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Colorado Companies to Watch Gala Event June 18, 2010 - Sponsored by M3

Meet the 2010 winners

Companies to Watch

Fueling the Economic Fire

Colorado Companies to Watch energizes the state of Colorado by recognizing second-stage companies that are developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and creating new industries throughout the state. Second-stage companies fuel the economic fire of Colorado by accounting for much of the economic growth and economic independence of individuals throughout the state. These companies possess attributes such as: Growth focused; Privately-held headquartered in Colorado; 6 to 99 full-time equivalent employees; $750,000 to $50 million in sales or a similar range of working capital

This unique awards program, developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation, produces a multitude of benefits for all stakeholders. Participating companies have the opportunity to gain increased visibility in local and state communities as well as to improve stakeholder relationships and contribute to a dynamic business environment. Citizens will have increased access to rewarding income opportunities and be able to build pride in innovative and valuable entrepreneurial companies. The state of Colorado will be able to showcase trend-setting leaders in diverse entrepreneurial fields that strengthen the state’s economy. Do you know of a company that's worth watching? Nominate that company. If yours is such a company, apply directly.

Dave Mead, Mead Consulting Group for Colorado Companies to Watch 853_ 6/7/10 - Backbone of our job growth
enclosure-voice "We like to get involved in a few activities, but we get deeply involved, and especially in activities where we can really make a difference," said David Mead. David formed the Mead Consulting Group in 1981, in addition to that he is past president, chairman and still a board member of the Association for Corporate Growth Denver. "We're talking about this program called 'Colorado Companies to Watch', you're a platinum sponsor and really involved." Dave said, "We like to get involved in a few activities, but we get deeply involved, and especially in activities where we can really make a difference. Colorado Companies to Watch is kind of the answer to something I've been passionate about for well over 30 years and that is, helping Colorado companies grow. In 2008 in the State of Colorado, the companies that comprised the 'Colorado Companies to Watch', which are basically companies from about $750,000 to $50 million in revenue... So the number of companies were 14% of the total number of companies in the state, yet those companies added 40% of the total job growth. This is a very important segment of Colorado's economy and it's one that often is overlooked in the desire to go after large corporations. They get a lot of press, but it's really these niche companies that are the backbone of Colorado and certainly the backbone of our job growth. Larry and Pat will be at their Gala Event on June 18th and are expecting close to 800 people. After the gala, there are a number of events throughout the year for these companies so they can continue to build awareness, continue with education, and they can continue to build the relationships that will be necessary for them to move to the next level.
Related Links: Colorado Companies to Watch || Gala Event || Mead Consulting Group || M&A Channel || ACG Denver || CCTW Channel/ || Dave Mead Blog || Keywords: David Mead, Colorado Companies to Watch, Mead Consulting Group, Edward Lowe Foundation, Mid-sized Companies, CCTW - 6/7/10 Chnl: Colorado Companies to Watch bytes: 3895382 Listen to: Dave Mead - Mead Consulting Group

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J. B. Holston, CEO and President, Newsgator 851_ 6/1/10 - Applications: Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In
enclosure-voice Driven by the popularity of applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In, businesses have been looking for ways to incorporate these tools into the enterprise - launching an entire market space called Enterprise Social Computing. Enterprise social computing delivers the status posts, activity tracking and social bookmarking much like familiar social media tools– and extracts real value from these activities in areas like knowledge management, project execution and sales/service/support. Larry interviewed J. B. Holston, CEO and President of Newsgator. J. B. and Newsgator are also one of the 2009 winners of Colorado Companies to Watch. J. B. pointed out, "The easy way to think of Newsgator today is that we've got enterprise software that allows enterprises to have secure and scaled FaceBook and Twitter for their internal/external constituents. If you use any of those kinds of applications or LinkedIn, and you went through a company that's using our software you would have a similar experience with our company around that software. The company's been around about seven years, funded by Mobius VC, Brad Feld who is on our board. Our client base is the Global 2000, so we tend to have very large organizations as our clients, and we tend to have enterprise wide arrangements with our clients. So we have companies like Accenture and Deloitte which have deployed our technology on an enterprise wide basis and a lot of the technologies and vendors in this space are sort of a point solution. That's one distinguishing factor. Then we have a very close partnership with Microsoft, most of our deployments are related to a Microsoft product called SharePoint. SharePoint's got about 100 million seats worldwide, so we're able to walk in to any company that has SharePoint, any one of those hundred million seats..."
Related Links: NewsGator || Colorado Companies to Watch || Brad Feld Blog || Find It || Economy Builders Channel || Keywords: J. B. Holston, Newsgator, Colorado Companies to Watch, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Microsoft, SharePoint, Social Media > 6/1/10 Chnl: Entrepreneurs bytes: 7397149 Listen to: J B Holston, CEO & President, Newsgator

