions.

“Mergers and acquisitions are just part of the portfolio of a broad-shouldered CFO,” DuPont said. “It is true that, as we grow and as we outdistance competitors in a fragmented market, I expect us to have acquisition opportunities.”

Benner replaces Daryl Overholt, who DuPont said left to pursue other interests. Overholt’s LinkedIn profile now lists him as CFO of Westminster-based World Panel.

Boulder-based TeamSnap — founded in 2009 by DuPont and four others — makes a mobile platform for keeping coaches, parents and young athletes in tune with every aspect of team life, from practice times and locations to game schedules to uniform and equipment needs.

The platform provides not only a consumer solution for coaches and athletes, but is also an enterprise play, as it relates to entire leagues signing on for the service.

As much as Benner’s merger and acquisition expertise, his unique experience in both the consumer and enterprise realms made him a strong fit, particularly, DuPont said, with such experience on the consumer side tougher to come by along the Front Range.

Benner served as CFO for flash-storage provider NexGen when it was acquired by Fusion.io in 2013. After SanDisk acquired Fusion.io, he helped guide NexGen as it spun off into its own company once again last year and then eventually merged with Texas-based Pivot3 earlier this year.

But he’s also served as CFO for a broad range of companies that includes TapInfluence, The Beryl Cos., StrionAir and McKesson Health Solutions.

“Pat has brought expertise in guiding companies through the kind of growth we’re experiencing,” DuPont said.

TeamSnap’s growth includes the acquisitions of Easy Team Manager in 2014 and the 2013 purchase of Weplay, which had significant venture backing, including investment and promotion from pro athletes such as Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Derek Jeter.

TeamSnap doesn’t disclose revenue, but it has seen its number of users double over the past 18 months to 10 million in 196 countries.

TeamSnap raised a $10 million Series B funding round last summer. At the time, the company had about 65 employees, roughly a third of whom were in Boulder. Without getting specific, DuPont said the company’s headcount is now approaching 100, though he said the pace of hiring is tapering off.

TeamSnap in January moved into a new office at the corner of 14th and Spruce streets in downtown Boulder that DuPont said should last awhile for the company, for which a large percentage of employees telecommute.

Boulder-based TapInfluence opening Silicon Valley office, adds CTO

BOULDER – The rapid growth of Boulder marketing software company TapInfluence Inc. is spilling over into Silicon Valley.

Company officials are announcing this week plans to open an engineering office in Mountain View, Calif., and chief executive Promise Phelon said in a phone interview Wednesday morning that the company made the first hire for the new office on Tuesday.

Eli Gild, who recently was hired in the newly created role of chief technology officer, will run the office in California, which TapInfluence officials said will initially house seven to 10 employees and open officially in April. Phelon said that number could double next year based on the pace of TapInfluence’s growth as a company overall.

The new office will be staffed primarily by data scientists, large-scale engineering talent and some product people.

“We’re sort of getting the specialization in data science and big data,” Phelon said. “Most of that team will be in Mountain View.”

TapInfluence provides a software-as-a-service platform that helps marketers automate the process of finding key online influencers and connecting with them to create sponsored content featuring their brands.

Phelon, who joined the company last year and moved to Colorado from Silicon Valley, said the new Mountain View office is by no means the sign of a shift in the company’s center of gravity. She said the Boulder office will continue to have more engineers overall than the California office.

“It’s more about getting the best engineers wherever they are,” Phelon said.

Phelon said the company will have about 60 people in all by the end of this month, with all but the new California hires in Boulder. That’s twice as many as the company had when Phelon was hired nearly a year ago, and Phelon said she expects to be at 100 or more employees by the end of the year. She said that over time she expects the Mountain View office to be about 15 percent of TapInfluence’s employee base.

She said the environment and growth on the Front Range, particularly the influx of millennials moving into the state, make Boulder a good fit for TapInfluence. The company, which is based in east Boulder, is on the hunt for a downtown Boulder location where it could move the headquarters.

“I don’t see any eventuality where we would leave what I view as one of the best places to (expand) a fast-growing company,” Phelon said.

The addition of Gild is part of the ongoing growth and evolution of TapInfluence since Phelon took over that has seen the company shift from more of a services-based model to the SaaS model. Co-founder Rustin Banks remains as chief product officer. Co-founder Holly Hamann, meanwhile, left the role of chief marketing officer recently and moved into a part-time marketing adviser role. Phelon said the company is currently seeking someone with that type of CMO experience.

