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Colorado’s tech industry drives state’s economy

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the technology sector to the Colorado economy. From aerospace companies in Jefferson County to Internet firms along the Boulder Flatirons, from clean-tech companies in Northern Colorado to software developers in LoDo, technology-based companies have found a welcome home in the Centennial State. All told, tech accounts […]

State builds on image as high-tech hub

The days when Colorado was considered solely an energy economy are long gone. Now, the state is nationally known as a high-tech hub, with Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the Denver metro area all hosting high-tech industry clusters. The top high-tech industries in the state are aerospace, aviation, beverage production, bioscience, broadcasting and telecommunications, […]

Telecom firms thrive in a Rocky Mountain high

Level 3 Communications started out small, spinning off from an Omaha, Neb.-based construction company in 1998. Back then, it was installing fiber optics for other telecommunication companies. Today, it is an $8 billion global telecom company, serving 60 countries worldwide. It has 10 million fiber miles and 50,000 global customers — and is just one […]

New Springs center a catalyst for startups

The opening of the Catalyst Center in Colorado Springs last month raised some eyebrows in the startup community across the state, although by most measures Boulder still remains the envy of most of the nation in this regard. The Springs campus, a string of three buildings near downtown, is anchored by the remodeled Sante Fe […]

Electronics firm: EE Times to stay straight as an Arrow

When a Fortune 150 company has been around for more than 80 years, you can bet it has seen its share of major product changes, along with raising a few eyebrows along the way. So it appeared to be last month with Arrow Electronics Inc., when it announced the signing of an agreement to acquire […]

Inside job

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Ever since the Internet blossomed in the 1990s, cybersecurity was built on the idea that computers could be protected by a digital quarantine. Now, as hackers routinely overwhelm such defenses, experts say cybersecurity is beyond due an overhaul. Their message: Neutralize attackers once they’re inside networks rather than fixating on […]

To combat fraud, Visa wants to track your smartphone

NEW YORK (AP) — Those days of calling your bank to let them know that, yes, you really are in Thailand, and yes, you really did use your credit card to buy $200 in sarongs, may be coming to an end. The payment processing company Visa will roll out a new feature this spring that […]

To find gas leaks, CSU team Googles ’em

FORT COLLINS – For Colorado State University biology professor Joe von Fischer, work is a gas. Methane gas, to be exact. For the third year, Fischer and his CSU team are studying data fed to them from devices they developed through grants from the Environmental Defense Fund to measure how much methane is leaking from […]

Ahead of the White House

Since President Obama outlined a plan in November to spur broadband competition while safeguarding “net neutrality” – helping ensure that no one company can act as a gatekeeper to digital content and the speed at which it’s delivered – many communities across the country have begun considering whether and how to meet the challenge. In […]

Colorado’s fledgling digital health industry luring new cash

Colorado’s more than 100 digital-health companies ranked sixth nationwide for attracting venture capital in 2014, and projections indicate the trend will continue as investors become more familiar with what these companies can do. Venture funding for digital health-care companies is expected to double in the United States over the next three years, luring investors with […]

Holding pattern

The drone industry in Colorado is temporarily banned from American skies as it awaits clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration to take to the skies. The economic impact to the state could reach $232 million within a couple of years once the FAA submits regulations and they are approved, according to a report released by […]

Cellular legacies

As the global market around umbilical cord blood stem cell treatments reaches well into the billions of dollars annually, the University of Colorado has taken a pioneering step of sorts by expanding its own cord blood banking services into the private realm. ClinImmune Labs, a company owned by CU and housed at the school’s Anschutz […]

Manufacturing Renaissance

LONGMONT – Until two years ago, Front Range Community College had no machinist shops to teach students the skills needed to work in cutting-edge high tech factories. Another casualty of America’s decline in manufacturing, the school’s last machine shop in Fort Collins closed in 2008 due to a lack of jobs – and a lack […]

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Technology News

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    Frank and Kim Brewster are opening a MidiCi pizza parlor in Fort Collins this summer.

  • Cress Capital pays $50.1M for commercial buildings in Fort Collins

    FORT COLLINS — Real estate investment firm Cress Capital LLC has acquired several commercial properties in Fort Collins that were part of a blockbuster deal in 2015 between Boulder-based W.W. Reynolds Cos. and Seattle-based Unico Properties Inc. Newport Beach, Calif.-based Cress Capital, with an office in Denver, earlier this month paid $50.1 million to Denver-based Pauls Corp., for the office, flex and industrial buildings totaling approximately 500,000 square feet located between East Prospect Road, Midpoint Drive and Sharp Point Drive. Six days after Unico Properties made the purchase in 2015, Unico sold the properties in Fort Collins to Pauls Corp., which used the entity Prospect Development Partners II LLC in the transaction. The portfolio includes buildings at Midpoint Park, $25.8 million; Plum Tree Plaza, $7.7 million; One Prospect, $7.6 million; River Center, $5.5 million; Lake Center One, $4.5 million; Spring Creek, $2.6 million and Sharp Point, $1.8 million. The properties were part of the deal in 2015 when Unico Properties paid approximately $209 million for 1.5 million square feet of commercial property in Boulder and Fort Collins. Neither Unico Properties nor W.W. Reynolds disclosed the sale price, but public records showed that Unico paid W.W. Reynolds approximately $41 million for the portfolio of commercial property in Fort Collins and $168 million for the commercial properties in Boulder. After W.W. Reynolds sold the properties to Unico, it continued to manage and lease the properties. W.W. Reynolds will continue to manage and lease the space on behalf of Cress Capital. In November 2014, Cress Capital purchased the 27-acre Ironwood Business Park in Greeley for nearly $5 million.    