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Stephanie Steffens, Colorado Companies to Watch 857_ 6/14/10 - Awards for Companies Making a Difference
enclosure-voice Second stage companies are responsible for about 40% of the total job growth in Colorado yet they are only 14% of the total number of companies in the state. Larry talked with Stephanie Steffens is the Director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council, also the Business Retention and Expansion Program Coordinator for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, which includes being the Program Director for Colorado Companies to Watch. Larry asked, "Give us an overview, because of the types of organizations Colorado's Companies to Watch focuses on are 'Second Stage' companies. So what are some of their biggest challenges?" Stephanie replied, "It isn't just in this tight economy, it is in general. A second-stage company is defined as a company that is beyond startup. So they've figured out all of those challenges and difficulties of starting a business, and they're growing. Now you're hiring people, figuring out how to get financing. Suddenly you need professional help with marketing of your products and/or services. So all of the things, as an entrepreneur, you may have bootstrapped and done, you had to be a 'jack-of-all-trades" - All of a sudden your business has grown so much and you've had to hire people. Now you really need a management team or resources that can help you do all those different things correctly. So you need resources rather than you just trying to do the best you can. That's the key; these companies are growing like crazy, even in these challenging times." She added, "It's really important to note that Colorado Companies to Watch is a year-round program. The idea is to identify 50 companies throughout the State of Colorado, across all demographics, across all geographic areas of the state, all industries and to get a good representation of what the economy of Colorado is all about. And then to use these 50 companies to understand exactly these challenges and figure out the best way to get the resources to companies like these 50 companies year round, and to work with them. The fun exciting part is that we celebrate these 50 companies at a Gala celebration and awards ceremony, this year, June 18th at the City Center Marriott. It will be an extravagant event, all 50 companies will be saluted, recognized and awarded that evening. Listen for more...
Related Links: Colorado Companies to Watch || Gala Event || ACG Channel || CCTW Channel || Keywords: Stephanie Steffens, Colorado Companies to Watch, Edward Lowe Foundation, Second Stage Companies, CCTW, Gala Celebration 6/14/10 Chnl: CCTW bytes: 5907542 Listen to: Stephanie Steffens, CCTW

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Solving engineering problems facing humankind
Barry Hamilton, Founder & CEO, Red Canyon Software, 
        CCTW 2010 Winner enclosure-voice 940_ 12/13/10- Started in February of 2000, since that time, Red Canyon Software has grown from 0 employees and $0 in revenue to approximately $4.2 million in revenue with 45 employees as of 12/31/2009. Larry interviewed CEO and founder Barry Hamilton and a winner of the Colorado 50 Companies to Watch, 2010 at their extraordinary office. Red Canyon Software is an aerospace technology company focusing on satellite flight and ground software. Their name derives from the red canyons on Mars to which they have been sending satellites to since 1997 as well as the red canyons in the foothills of Colorado where they started. Red Canyon Engineering & Software develops cutting-edge technology to help humankind explore space, other planets, and renewable resources on Earth. Their clients include government agencies such as NASA, the U.S. Air Force, NOAA, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in addition to prime contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Ball Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. They are proud to be involved with important missions ranging from searching for water on Mars, to analyzing the composition of distant comets, and building the next human spacecraft that will take us to the moon and Mars. Barry pointed out, " We focus on solving some of the most influential and beneficial engineering problems facing humankind. We focus on exploring space, helping explore both robotically as well as human exploration. Some of the programs we're working on include Orion which is replacing the space shuttle, with Lockheed Martin. Juneau which is the next Jupiter mission launching next summer. That's also a Lockheed mission. In the past we've helped Ball Aerospace with the Deep Impact Mission, which impacted the comet." Barry is president of the Entrepreneurs Organization, which is a 7,000 member organization, worldwide, which has 110 members here in Colorado, ...listen, there's more...
Related Links: Red Canyon Software || Entrepreneurs Organization || Colorado Companies to Watch Home || CCTW Channel || In the News || CCTW Event || CCTW Gala Celebration || Keywords: Barry Hamilton, Red Canyon Software, CCTW, Colorado 50 Companies to Watch, Orion, Space Shuttle, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, Entrepreneurs Organization 12/13/10 Bytes:6346190 LISTEN to Barry Hamilton, Founder & CEO, Red Canyon Software

