Colorado is known for many incredible and unique things. The word "Colorado" is a Spanish adjective for "colored red" and was given to the Rio Colorado by early settlers because of the reddish water. The water was red because of the vast expanses of red sandstone that make up the Rockies. We boast the highest mean altitude of any of the states, with over 75% of the land area of the United States over 10,000 feet.
I'm sure you are fascinated with these unique facts about this beautiful state, but what are some career paths/careers in Colorado in the tech industry that are unique to the state? Let's take a look.
Renewable Energy / Energy Efficiency
Golden, Colorado is home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The amount of data they need to process to deliver cutting edge solutions for efficient energy technology means lots of software, servers, and processing power. They regularly have open positions for IT professionals and specialists. The presence of the lab definitely sets the stage for other innovative tech companies looking to change how we power the world, here are some we think are making big waves:
- Wunder Capital
- Wunder is addressing the greatest crisis of our generation by accelerating the proliferation of solar energy. Specifically, they developing software to make the renewable energy industry more efficient. They are also deploying hundreds of millions of dollars to finance the development of large scale solar energy projects across the United States.
- Simple Energy
- Based in Boulder Simple Energy's has the following mission - Simple Energy is revolutionizing how utilities engage customers and how millions of people make energy-wise decisions.
- Another Boulder energy management company, Tendril builds software the helps utility companies with energy efficiency, customer satisfaction, demand reduction, and more.
- OnyxInsight helps companies monitor the mechanical health of their wind farms with data-driven software. They help decrease downtime and keep the big windmills catching that beautiful wind energy.
Fitness, Wellness, and Outdoor Technology
Boulder proudly holds the title of "Fittest City In America" with an impressively low obesity rate of roughly 12% (the national average is north of 30% these days). Home to over 10,000 miles of trail, 16000+ acres of parks in Denver/Aurora alone, and the most peaks over14,000 feet, of course, Colorado has fitness and the outdoors engrained in its DNA. These companies are leading the charge of fit/outdoor tech:
- PeaksWare makes three different training focused applications that deliver results. TrainingPeaks (for cyclists interacting coaches), Best Bike Split (to design plateau-crushing training programs), and TrainHeroic (for strength training) are all leaders in their space. We think it's because of their unique approach to the software that they describe on their website like so:
- Through our unique approach to deliberate practice, we develop software platforms that connect creators, instructors, and performers allowing them to publish, teach and train using the proven principles of deliberate practice.
- Shouldn't managing a sports team be simple? TeamSnap thinks so! Whether it's for kids, clubs, or leagues their product takes what could be a messy scheduling and planning process and makes it simple.
- ZenPlanner makes managing any fitness business incredibly simple with website, scheduling/calendar, and payment solutions for the business owners. Chances are if you have every scheduled any type of fitness/wellness/yoga/etc. class online you've already interacted with Zen Planner and didn't even know it.
- TrueCoach is changing how trainers and their clients interact. It simplifies the process of creating individualized plans with amazing feedback/monitoring capabilities. Some of our team members have used it and love it!
- Eating right for your macros (macronutrients - protein, fat, carbs) is one of the latest crazes in nutrition, with lots of science to back it up. MacroStax makes planning and tracking your macros very simple. From their website:
- #1 Macro App that tells you what, when, and how Much to eat to get Results
Mining Tech, Clean Mining, and Resource Extraction Tech
Since gold was first discovered in Colorado in 1859 in gravel deposits from Cherry Creek, over 45 million ounces have been mined from the state. That discovery lead to the creation of the Colorado School of Mines in 1874 in Golden, CO and subsequently established the Colorado Front Range as a leader in mining education, research, and cutting edge technology in the space. Much of the work is in data collection and analysis to better understand efficiency opportunities.
ColoradoCleanTech is an independent organization leading the charge in making Colorado central in "clean mining." Their annual Mining CleanTech Challenge is a spearhead for technological innovation in the space. The state has an abundance of other resources including natural gas and petroleum. WellDataLabs, based in Denver, is leading the charge in well reporting and analysis software, they also have great reviews on Glassdoor.
Mountain / Outdoor Recreation / Sports Technology
As technology continues to weave its way into every fabric of our lives, more companies working in mountain sports and outdoor recreation have IT at the core of their value proposition. Colorado's outdoor recreation economy generates $28 billion in consumer spending and over 229,000 jobs in the state. In 2015, Colorado was the second state to open an Outdoor Recreation (OREC) Industry office. It's obvious that Colorado is committed to being a leader in this space. Here are some great companies to take a look at:
- Strava Denver
- Originally started in San Francisco, Strava, a fitness social network, and GPS-driven stat-tracking app decided to open a Denver office. The Strava CEO said the blend of technology and outdoors/fitness made Colorado the perfect fit.
- The Wright - A 3-day summit dedicated to the culture and industry of the outdoors
- Hosted in Golden, Colorado, just west of Denver, this summit is one of the coolest ways to honor the outdoors and the communities/businesses working to make them more accessible. There is even an awards night to recognize entrepreneurs from the Rocky Mountain region. Go here to see what companies are at the cutting edge of outdoor rec business.
- Topya! is changing how people engage with sports at a league, school, and enterprise level. This Denver based company leverages user-created video to empower better skill development, engagement with coaches, contests, and even fundraisers all with sports/fitness/activity at the core. We are really excited about the future of TopYa!
If you have been to a ski area recently you will notice the sophistication level of NFC based turnstiles that work with the new card style lift tickets. Big data is becoming more prevalent in how the conglomerate ski pass companies like Vail Resorts (Epic Pass) and Ikon Pass understand their customers. Vail Resorts is headquartered right between Denver and Boulder in Broomfield, CO and is always looking for new software engineers. Our team would be happy to make an intro!
Did we miss any you think should be added to the list? Let us know here!
Colorado is full of unique career opportunities in technology because of its culture and the Rocky Mountains right in our backyard. It's an amazing place to live, especially in these Denver neighborhoods that are perfect for people working in tech.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!