Otixo wins top prize in DEMOgala contest

DENVER – Cloud-service company Otixo Inc. took home the top $25,000 prize in the DEMO Challenge in Denver on Thursday, a statewide industry entrepreneur contest put on by the Colorado Technology Association.

Boulder-based Otixo will use the money to build a new mobile application for its cloud-service computer program, said Shannon Thomas, company founder. For those who use photo and graphics computer programs such as Picasa and DropBox, Otixo’s computer program helps manage that content from a single place and share it with other users.

The prize money also will help Otixo recruit more investors, Thomas said. The company has 10 employees and funding from an unnamed German investor, he said.

Otixo was one of four Boulder companies that competed in the 4-minute, 30-second presentations for the DEMO Challenge, which was part of the eighth annual DEMOgala event held Wednesday, Oct. 24, and Thursday, Oct. 25, in Denver. Concept3D Inc., EarthvisonZ LLC and Shredded Steeze vied with 14 other chosen companies around the state for a chance to win the funds.

Separately, Jim Franklin, chief executive of SendGrid Inc. won the Technology Community Connector of the year award at the Colorado Technology Association Apex Awards on Wednesday night. Other Apex Award winners were Denver companies.

SendGrid sponsors events designed to bring entrepreneurs together, including “hackathons,” Franklin said. SendGrid is a title sponsor of Denver Startup Week, a series of entrepreneur-related events held Monday, Oct. 22, through Friday, Oct. 26, around Denver.

SendGrid makes a cloud-based platform that helps web developers make sure emails reach clients and users. The company has raised $27 million in venture capital since it emerged from TechStars Boulder in 2009, and has about 60,000 companies that are customers. SendGrid expects to see revenues in the $20 million range this year.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., spoke at the DEMOgala event, which was be held at the Sheraton Downtown Denver, 1550 Court Place, Denver. Scott McNealy, former chief executive of Sun Microsystems Inc., was the keynote speaker.

DEMOgala includes various technology and entrepreneurial sessions and a trade show. It is put on by the Colorado Technology Association, an industry trade group based in Denver with numerous members from Boulder and Broomfield counties.

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