Finalists announced for 2015 IQ Awards

BOULDER — Twenty-six companies and five individuals have been selected as finalists in 10 categories for BizWest’s 2015 IQ Awards.

The competition will be held Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St. in Boulder.

In its 15th edition, the IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards honors the most innovative new products and services developed by companies and organizations based in Boulder and Broomfield counties, in the Denver/Boulder corridor, or for local divisions of national companies that were instrumental in the innovation.

A winner in each of 10 categories will be selected by a panel of judges, and audience members will select the Innovation of the Year. Starting at 5:30 p.m., those attending can network while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and then watch the “pitch slam” presentations of the finalists.

Judges for this year’s event will be Susan Graf, former chief executive of the Boulder Chamber; Jerry Lewis, former owner and publisher of the Boulder County Business Report; and Theresa Szczurek, CEO of Radish Systems Inc.

Tickets, at $39 until Friday, Oct. 2, and $49 thereafter, can be purchased online here.

Chase Bank is presenting sponsor of the event. Associate sponsors include EKS&H tax accountants, Court Appointed Special Advocates, ConnectFirst and McGladrey.

This year’s finalists, and the categories in which they’re competing:

Innovative Company of the Year

InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable the accelerated development and manufacturing of life-saving products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JumpCloud: The company securely manages and connects employee identities to their devices, applications and networks.

MinuteKey: A kiosk with a fully automated, self-service key-duplication machine that can be seen in such major retailers as Lowe’s and Walmart.


Boomtown: The company provides resources and mentorship in the areas of branding and logo design, marketing, code feedback and usability testing, plus hosting and legal services.

Galvanize: Its campuses offer education courses such as Full Stack Web and Software Development Program, Data Science Immersive Program, a master’s in Data Science, a Data Engineering Immersive Program and workshops on Python, UX/UI, marketing and machine learning.

Unreasonable Institute: The institute unites entrepreneurs with mentors, funders and partners in specialized global educational institutes ranging from five days to five weeks and created to scale solutions to the world’s biggest problems such as poverty, social justice and lack of education. Labs and workshops focus on business validation and investment preparedness to take a business to a new level of growth.

Innovator of the Year

Dale Katechis: The founder of Oskar Blues Brewery in 41 states, Oskar Blues Original Grill & Brew, REEB Cycles, Hops & Heifers Farm and the REEB Ranch, Katechis is largely credited with being the first craft brewer to sell nitrogenated, canned beer in the United States. Oskar Blues also has led the industry in developing a resealable beer bottle and selling its beers in larger cans.

Bruce Borowsky and Zach Daudert: The pair co-founded and grew Boulder Digital Arts into the largest tech-training facility in Boulder County, helping individuals and companies keep up with ever-changing technology and all creative digital arts. They also introduced the new Code Craft web-development boot camp.

Christopher L. Peterson and Dr. Phillip Villella: The pair co-founded LogRhythm, a security-intelligence company that empowers organizations to recognize and respond to cyber threats through a platform that brings together SIEM, log management, network and endpoint forensics, and advanced security analytics.

Products and Services


InDevR: The company creates analytical technologies for the life-sciences industry that enable accelerated development and manufacturing of products that enhance diagnostics, vaccines and other bio therapeutics.

JustRight Surgical: The company develops right-sized surgical devices that access confined spaces and operate effectively on delicate tissue bundles and fine structures, allowing smaller incisions and better visibility.

Encision: The company makes a line of innovative laparoscopic instruments designed to improve physician performance and patient outcomes, such as the AEM Burn Protection System, which eliminates stray patient burns during laparoscopic surgery.


BlackSquare Technologies: The company has designed, engineered, built and now markets a patented, real time, hardware encryption and key management IT security device called Enigma.

BluFlux: The company is an RF design, engineering and A2LA-certified cellular/OTA/RF test company with a focus on helping to accelerate the release of connected products.

Atomic20: The marketing agency and shared creative workspace is dedicated to free agents and curating teams that solve design challenges.


TECHtionary: The company offers BiEyes, an iPhone/iPad photo app that allows pictures to be taken with both cameras at the same time called SNAP or POSE. The user takes one pic and then another, and can see them in various image formats and save or share them in multiple media.

Soundwall Inc: The new medium combines art, sound and social technologies to create an immersive art experience. It offers art and creative surfaces that connect visual experience with high-quality audio.

Lunchbox Electronics: The company has created what it says is the smallest, stackable, Lego-compatible, light up bricks called Build Upons. They can light up a robot, house, spaceship or monster.

Green Business

Sustainable Power Systems: Its flagship product is a Universal Microgrid Controller, which orchestrates the operation of all components of a power system, in both standalone (off-grid) and grid-interactive microgrids.

Clean Energy Collective: A solar tech startup in 2009, the Louisville-based collective has grown to become a leading developer of roofless community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean-power generation through medium-scale solar photovoltaic facilities accessible to all utility customers.

Black Swift Technologies: The company has worked with researchers at the University of Colorado and NASA to develop a small unmanned aircraft system capable of mapping soil moisture.


Conspire: The company unlocks a network by measuring the strength of its relationships — and millions of others — to uncover the best paths to people, ideas, resources and opportunities.

Fliptask: An online marketplace designed to revolutionize the way tasks and errands get done.

Earthvisionz: The company creates enterprise-level, location aware, visual data-management systems that help make smarter and faster decisions, providing unlimited data, including live feeds, overlaid onto specific geographic locations.

Social Media/Mobile Apps

SqFt: The fully transactional real estate app gives a homeowner the ability to create a professional real estate listing, send that listing out to 900 real estate sites – such as the MLS, Zillow and others – and permit buyers to schedule showings and make offers through the app.

Lassy Project: The free service gives parents and guardians the ability to notify an entire local community about their missing child or at-risk adult in seconds.

Makeena: A shopping “ecosystem” helps healthy and sustainable brands reach shoppers, and shoppers discover brands and products that meet their lifestyle preferences or dietary needs at any retailer for an affordable price. Makeena is sometimes described as “Waze meets Yelp meets eBates” for the natural products industry.


Knowledge Factor: A learning software that integrates neurobiology and cognitive psychology with multidimensional big-data analytics to deliver enhanced learning outcomes and improve organizational bottom lines.

VictorOps: A real-time incident-management platform that helps DevOps pros handle incidents as they occur. The platform, called Transmogrifier, allows on-call engineers to have the solution embedded into every IT problem that comes their way. Software and sites can be kept running to begin solving problems immediately and reduce “alert fatigue” that often comes with being on call in IT.

Quick Left Inc.: Software-development services and tools specializing in web development, design, training and mobile applications. It operates Sprintly, a development management platform designed to power a more productive relationship between teams and their managers.