Briefcase, Jan. 8, 2016

BRIEFS

Seventeen Colorado-based semifinalists have been announced for the seventh annual Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge at the University of Northern Colorado — along with the six business leaders who will judge them. The event, sponsored by BizWest, KUSA-TV Channel 9 and Colorado Lending Source, is an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to get exposure and compete for $50,000 in prize money to help bring their business ideas to fruition. The semifinalists will present their business concepts on Jan. 21 at the UNC University Center in Greeley. Following the semifinals, five finalists will be chosen to compete for a total of $50,000 in prize money and the opportunity to present their business plans to a panel of judges on March 29 in a “Shark Tank” format at the KUSA-TV studios in Denver. The finals will be televised at a later date by 9News’ sister station, KTVD Channel 20. The 17 semifinalists are Fort Collins-based Aerosol Devices Inc., The Food Corridor, IgnoreU, Insecticycle LLC, Nursly and Turbo Tenant; Greeley-based Blindside; Denver-based

EMRG, Mimi, NerdNest and Vita Inclinata Technologies; Broomfield-based mcSquares; Windsor-based Official Fitness; Masonville-based Planting Profits; Loveland-based Reading Remedies nand Vacuum Sciences; and Boulder-based Rebalance Factor. Judges for the semifinals will be Bruce Biggi, chief marketing officer for the Northern Colorado Economic Alliance; Charisse Bowen, campus director of Galvanize Fort Collins; Karol Jones, chief financial officer of Colorado Lending Source; Milan Larson, associate professor of management at Monfort College of Business; Mike O’Donnell, executive director of Colorado Lending Source; and Richard Pickett, executive director of UNC BizHub.

CONTRACTS

Array BioPharma Inc. closed its deal with French drugmaker Pierre Fabre to globally develop and commercialize Array’s cancer-fighting drugs, binimetinib and encorafenib. The deal, announced Nov. 16, cleared its final hurdle when it was approved by the European Commission on Competition. Boulder-based Array (Nasdaq: ARRY) will receive an upfront payment of $30 million and is entitled to receive up to $425 million if certain development and commercialization milestones are achieved. Array retains commercialization rights for the two drugs in the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea and Israel. France-based Pierre Fabre will have rights to commercialize both products in all other countries, including Europe, Asia and Latin America. Binimetinib is intended to treat ovarian and colorectal cancer, and melanoma; encorafenib would treat melanoma.

Boulder-based Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. was selected by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate to build and test a complete radiometric instrument on a Cubesat, a class of miniature satellite, for a space mission under the In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technologies (InVEST) program. Work will begin on the Compact Infrared Radiometer in Space (CIRiS) in February, with launch anticipated early in 2018, followed by three months of operations in orbit. The radiometer developed by Ball Aerospace, a division of Broomfield-based Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL), is one of four projects to receive funding from the latest round of the InVEST program in support of NASA’s Earth Science Division. Instruments such as CIRiS aboard relatively inexpensive Cubesats could help return significant scientific research and land-use management data for NASA.

The Neenan Co., a construction firm based in Fort Collins, was selected as the design-build partner for the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Region 2 office and maintenance campus. CDOT Region 2 plans to build a campus in the Pueblo area for its office, maintenance and traffic facilities that serve southeast Colorado. Terms of the contract were not available. Neenan recently designed and built CDOT’s Region 4 headquarters in Greeley.

Techtonic Academy, a division of Boulder-based Techtonic Group, partnered with the Creating IT Futures Foundation, the philanthropic arm of information-technology trade association CompTIA, to provide training and apprenticeships in software development for entry-level people who might not otherwise be able to access it. The collaboration with the Downers Grove, Ill.-based foundation will allow both groups to reach more individuals and companies across the nation. Creating IT Futures traditionally focuses on the hardware and services sector of the IT field and will now be able to expand its training and career programs into the software-development sector.

Boulder-based biotechnology company SomaLogic Inc. soon will deploy its SOMAscan proteomics assay at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research laboratories in Jefferson, Ark. The assay, which incorporates 1,310 different SOMAmer (Slow Off-rate Modified Aptamer) reagents, measures proteins across a wide range of concentrations in small volumes of multiple biological sample types. The protein-measurement technology aids in the development of new diagnostic tests that can detect diseases at their earliest stages and monitor. SomaLogic, with facilities at 2945 Wilderness Place in Boulder, specializes in biomarker discovery and clinical diagnostics, making products that quickly measure hundreds of proteins present in the body at a given moment with just a couple drops of blood or urine.

Boulder-based Mame’s Burritos partnered with Ignyte Lab to take aim at expansion in 2016. Ignyte Lab, a management company for early-stage, in-revenue companies, is co-located in Boulder at the headquarters of ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

Colorado State University and Philips Lighting are partnering to install advanced LED lighting at the university’s new research and training horticulture facility at its campus in Fort Collins. Workers are installing Philips Horticulture LED Solutions lighting in the CSU Horticulture Center, which is expected to be completed early this year.