  • Kombucha company doubles its size, launches Series A round

    BOULDER — Locally made kombucha startup Rowdy Mermaid is undergoing a growth spurt, doubling in size after just a few months, raising six-figures in venture capital and now seeking a Series A of $2 million. But ask CEO and founder Jamba Dunn just why his company is taking off, and he’ll tell you he’s not quite sure. “That’s the question we’ve all been asking lately,” Dunn said in a phone interview with BizWest. “But I’ll tell you what others have told us. We came into the industry knowing that there were a lot of kombuchas sold for health benefits solely, but they actually were high in sugar and high in acids. There was all this hidden information and companies didn’t put their ingredients on the labels.” But Rowdy Mermaid, a name which Dunn said came from his daughter, looked to change that. “We were the first to list all the ingredients on the labels, and one of a couple of companies that used fresh adaptogenic herbis in our kombucha. We don’t make claims about health benefits. We just allow our consumers to make their own decisions. …. A lot of kombucha companies are funded now, and there’s a feeling of inauthenticity and that it’s all about making money. But stores and the public want authenticity in food, and that’s what we offer as well.” That mentality is paying off for the company. It recently added another 6,000 square feet to its production facility, after moving from 900 square feet to 6,000 square feet just a few months ago. On May 18, the company filed a Form D with the SEC saying it had raised $350,000 in capital, which went to helping the company expand. But Rowdy isn’t done growing. Dunn said he expects the company to skyrocket in the next three to five years — and is preparing for his business to be a $40 million company. To jump start that, he’s seeking a Series A round of $2 million, which will go to hiring a chief operations officer so Rowdy Mermaid kombucha can be distributed at more stores. In addition to hiring a new C-suite executive, Dunn said he wants to use the capital to help the brand “grow up,” redesigning the flavors and dialing in the packaging design.” “It’s surreal even saying these numbers out loud,” Dunn said. “It felt like just a little while ago I was in my garage. And just a couple months ago it was only a few of us working for the company, where three of us shared one plastic desk with two computers…. But I’m so excited about it. It’s not about the money, it’s about the product. It’s just awesome.”  

  • Co-working spaces in NoCo offer free memberships to nonprofits

    FORT COLLINS — An alliance of co-working spaces in Northern Colorado is teaming up with the All Good Work foundation to provide memberships to area nonprofits. Fo(co)works, an alliance of eight Fort Collins co-working spaces, is partnering with New York-based All Good Work, which matches nonprofits with co-working spaces. The goal is to provide space and networking for social-impact groups, said Angel Kwiatkowski, founder of fo(co)works and owner of two co-working spaces, Cohere and Cohere Bandwidth. “I would like to see more nonprofits able to access co-working spaces and now have the price of membership deter them from joining,” Kwiatkowski told BizWest. “My ultimate goal is to help them get the support they need and have a professional, nice office to come to instead of having to work at the kitchen table. That helps them find success, get more funding and work on their strategic plan so they can eventually launch out of a co-working space.” All eight of the members of the alliance are offering up at least one membership. Interested nonprofits can apply through All Good Work to be matched. To Kwiatkowski and members of the alliance, she said it was worth it to give up a membership at her co-working spaces in order to give back to the community. “I’m coming from a place of abundance,” she said. “I don’t feel that doing one thing that’s nice for one person will be detrimental to my business. I might not be able to give away 99, but I can certainly give away one membership. It’s nice to be able to tell the story of the nonprofit that matched with us, support them and help them.”  

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    Boulder-based Rowdy Mermaid is undergoing rapid growth, and is launching its first Series A round of funding to keep up. (Courtesy: Rowdy Mermaid)

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  • Newly combined outdoor industry expo signs deal for Denver

    DENVER — The city’s outdoor recreation trade show scene is growing, with the announcement that the recently combined Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show gathering will be held in Denver in 2018. The Sports Industries America’s annual winter sports expo was bought by Emerald Exposition, a publicly traded company, to merge with its Outdoor Retailer. Outdoor Retailer had been held in Salt Lake City for the last several years, despite being courted by Denver officials. The largest North American outdoor rec and winter sports trade show will now be held in Denver in January, reports the Denver Post.

  • IRS tracking state databases in effort to block cannabis tax deductions

    The Internal Revenue Service is sifting through a Colorado state database that was designed to prevent drug trafficking as a means to block legitimate cannabis companies from claiming federal tax deductions, some businesses are claiming. The Denver Post reports that the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division’s METRC tracking system, which monitors the growth and movement of pot, is being tracked by the IRS and companies who have been pinged in the METRC system are now being blocked by the IRS. While the tax code does prevent businesses that traffic in illegal drugs from claiming deductions, lawsuits from some of the businesses that say they have been impacted by this say that the IRS is overreaching on its authority and conducting criminal investigations that have nothing to do with taxes.  

  • WOW! public offering falls flat

    DENVER — WideOpenWest Inc., a cable and broadband provider, failed to impress Wall Street on its first day as a public company. WOW! expected to offer more than 19 million shares for $20 to $22 per share, but only netted selling 18 million at $17 per share, writes the Denver Post.  The Denver Tech Center-based company’s stock continued to drop on Thursday, going as low as $16 per share and ending the day at $16.50, a full $4-$6 less than what was initially hoped for. Steven Cochran, the company’s CEO, said on Thursday that the company has a different story than what investors might be used to. The Midwestern and Southeastern cable provider has gained popularity by providing internet-only options for customers who are interested in cutting the cord on cable. In its public offering WOW! raised $310 million, which it said it plans to use to pay down higher interest rate loans.

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