Business Digest

OPENINGS
 
Digital-media marketing company Pyxl Inc. has opened an office in Boulder. Three people will occupy the office at 1942 Broadway, Suite 504, where they will handle website development and social-media campaigns for customers, and offer other online marketing services. The company plans to hire three more for the office. In all, the company has 27 employees working at its headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee, in Phoenix and in Boulder.


Brian and Emily Wilson opened FirstLight HomeCare of Boulder at 7464 Arapahoe Road, Suite B3, Boulder. The franchise that offers personal-care services for seniors, new mothers, people recovering from surgery and people with dementia. Providers offer bathing and hygiene help, walking help and live-in care services. FirstLight HomeCare of Boulder’s service area includes Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Superior, Broomfield, Westminster, Federal Heights and portions of Northglenn and Thornton. For more information, call 720-502-3939 or e-mail Boulder@FirstLightHomeCare.com.

Blue Sage Advisory LLC, a financial advisory firm, opened at 3390 Valmont Road in Boulder. Blue Sage will raise capital for food companies, socially conscious companies and real estate developments. David Link formed the firm with Ken Greer, Bob Sutherland and John Maggio. Link is a founder of Greenmont Capital Partners, a Boulder-based investment fund that has that serves the natural and organic products industry.


Toyko Joe’s, a chain of restaurants serving Asian cuisine, opened a restaurant at 15 Ken Pratt Blvd. No.180, in Longmont. Hours are 10:45 a.m. to 9:05 p.m., daily. Phone is 720-684-4159.


BRIEFS
Boulder-based JustRight Surgical LLC expects to raise $10 million from existing investors after receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance to sell a small stapler used in children’s surgery. The company’s 5-millimeter stapler was developed for pediatric surgeons operating in limited space. It is nine times smaller than existing staplers on the market, according to the company. JustRight plans to add as many as 20 salespeople during the next year at its offices in Boulder and Boston.


Longmont-based TerraLux Inc. has completed a new round of equity funding worth $4.5 million, according to filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. TerraLux designs, patents and manufactures LED-based lighting. LED is an acronym for light-emitting diode.


Broomfield-based MicroBiome Therapeutics LLC reported that its research drug NM504 kept blood glucose levels within normal limits for patients involved in a four-week clinical trial. The research drug works by shifting a diabetic or pre-diabetic person’s gut bacteria to make it behave more like a healthy person’s gut bacteria. Studies have shown that Type 2 diabetics typically have microbial imbalances in the gastrointestinal tract, which may contribute to the metabolic dysfunction associated with the condition. Microbiomes are micro-organisms in the human body. Microbiome research has grown rapidly in recent years, since the organisms are believed to have an effect on auto-immune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy and possibly some cancers.


Boulder-based hearing-aid manufacturer Sophono Inc. closed on a funding round of a little more than $1 million to aid in ramping up its marketing efforts. The Swiss firm Windgan, a prior Sophono investor, led the equity funding round. Sophono makes hearing aids that work by using bone conduction. While normal hearing aids work by increasing volume and pushing air in the ear canal, Sophono’s device includes a magnet implanted under the skin behind a patient’s ear. The rest of the device then attaches to the magnet outside the skin. When the device vibrates against the side of the head, it conducts sound through the skull to the inner ear. Howard Vickers, Sophono’s head of operations and finance, said Sophono is adding two employees in Boulder immediately as well as one in the Northeast. The company’s annual revenue, he said, is around $5 million. More than 3,000 people in 36 countries have Sophono implants.


Boulder-based e-Chromic Technologies closed on the first $300,000 of a $600,000 funding round led by Virginia-based Amplifier Ventures. The closing included the conversion of $100,000 of debt that e-Chromic owed to Amplifier and other angel investors. E-Chromic, formerly US eChromic, is developing a thin reflective film that can be applied to existing windows to allow users to wirelessly control the amount of light and heat transmitted through the windows, and reduce cooling costs. The technology was developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. E-Chromic has an exclusive license to develop and commercialize the product.


Quinn Popcorn, a maker of organic popcorn packaged in microwavable bags, received a six-figure investment from Abe’s Velocity Fund in Chicago. Specific financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. The six-employee company moved to 2100 Central Ave. in Boulder a month ago from Woburn, Massachusetts, to be closer to other young companies in the natural foods industry Coulter Lewis started the company about two years ago with his wife, Kristy Lewis. Abe’s Velocity Fund makes investments of $100,000 to $1 million in companies that sell organic products on the Abe’s Market online website, www.abesmarket.com.
    