Gild joins TapInfluence from HDS Global where he was also CTO. He has held the same role with companies like talent-management startup Upmo and social-gaming company KickNation. He’s an MIT computer science and engineering grad with an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“Eli has the right background and depth of experience to bring new levels of intelligence and scale to our platform,” Phelon said of Gild in a release announcing his hiring. “Although Eli is a data scientist at heart, he’s also a proven strategist and manager with extraordinary foresight and operational expertise.”

VictorOps adds mentorship to women’s 24-hour hackathon at CU

BOULDER — A Boulder-based company will kick off a mentorship program Saturday to support a 24-hour women’s hackathon at the University of Colorado Boulder’s ATLAS Institute. Because of what they called overwhelming response, the event’s sponsors closed registration for the free event early.

VictorOps, which provides information-technology incident management for development and operations teams, is conducting the program to help increase female participation in hackathons and create an opportunity for students to explore new technologies, solve problems and build a project as a team.

“Diversifying the software industry is important because it opens the software community to unexplored perspectives and ideas,” said Tracee Pettigrew, an iOS engineer at VictorOps, in a company media release. “It’s very rewarding to know that lending my help will bring some of these ideas to life during the course of the hackathon.”

VictorOps joins Twitter, ThinkTopic, Workday and other technology companies that are participating in the hackathon.

Sixty-five percent of ATLAS Institute students are women. The institute is focused on research and teaching in creative technologies and design, with programs that include wearable tech, animation and web/mobile design. T9Hacks is designed to include projects with tangible, artistic, multimedia and electronic components.

T9Hacks will be held from 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday. Its organizers stressed that participants did not have to be programmers — but they were encouraged to stay for the entire 24 hours. According to the institute’s website, “We know, that sounds like a long time! But it goes quickly when you are collaborating, planning and creating projects. We wanted to see that kinds of projects students would come up with if they were given a full 24 hours to devote themselves to their work.”

More information is online at t9hacks.org.

Path2Response execs raise $4M

LOUISVILLE — Executives for Path2Response LLC in Louisville have raised $4 million in new equity funding for an entity called Caveance LLC.

The funding round was disclosed in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Officials for Path2Response could not be reached for comment this week.

Path2Response and Caveance appear to be separate entities, according to business registration filings with the state of Colorado. They both, however, share Path2Response’s 1805 Highway 42 address in Louisville.

Path2Response makes a data-management platform that helps clients acquire and retain customers.

Path2Response CEO Brian Rainey and chief technology officer Michael Pelikan are listed as executives and directors for Caveance on the SEC filing.

Trimble helps clean up for Super Bowl 50

With 70,000 football fans and thousands of others descending on Santa Clara, Calif., near San Jose, for Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, it’s a perfect opportunity for businesses to clean up. But a company with presences in Broomfield and Boulder is helping San José clean up — literally.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Trimble Navigation Ltd. (Nasdaq: TRMB), which has offices at 10368 Westmoor Drive in Broomfield and 4730 Walnut St., Suite 301, in Boulder, is using its geospatial technology to help the city more efficiently spruce up in advance and then spot and pick up trash the visiting hordes leave around the various Super Bowl-related events so that San Jose looks its best in the world media spotlight.

Key players in the cleanup are TerraFlex field data capture software, developed at Trimble Geospatial in Broomfield, and a San Jose State University-based organization called CommUniverCity, which partners with underserved communities in the city to give students experience in solving neighborhood issues.

TerraFlex is a cloud-based solution for managing and streamlining data collection from a mobile device, eliminating the need to transcribe written notes.

“For the clean-up campaign, San Jose had ‘spotters’ and drivers,” said Rick Gosalvez, local government market manager for Trimble. “The spotters were the students, city staff and CommUniverCity people. While the drivers traversed the street routes, the spotters collected data in Trimble TerraFlex, which was automatically synced and mapped to the cloud for office staff to preview and use for analysis and planning.”

The city identified key “hotspots” where illegal dumping was likely to occur, helping CommUniverCity map out four square miles of potential sites. Using TerraFlex, project leaders created data-collection forms including fields for location of trash — such as along sidewalks, medians or fence lines — as well as the type of trash, how accessible it was and whether it was electronic or hazardous material.

Once the dumping sites were identified, CommUniverCity created maps so trash haulers could easily find the sites and clean up the trash.

Even after the game is over and the crowds have departed, San Jose plans to use the data TerraFlex gathered to help deter illegal dumping and make the city cleaner and safer in the future.