Caruso, Khala Cloths named winners of Boulder Chamber’s Esprit awards

BOULDER — Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO of Boulder-based Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO), received the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Boulder Chamber’s Esprit awards dinner, Wednesday.

The Esprit event took place at the University Memorial Center’s Glenn Miller Ballroom at the University of Colorado Boulder and was attended by more than 300 people.

Khala Cloths won the Esprit New Venture Challenge, taking home a $10,000 cash prize.

Caruso was a founder of Zayo in 2007. The company is a global provider of communications infrastructure services, with $2.6 billion in annual revenue. Caruso previously served as president and CEO of ICG Communications and in 1997 co-founded Level 3 Communications, serving in a variety of leadership roles.Caruso also has invested in several startup companies, including Galvanize, Just Right Surgical, Datavail and Secure Set. He also helped launch Envysion.

Zayo went public in 2014 and employs more than 500 workers in Boulder and 3,700 worldwide.

Khala won the New Venture Challenge, beating out co-finalists Dance to Be Free and Give & Go. Khala has developed a natural alternative to plastic wrap for storing food. The company’s product is a waxed cloth using beeswax, tree resin and coconut oil to infuse hemp-cotton fabric, providing an organic alternative to plastic wrap.

Dance to Be Free is a nonprofit that shares the healing power of dance with women in prison worldwide. The company uses dance as a healing vehicle for victims of post-traumatic stress, using cathartic choreography and evocative music.

Give & Go automates the labor-intensive video-editing process for sports coaches, using computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The venture was started while founder and CEO Mac Bolak was serving as manager of the University of Colorado men’s basketball team and noticed the tedious film-editing process that was in place at the time.

The three finalists gave presentations to the audience and were questioned by a team of Esprit New Venture Challenge judges, including Terrie Fiez, vice chancellor for research and innovation at the University of Colorado Boulder; Amy McGarrity, chief investment officer for Colorado PERA; and Jose Vieitez, co-founder of the Boomtown accelerator in Boulder. Audience members then selected the winner via a voting app.

BOULDER — Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO of Boulder-based Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO), received the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Boulder Chamber’s Esprit awards dinner, Wednesday.

The Esprit event took place at the University Memorial Center’s Glenn Miller Ballroom at the University of Colorado Boulder and was attended by more than 300 people.

Khala Cloths won the Esprit New Venture Challenge, taking home a $10,000 cash prize.

Caruso was a founder of Zayo in 2007. The company is a global provider of communications infrastructure services, with $2.6 billion in annual revenue. Caruso previously served as president and CEO of ICG Communications and in 1997 co-founded Level 3 Communications, serving in a variety of leadership roles.Caruso also has invested in several startup companies, including Galvanize, Just Right Surgical, Datavail and Secure Set. He also helped launch Envysion.

Zayo went public in 2014 and employs more than 500 workers in Boulder and 3,700 worldwide.

Khala won the New Venture Challenge, beating out co-finalists Dance to Be Free and Give & Go. Khala has developed a natural alternative to plastic wrap for storing food. The company’s product is a waxed cloth using beeswax, tree resin and coconut oil to infuse hemp-cotton fabric, providing an organic alternative to plastic wrap.

Dance to Be Free is a nonprofit that shares the healing power of dance with women in prison worldwide. The company uses dance as a healing vehicle for victims of post-traumatic stress, using cathartic choreography and evocative music.

Give & Go automates the labor-intensive video-editing process for…