KUDOS

The late Dr. Patricia Powell was named 2015 Physician of the Year by the Northern Colorado Medical Society. Powell, who died in August at age 69, was chief medical officer for Sunrise Community Health in Greeley.

Loveland-based Madwire Media, a digital marketing firm, earned the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award as the best small business at which to work in the United States.

The Weld County Department of Public Works received the Excellence in Concrete Pavement for County Roads Silver Award from the American Concrete Paving Association for the safety-improvement project at the intersection of Weld County Roads 49 and 22 intersection Safety Improvement Project. Public Works and the contractor for the project, Interstate Highway Constructors, received the award Dec. 4 at the ACPA’s 52nd annual meeting in Bonita Springs, Fla.

Fort Collins-based Rosabella Consulting announced recipients of the 2015 E+ Awards, who were chosen by an all-youth selection committee. Zanye Hoyland received a Youth Award for helping run the Fort Collins High School silent auction that raised more than $9,000. Becca Walkinshaw won a Regional Award for creating her position as sustainability coordinator at Gallegos Sanitation. Gabriel Lengamunyak won a Global Award for creating the Samburu Morani Education Programme in Kenya after completing his own studies abroad on scholarship.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

National Technical Systems Inc., a provider of environmental simulation testing, inspection and certification solutions based in California, acquired EMC Integrity Inc., which operates out of the Vista Commercial Center east of Longmont in Weld County. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Founded in 1994, EMC Integrity, which will be renamed NTS Longmont, operates a 17,000-square-foot emissions and immunity testing facility at 1736 Vista View Drive. NTS, a portfolio company of Los Angeles-based Aurora Capital Group, has acquired eight testing locations over the last two years as it attempts to offer testing services nationwide.

Despite its acquisition by a Silicon Valley company, all-flash storage systems maker SolidFire will continue its Boulder presence and its plans to move into the new, high-profile PearlWest development. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP) entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SolidFire for $870 million in cash. Once the transaction closes, most likely in NetApp’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2016, SolidFire chief executive David Wright, who founded the company in Atlanta in 2009 and moved it to 1600 Pearl St. in Boulder in early 2011, will lead the SolidFire product line within NetApp’s operations. NetApp is a $6 billion-per-year company with 7,000 employees worldwide that provides data management and cloud storage solutions. The company already has a presence in Boulder, with an office at 5400 Airport Blvd.

Can manufacturer Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL) completed its acquisition of the remaining 39.9 percent minority interest in Latapack-Ball Embalagens Ltda., which supplies beverage cans and ends to its local Brazilian market. Founded in 1995, Latapack-Ball was one of the most successful joint ventures in Ball’s history. Broomfield-based Ball Corp. also received regulatory approval in Brazil for its $6.7 billion acquisition of Rexam PLC. Approval came from the Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica, the Brazilian antitrust agency. Ball expects to attain remaining regulatory clearances during the first half of this year. Ball last month offered to sell 11 European plants to win European Union approval of the deal. Nine of the European plants manufacture cans, while two manufacture can ends. Ball also last month announced plans to raise $2.5 billion through a public offering of senior notes to fund the cash portion of its acquisition of Rexam. Combination of Ball and Rexam would create the world’s largest consumer packaging supplier, with command of more than 60 percent of the beverage-can market in North America, 69 percent in Europe and 74 percent in Brazil. The combined company would employ a workforce of about 22,500 employees across five continents and generate annual revenue of about $15 billion.

Bandwidth infrastructure provider Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) has closed on its $107 million acquisition of Viatel’s infrastructure and non-Irish enterprise business. The deal, originally announced in November, gives Boulder-based Zayo an 8,400-kilometer fiber network that is spread across eight countries, including 12 metro networks and seven data centers. It also includes two subsea cable systems that provide connectivity between London and Amsterdam and between London and Paris. Zayo bought the assets from Viatel parent Digiweb Group, which is based in Dublin, Ireland.

MOVES

A gym in Fort Collins that features Parkour training techniques is moving three doors down to a space more than double its current size, and has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help. Apex Movement Fort Collins is moving from its current space of less than 2,000 square feet in the Mulberry Commercial Park at 2649 E. Mulberry St., Suite 26, to a 4,600-square-foot space in Unit 30, the former site of a sheet-metal manufacturing company. The new location, expected to open in mid-February, will have room for competitions, special events and new equipment, including platforms, towers, vaulting boxes, gymnastics mats and enhancements to the bar structure, creating a setting that looks like an adult-sized jungle gym.