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Entrepreneur takes on a giant and wins
John Griffith, Founder & President, Alpine Waste & 
    Recyclingenclosure-voice 895_ 9/20/10- President and Founder of Alpine Waste & Recycling, John Griffith has built a company with consistently growing revenues and increasingly influential presence in the Denver area’s waste and recycling industries. Griffith founded Alpine in 1999 in his Washington Park bungalow as a one truck operation. He spent three and-a-half months as Alpine’s sole employee and nine months as Alpine’s sole salesperson. Today Alpine employs over 150 employees with 2009 revenues in excess of $15 million. Alpine Waste & Recycling is one of the 2010 winners of the Colorado 50 Companies to Watch initiative. In 2005, Alpine’s executive management team assessed the industry and reached the conclusion that the future of the industry would be sustainability initiatives, specifically the diversion of waste streams from landfills. It was then that the decision was made to take the biggest risk in the company’s history, and build its Altogether Recycling Plant, a state-of-the-art singlestream plant, which would become the second largest recycling facility in the state in just two years. Today, Altogether Recycling processes in excess of 5000 tons of materials per month. In concert with the Altogether project, Alpine began the first commercial composting route in the Denver metro area in 2006. Alpine believes that composting of organic and green wastes will be the next major trend in waste diversion, and in 2010 began the construction of a compost processing facility, which will allow Alpine to be well positioned in the marketplace for this service as its demand increases. In 2009, Alpine became the first waste hauler in the state to utilize natural gas vehicles. In 2010, Alpine signed an agreement with Clean Energy, which will incorporate transitioning Alpine’s entire fleet to natural gas vehicles over the next decade, further cementing Alpine’s position as the leader in sustainable initiatives in our industry. Colorado Companies to Watch energizes the state of Colorado by recognizing second-stage companies that are developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and creating new industries throughout the state...Listen, there's much more to come...
Related Links: Alpine Waste & Recycling || Colorado Companies to Watch || Gala Event || ACG Channel || CCTW Channel || Keywords: John Griffith, Alpine Waste & Recycling, Companies to Watch initiative, CCTW, ACG, Sustainability Initiatives, Altogether Recycling, Clean Energy - 9/20/10 bytes: 4842373
Listen to: John Griffith, Founder and President, Alpine Waste & Recycling