Louisville-based Real Goods Solar Inc. doing business as RGS Energy, a provider of turnkey solar energy solutions for residential, commercial, and utility customers, changed the ticker symbol for its Class A common stock listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market from RSOL to RGSE, on Feb. 24. The CUSIP number for the company’s Class A common stock (75601N104) will remain unchanged.


Venture-capital firms Boulder Ventures and Grotech Ventures invested $4.3 million in Intellinote Inc., a company that provides cloud-based human resources-management systems. The breakdown of the amount of the investment made by Boulder-based Boulder Ventures and Reston, Virginia-based Grotech was not divulged. Boulder Ventures’ general partner Jonathan Perl and Grotech’s principal Don Rainey are on the board of directors of Intellinote, which is based in Reston, Virginia. Boulder Ventures maintains an office in Reston. Intellinote has about 1,200 customers worldwide. Boulder Ventures was founded in 1995. The firm has invested more than $350 million in client companies since it opened.


EARNINGS
Boulder-based AeroGrow International Inc. (OTCQB: AERO), a maker of indoor-gardening supplies, reported $5 million in revenue for its third fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31, a 67-percent increase compared with the same period a year ago. The company’s bottom line also improved, going from a $297,000 net loss for the same period last year to net income of $302,000, or 1 cent per share, this year. AeroGrow sells the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden line of soil-free indoor gardens, seed pod kits and accessories. AeroGrow president Mike Wolfe said successful launches at Costco.com and The Home Depot and growth at Amazon helped drive retail sales.


Broomfield-based Corgenix Medical Corp. (OTC BB: CONX) reported a 9.4 percent increase in revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31, an uptick attributed to improved sales of blood-coagulation tests and in the contract-manufacturing sector. Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $233,452, compared with $185,493 in revenue reported for the same quarter a year earlier. Net profit was $178,497, or less than 1 cent per share, for the quarter. The company’s net profit was $50,372, or less than 1 cent per share, for the same quarter a year earlier.


Broomfield-based WhiteWave Foods Co. (NYSE: WWAV) reported net revenue of $679 million for its fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, an 11 percent increase compared with the same period a year ago, that was driven by sales growth in North America and Europe. WhiteWave’s revenue for the same quarter a year ago was $609 million. Net profit was $31.2 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, or 18 cents per share, up from $26.4 million, or 18 cents per share, for the same quarter a year earlier. WhiteWave sells Silk soy milk products, Horizon Organic dairy products and International Delight coffee creamers.


Niwot-based Crocs Inc. (Nasdaq: CROX) reported revenue of $1.2 billion in revenue and net income of $10.4 million for its fiscal year that ended Dec. 31. The revenue was a 6 percent increase compared with the $1.1 billion in revenue the company reported in 2012. However, net income declined compared with $131.3 million reported in 2012. For its fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, Crocs posted revenue of $228.7 million, a 2 percent increase compared with the $225 million in revenue posted for the same period a year ago. Crocs posted a loss of $66.9 million for the most recent quarter compared with a loss of $3.6 million in the same quarter in 2012.


CONTRACTS
 Boulder-based Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was awarded a $5.8 million contract from the Defense Weather System Directorate at the Space and Missile Center in Los Angeles to build five replicas of the ion velocity meter, a tool developed at the University of Texas-Dallas that can assess the effects of space weather on spacecraft and communications.


MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Denver-based Swingle Inc., doing business as Swingle Lawn, Tree and Landscape Care, acquired the lawn- and tree-care portions of Longmont-based Nitro Green of Boulder County, with intentions of opening a new Swingle location in Boulder County. Schneider and Sons Inc., which had done business as Nitro Green of Boulder County, is narrowing its focus to weed control in pasture and open spaces and rebranding as Weed Control Services.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


D’Wayne and Stacee Cook, operating as S&DC LLC, bought Frederick-based MBK Machine Corp., a machine shop that makes products for aerospace and medical-device companies. The Cooks are keeping the company’s name and plan to grow MBK’s client roster to include companies around the United States and overseas. MBK has hired five new people – one full-time worker and four part-time workers – as a result of the purchase. MKB previously had seven employees working at its 10,000-square-foot industrial space at 7450 Johnson Drive, east of Interstate 25 near Longmont. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Deadline to submit items for Business Digest is three weeks prior to publication of each biweekly issue. Mail to Editor, Boulder County Business Report, 3180 Sterling Circle, Suite 201, Boulder, CO 80301-2338; fax to 303-440-8954; or email to news@bcbr.com with Business Digest in the subject line. Photos submitted will not be returned.

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