Did you know that Colorado turns 145 this year? Even back in 1876, Colorado beckoned dreamers and doers, establishing this valley below the Rockies as a place where people come to take life into their own hands and build something great. With the world’s highest suspension bridge and auto tunnel, we live life on the edge here in CO, and have the gall to show for it.
Speaking of the gall to go out and start something, Colorado is also well-known for being a startup hub. Boulder and Denver both claim spots in the top ten cities with the fastest growing companies per capita. Every year, we put the spotlight on new or rising startups that are making waves in Colorado with new technologies and groundbreaking inventions. Whether they’ve seen huge growth or are new on the scene, we’ll take a look at how they are moving the tech industry forward.
From telehealth blowing up to deodorant made with liquor (a real thing, check out Pit Liquor), Colorado startups cover a diverse spectrum of ideas and industries. Get the stories behind 8 unique and groundbreaking companies you’ll hear more from in 2021.
Founded: 2013, Headquartered in Denver
Story: We’ve explored tech in the healthcare space before, but the growth in this industry since the pandemic is as exponential as the wildflowers covering the hillsides in July. In addition to the technology used in coordinating one of the largest mass vaccination efforts in history, telehealth has become an increasingly popular service that will only expand. DispatchHealth is a leader in the telehealth space.
With the goal of creating an integrated, convenient, high touch triage and care delivery solution that provides quality care at home, all the while being more affordable and accessible, DispatchHealth has grown over 80% in the last two years. Recognized as one of the 2021 Best Tech Startups in Denver (this year and last year), they ensure high quality outcomes by dispatching qualified medical professionals to patient’s private homes. Like an ice cream truck, but for diagnostics and emergencies, this model is changing how we view the doctor-patient relationship and medical care in general.
Founded: 2007, Headquartered in Boulder
Story: Bringing in a $40 million Series B funding round in May, CO-based The Pro’s Closet buys and sells pre-owned bicycles, and has seen tremendous growth in the last year. This isn’t just any Craigslist bike list, either. The Boulder based company aims to “lift the entire bike industry by boosting liquidity in the marketplace.” They see their approach as a way to grow the entire vertical of used goods through a safe and fluid exchange marketplace. As their revenue has more than quintupled in the past two years, expect to hear more about the Pro’s Closet among gearheads and outdoor enthusiasts, or even visit their new larger facility in Louisville.
Founded: 2019, Headquartered in Denver
One of the most fascinating parts of working in the tech industry is there is no shortage of cool ideas. Imagine having a portable, 3D touch tabletop product that brings games to life on a 16 x 16 in Gameboard for gaming fanatics and families alike. The Denver startup launched in 2019, and has been perfecting their futuristic gaming platform for the last two years. Now, they’ve received a $4M seed funding round led by TheVentureCity and Riot Games to bring their product to the market.
Founded: 2014, Headquartered in Denver
Story: One tricky issue in the transition to fully remote and hybrid working models is managing perks and benefits. ThrivePass is a Denver based startup that’s modernizing employee benefits, performance rewards, and management of pre-tax accounts. One of 151 Colorado companies that made the 2021 Inc. 5000 list, ThrivePass is expanding their benefits management platform that encompasses everything to do with wellbeing in the employee lifecycle from a single log in. On top reporting a 500% increase in growth from 2106 to 2019, CEO Andreas Deptolla played a role in securing $2.5M in equity funding to continue growing their solutions platform just this summer.
Founded: 2016, Headquartered in Denver
Story: Already pulling in a whopping $30.5M in revenue, Fluid Truck Share isn’t the newest startup, but its massive growth is worth highlighting. The flexibility and cost saving perks that comes with a mobile truck-sharing and renting platform just makes sense in a world dominated by e-commerce and logistics. With the home delivery industry absolutely booming, Fluid grew their employee count by 258% last year.
As CEO James Eberhard describes, the goal is to provide businesses with the option of having a fleet as a service versus buying, maintaining, managing vehicles themselves. They’re also pushing the logistic and shipping industry towards reducing its environmental impact by adding 600 Lightning Electric vehicles to its fleet, including electrified Ford E-450 Class 4 trucks and Lightning Electric HINO 268 Class 6 trucks.
6) Team Snap
Founded: 2009, Headquartered in Boulder
Story: If you have kids on local sports teams, you may already be familiar with Team Snap and how it simplifies weekly carpools and game updates. Started in Boulder in 2009, Team Snap recently announced that nearly 10 million customers use their team management platform. This niche market for organizing sports teams has accelerated Team Snap’s growth, especially within the last few years.
Bringing club and youth sports into the 21st century, Team Snap’s app is for league administrators, coaches, team managers, parents, and athletes to manage schedules, practices, uniform ordering, updates, and more, all in one space. Their growth rate has been so massive that the company recently entered into a strategic partnership with Waud Capital Partners to help grow their team and grow Team Snap’s presence in the amateur sports market.
Founded: 2018, Headquartered in Denver
Story: Soona, a virtual content studio platform, is helping brands create affordable professional-level photos and videos for e-commerce and marketing. Long story short, about a year ago they were preparing to open their Austin based studio during SXSW 2020 before it was cancelled. As the pandemic shifted that trajectory, the company revamped their approach to build a virtual content creation platform. It’s all about speed, convenience, and the production of accessible content for small businesses.
The hard work to push this change forward paid off, as Soona reported a 400% growth in revenue in 2020. This year, they raised $10.2M in Series A funding, led by Union Square Venture, with follow-on investments from Matchstick Ventures and Range Ventures, making them ready to rapidly scale their team and solution. This unique approach to content creation will help small businesses elevate their branding without massive marketing budgets.
8) Cipher Skin
Founded: 2015, Headquartered in Denver
Story: With supporters like the US Department of Defense, Cipher Skin is an advanced movement monitoring technology that is changing how we capture human biometric and industrial data. Their patented technology, Cipher Mesh, uses next-gen hardware to create a network of sensors that’s then printed on any textile then wrapped around any physical object, from people to bridges and pipes. This company made our list because they have grown their revenue by over 3000% in the last two years with a small local team.
When scaled, the insights from this kind of sensor tracking can provide a comprehensive picture of the body’s behavior and transform how we approach countless problem, within human wellness and health and other applications as well. The company received $5M in Series A funding last month and plans to expand into new markets and find other practical applications for their technology.
This list barely scratches the surface of companies stepping out and making moves, and we expect to see their names in the press moving forward. Taking a step back, these indicators of recovery happening in 2021 are reflective of the entrepreneurial spirit of Colorado as a whole, and we love to see it. If you’re looking to work at a startup, take a look at the BWB Jobs page for our latest opportunities!
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!