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Judy Amabile, President, Product Architects, Inc. We did start in our garage
enclosure-voice 883_ 8/23/10- One of the winners of the Colorado 50 Companies to Watch is Product Architects or maybe better known as Polar Bottle. Stephanie Steffens, Program Director for Colorado Companies to Watch said, "Colorado's Companies to Watch focuses on are 'Second Stage' companies." Larry interviewed Judy Amabile, President and Co-founder of Product Architects. Judy shared a very inspirational entrepreneurial experience that her and her Co-founding partner Robert Heiberger went through. Judy said, "We started our business in 1994, and we did start in our garage. We went around town with our product, the Polar Bottle, an insulated water bottle for bicycling, and called on a few bike shops here and Aspen. We got a very good response from bike shop owners, people wanted to carry our product, it was very innovative at the time, and no one else was doing an insulated water bottle. We insulate in a very elegant, lightweight way. It's very simple to use a Polar Bottle and it really works - people were impressed with that. We've been growing and selling our product ever since. We've had different versions and this year we introduced a stainless steel bottle and a plastic bottle that are for the outdoor market." When asked, "What advice would you give today, to entrepreneurs starting a new business?" Her interesting answer was, "I think our business has done well in large part, because we have partnered with our suppliers. We don't go out there and try to get the cheapest deal, we go out to get the best relationship we can with the people who we work with. From the beginning we partnered with a blow mold company, Bottles Unlimited in Denver and we have a relationship with them. They help us, we help them. So we've partnered with our suppliers and we've also, to a large part, partnered with our employees, and we also try to partner with our customers. So, we don't go for the highest margins, we go for the best relationships." Listen for more great ideas...
Related Links: Polar Bottle || Colorado Companies to Watch || Gala Event || ACG Channel || CCTW Channel || Keywords: Judy Amabile, Polar Bottle, Product Architects, Colorado Companies to Watch, CCTW, Global, Colorado, 8/23/10 bytes: 5421351
Listen to: Judy Amabile, President, Product Architects, Inc

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50 Colorado companies to watch 2010

The complete list
The second annual 50 Colorado Companies to Watch features snapshots of businesses that are thriving – and growing – as selected by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and economic development groups and chambers of commerce statewide. Read more about the process and the event, plus check out our business resource guide

Meet the 50 Colorado Companies to Watch
Index of CCTW Interviews - 2010
Judy Amabile, Product Architects 8/23/10
Mike Evans, PLAYTIME 8/12/10
John Griffith, Alpine Waste & Recycling 9/20/10
Barry Hamilton, Red Canyon Software 12/13/10
J B Holston, Newsgator (2009 Winner) 6/1/10
David Mead, Mead Consulting Group (Sponsor) 6/7/10
Matt Shoup, M & E Painting 11/1/10
Stephanie Steffens, Director Colorado Workforce 6/14/10
John Williamson CEO, QualVu 8/30/10

Food on the table vs. company culture
enclosure-voice 919_ 11/1/10- Larry talked with Matt Shoup, President, M&E Painting, and winner of the Colorado 50 Matt Shoup, President, M&E Painting and CCTW 50 
    Colorado Companies to Watch in 2010Companies to Watch, 2010. Matt talked about a number of points that brought them from the entrepreneurial depths and challenges to a winning position for everyone. Matt said, "When I founded M & E Painting in 2005, I admit, I wasn’t thinking much about the culture of the company. At that stage of my entrepreneurial career, I was concerned almost exclusively with getting food on the table for my family. As business progressed, and we saw great success and growth, I started focusing on the next logical steps of growing the business and scaling up business practice. I kept hearing about “company culture,” but I supposed I had held a fairly fatalist notion that the culture of a company had a mind of its own and there wasn’t a whole lot to be done to manipulate it. I certainly didn’t think it was a worthy top priority, but as I read and researched, I realized that a company worth working for is a company whose culture has been carefully crafted. I went at it with the same tenacity I had used solely for breadwinning. We carefully constructed a precise company vision and values and made them concrete with measurable goals. We began celebrating excellence with surprise bonuses for exemplary work, and when the company had success, we hosted events outside of the four walls of the business to congratulate each other. By the end of 2009, our company had grown nearly 500% with revenues just over $2,000,000. It seemed clear that we had created a culture of distinction, drive, growth, and a genuine love for the job. From the outside, things seemed great. But on the inside, we were losing a grip on our goals. An expansion division of our company flopped, costing us tens of thousands, and we were forced to finally notice two key long-term team members who were poisoning the atmosphere, coasting through and even flat out ignoring the basic functions of the job. Then the real dirty work started as we dealt with the aftermath their apathy had created. Unpaid bills, unhappy customers, and a pile of uncompleted documents essential to our performance had to be waded through and tackled by... Listen for more as today they are winners...
Related Links: M & E Painting || Colorado Companies to Watch Home || CCTW Channel || CCTW Event || CCTW Gala Celebration Keywords: Matt Shoup, M&E Painting, Colorado Companies to Watch, Entrepreneurs, Measurable Goals, Winners > 11/1/10 bytes: 6738550 Listen to: Matt Shoup

