Wednesday 08 May, 2013

Startups in Denver – The Denver OED Names Five ‘Gazelle Companies’

In October 2012 in conjunction with the first annual Denver Startup Week, the Denver Office of Economic Development recognized five area startups as ‘gazelle companies.’ As OED executive director Paul Washington explained, ‘Named after the swift four-legged gazelle, these are fast-moving companies with unlimited futures.’

The recognition, he said, was based on their track record of innovation and capital fund raising, and the fact that the companies will continue to do great things for the Denver business scene in the future.

The five companies named by the OED were:

comCables. comCables is a manufacturer of end-to-end copper and fiber optic structural cabling. It makes connectors and tools for service professionals and specializes in security tools. As of October 2012, the company had 45 employees but was growing. It’s projected to be an employer of over 100 in the next few years.

Ibotta. Ibotta is a tech startup that’s in the gamification business. It took the coupon site business model and added games and fun activities to it so that users would be better engaged. Business can use Ibotta to create offers, coupons and so on for their customers through an app. The company’s clients include 8 of the world’s 10 biggest packaged consumer goods companies.

Inspirato. Inspirato is a company that offers residences in destinations all over the world. Its main innovation was to lease rather than own the residences. It’s the first luxury destination club to do so. In March 2013, the Denver startup partnered with American Express.

Ping Identity. Ping Identity is a company that offers cloud computing with added protection and security. Its concept is to provide a single sign-on for businesses that’s not only easy but also secure. The company’s clients include hundreds worldwide including many Fortune 500 companies and it reported in 2011 that it had a 99% satisfaction rating among its customers.

TrackVia. TrackVia is a service that helps businesses create their own in-house apps for better data management, sales tracking, productivity, and so on. It offers a wide variety of cloud-based software apps that businesses can use.

All five gazelle companies were founded within the last decade. According to the OED’s research and consideration, all embody the innovative spirit of the Denver startup scene. These are tech companies that bring something unique to the marketplace which helps businesses and individuals solve their problems. In the two years previous to the inaugural Denver Startup Week, these companies raised a total of $99 million collectively in funding.

2012’s Denver Startup Week was a weeklong series of events designed to showcase Denver’s startup scene. It included workshops, speakers, networking, and direct meetings with funding sources for small businesses. The 2nd annual Denver Startup Week is scheduled for September 2013.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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