NAME CHANGES

Boulder-based tech startup Congo.io, an online marketplace for legal advice, rebranded as Lawbooth – a name that didn’t come from the more than 700 contest entries it received earlier this fall. The company provides an online platform for people seeking legal advice to schedule time with an attorney and connect for free via video chat. The Congo name meant Consulting on the Go. Started in 2013 as a school project in an entrepreneurial class at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, Congo  now has five employees and is headquartered at Galvanize’s Boulder campus at 1035 Pearl St. Congo recently closed a $250,000 seed round of funding to be used to help it expand beyond Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver into the rest of the state. The quest for a new name began because co-founders Willy Ogorzaly and Tyler Cox were faced with a difficult decision: pay $750,000 for the Congo.com domain, which was being squatted on by domain holding company DigiMedia, or go through the process of rebranding. So Congo offered individuals the opportunity to submit name suggestions for the chance to win $1,000. Since the new name wasn’t selected from those entries, however, Ogorzaly and Cox are donating the offered $1,000 prize to select local charities.

Commercial real estate brokerage Sperry Van Ness International Corp., which has had a franchise presence in Northern Colorado since 2007, is rebranding to SVN.

Steve Kawulok, managing broker of SVN/Denver Commercial, started the Fort Collins Sperry Van Ness franchise in 2007. In September, the Fort Collins franchise merged with the smaller Denver franchise to form SVN/Denver Commercial. The headquarters for the combined operation is now in Denver, with the Fort Collins office serving as the Northern Colorado division.

OPENINGS

Rose Medical Center in Denver plans to make a foray into Northern Colorado, offering some of its medical services in Loveland by early spring. The hospital leased approximately 2,333 square feet in Unit 120 at 1808 Boise Ave., near Banner Health’s McKee Medical Center, and plans to open a health center with five examination rooms. Aspen Medical Group formerly owned the entire building but broke it up into units. Rose is leasing its unit from PDQ Properties LLC.

Denver-based Tech Inc Solutions, a managed-service information technology company, plans to open a satellite office in Fort Collins early this year.

Six months after launching its own line of coffee, Longmont-based Oskar Blues Brewery is opening its first coffee shop. Oskar Blues officials plan to open a Hotbox Roasters location in May at 3490 Larimer St. in Denver, next door to a Chuburger hamburger restaurant that Oskar Blues plans to open early this year. The new coffee shop in Denver’s trendy River North district also will sell homemade doughnuts.

An optometrist who runs a practice in Parker plans to open an office in Northern Colorado. Dr. Louis Spinozzi, owner of Great Vision Eyecare and Performance Vision, in the Parker Marketplace at 9835 S. Parker Road, signed a lease for a 575-foot space at 400 Main St., Suite C2, in Windsor, and took possession on Jan. 1.

PRODUCT UPDATE

Family members of the owners of an Argentinian restaurant in Boulder plan to turn the eatery’s popular empanadas into a packaged frozen product available at grocery stores. Christian and Karly Saber opened Rincon Argentino three years ago at 2525 Arapahoe Ave., specializing in empanadas made with all-natural meat, vegetables, cheese and spices from Argentina, then baked inside a flaky pastry in a style common to Buenos Aires, Christian’s birthplace. In 2014, Christian Saber and two more family members, Luis Gomez and Francois Saber, launched Lazo Foods to distribute the empanadas to a wider audience. The company has made them available through outlets including Upslope Brewing Co., Three Four Beer and The Brewing Market Coffee, as well as through its website at lazofoods.com. This year, Lazo Foods will launch its frozen empanadas into retail outlets with a presence at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., in March.

BRIEFS

Seventeen Colorado-based semifinalists have been announced for the seventh annual Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge at the University of Northern Colorado — along with the six business leaders who will judge them. The event, sponsored by BizWest, KUSA-TV Channel 9 and Colorado Lending Source, is an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to get exposure and compete for $50,000 in prize money to help bring their business ideas to fruition. The semifinalists will present their business concepts on Jan. 21 at the UNC University Center in Greeley. Following the semifinals, five finalists will be chosen to compete for a total of $50,000 in prize money and the opportunity to present their business plans to a panel of judges on March 29 in a “Shark Tank” format at the KUSA-TV studios in Denver. The finals will be televised at a later date by 9News’ sister station, KTVD Channel 20. The 17 semifinalists are Fort Collins-based Aerosol Devices Inc., The Food Corridor, IgnoreU, Insecticycle LLC, Nursly and Turbo Tenant; Greeley-based Blindside; Denver-based

EMRG, Mimi, NerdNest and Vita Inclinata Technologies; Broomfield-based mcSquares; Windsor-based Official Fitness; Masonville-based Planting Profits; Loveland-based Reading Remedies nand Vacuum Sciences; and Boulder-based Rebalance Factor. Judges for the semifinals will be Bruce Biggi, chief marketing officer for the Northern Colorado Economic Alliance; Charisse Bowen, campus director of Galvanize Fort Collins; Karol Jones, chief financial officer of Colorado Lending Source; Milan Larson, associate professor of management at Monfort College of Business; Mike O’Donnell, executive director of Colorado Lending Source; and Richard Pickett, executive director of…