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Our product is made right here in Colorado not China
Mike Evans, Founder, CEO and President, Playtimeenclosure-voice 882_ 8/16/10- As part of the coverage of the 50 Colorado Companies to Watch, 2010, Larry interviewed a winner, Mike Evans Founder, CEO, and President of PLAYTIME. Their new headquarters is 64,000 sq. feet, but what they are doing is much more impressive. They are 12 years old, and had 10 competitors that are now out of business. Mike explained, "Playtime is a unique provider of themed playgrounds. In Colorado we just opened the Cherry Creek Mall Play. For a dozen years or so we had the breakfast set out there with the waffles, bacon and eggs, Experience Playtimeand so it's kind of an icon in the community. That's really what we do, we create icons one project at a time. But opening the Looney Tunes, the Warner Bros Play area last week, was really special. That's sort of how we're known, we bring some unique brands to life and really create wonderful destinations. We're often asked how this thing grew organically. Certainly the next question is where are you going. We've accidentally gotten into the international market with projects in Dubai, we're in all corners, a couple of projects in Australia. So people know about our products now. We're getting more and more people calling us. We can control our growth. We're growing exponentially here in the U.S. I mentioned earlier Seoul, Korea. Laughingly maybe they assume our product comes from China, everything is made in China now - But our product is made right here in Colorado and that's because it is so uniquely creative, it's not just popping out of a widget factory. Being opportunistic is one thing an entrepreneur does. Being unique for your customers. Kids have a unique experience with our playground. We want the customer to have an experience when they show up at Playtime. So all the departments here have a unique theme...There's more...
Related Links: PLAYTIME || Colorado Companies to Watch Home || CCTW Channel || CCTW Event || CCTW Gala Celebration || || Keywords: Mike Evans, PLAYTIME, Colorado Companies to Watch, Playground, CCTW, Global, Colorado,
8/16/2010 bytes: 7007820 Listen to: Mike Evans, President & CEO, Playtime

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John Williamson, QualVu, Founder & CEO Growing from one to fifty employees
enclosure-voice 888_ 8/30/10- Larry interviewed John Williamson, CEO, QualVu, and a winner of the Colorado 50, Colorado Companies to Watch! Qualvu has used the power of video and the convenience of the internet to redefine qualitative market research. John explained, "One of the fundamental tenants of qualitative research, and for any listeners not familiar with the category, Qualitative Research is the Why behind the numbers. So you can do a survey, you can ask people to fill out a simple form and find out that maybe their behaviors are changing over time. But QualVu seeks to understand why do they do the things they do, why do they think the things they think. And so we've created a way for any company of any size to tell us who they care about, who their most important customer or potential customer is, and we'll actually arm those people with web cams, and we'll allow that company access to those people's homes, in their place of work that are on the go, to watch them in action. So it really goes beyond what they say it's about what they do that provides that level of intelligence. And we just figured out a way to do that very quickly and efficiently and very cost effectively." John's advice to entrepreneurs in today's environment, "For us it's really come down to running the business tight. It's never been more important than now to be operationally excellent. Pay attention to every detail, become an operator. Especially in these times where you cannot hesitate, not even for a moment, to make really rapid adjustments. To react to emerging opportunities, to change things in the face of those opportunities. Truly understanding our business has been a crucial part of our success, I believe. Then you have to have the courage to take that information and make meaningful adjustments or decisions. For a new entrepreneur that means opportunity. For an existing business a fundamental fact is a lot of those adjustments are painful. You need to divorce what needs to be done from the ego. The good news is..." Listen for more...
Related Links: QualVu || Colorado Companies to Watch || Gala Event || ACG Channel || CCTW Channel || Keywords: John Williamson, QualVu, Colorado Companies to Watch, Qualitative Research, Consumers, Entrepreneurs, Video, Internet 8/30/10 bytes: 6540750
Listen to: John Williamson, CEO, QualVu

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