April 4, 2019

Briefcase – March 2019

BRIEFS

Fort Collins-based marketing and design agency Old Town Media took over the top floor in its 400 Remington St. headquarters, doubling the company’s office space to 4,300 square feet. The company also recently added employees and now has a 12-person workforce.

Lake Loveland Dermatology PC, which operates clinics and skin-care centers in Loveland, Greeley, Fort Collins, Sterling and Estes Park, and Skin PC, which does business in Boulder as Ideal Dermatology, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Both businesses are owned and operated by dermatologist Dr. Kevin Mott, who has asked that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado jointly administer bankruptcy proceedings for both companies.

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New York-based Persistent Systems LLC tripled the size of its office at 5042 Technology Parkway in Fort Collins and plans to grow its employee size to at least 65 people. Persistent Systems makes technology in the mobile ad hoc networking technology space, which also is known as MANET. MANET is technology that brings together radios and networks.

CLOSING

Snarf’s Sandwiches’ flagship store closed March 27 as construction begins on a luxury townhome development in that Boulder location. The 2128 Pearl St. shop opened in 2007 when Snarf’s original location, opened on Pearl Street in 1996, also was shuttered to make way for new residential development. Snarf’s plans to reopen in a yet-to-be-determined location nearby.

CONTRACTS

The Loveland Downtown Partnership and Business Alliance Retail Team are joining forces with a dozen retailers to launch the Shop Local Saturdays initiative. Shoppers who participate in the event, held on the final Saturday of each month, will receive a free item with each minimum purchase. Shoppers also get a shopping bag they can bring back to the store, along with their receipt, to receive a discount on a future purchase at any date and time. Loveland’s program is unique because all the participating retail outlets are owned and operated by women.

Front Range Biosciences, a biotech company that provides high-value crop producers with its Clean Stock plants, partnered with Barcelona-based Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics, or CRAG. The breeding partnership will allow Lafayette-based FRB to leverage world-class research facilities from CRAG and advance its marker-assisted breeding platform in the development of new cannabis plant varieties and improved hemp cultivation.

Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Co. entered into an agreement to handle the brewing and logistics for Island Coastal Lager, a Charleston, S.C.-based brewing company. The agreement will quadruple the number of states where ICL is sold and exponentially increasing production. The deal is a contract brewing deal, where ICL is paying New Belgium to brew its beer using New Belgium equipment and staff. New Belgium will handle the logistics and brewing, while ICL manages distribution and branding. The brewing will be done at New Belgium’s Asheville, N.C., location.

Banner Health, which operates three Northern Colorado hospitals, partnered with Integrated Health Management Services to help connect uninsured patients with health-care coverage opportunities and other benefits such as assistance with housing. IHMS Enrollment Specialists will be available to patients at all of the local Banner hospitals: North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, McKee Medical Center in Loveland and Fort Collins Medical Center.

Wana Brands in Boulder partnered with Lafayette-based Quicksilver Scientific Inc. to introduce a line of nano-tinctures using Quicksilver Nano Technology. Many of Wana’s popular products are edibles that can have longer onset times.

Ushood, an outdoor apparel company based in Boulder, will partner with the United States Snowshoe Association and outfit the athletes of the 2019-20 U.S. National Snowshoe team with its one-piece base layer.

SCL Health, a Broomfield-based health system, partnered with New York-based digital health information and service provider Zocdoc Inc. to offer real-time online appointment booking and verified physician reviews. Through this partnership, patients will be able to find and digitally schedule appointments with participating SCL Health providers any time of day.

EARNINGS

Gaia Inc. (Nasdaq: GAIA), a Louisville-based company that streams video with a focus on yoga, meditation and lifestyle, added subscribers and boosted revenues during the 2018 fiscal year, but the company also took on greater losses than in 2017. Total revenues in 2018 increased 55 percent to $43.9 million in 2018, up from $28.3 million the prior fiscal year. During the 2018 fiscal year, Gaia’s subscriber base grew from 364,500 to 550,000. Despite this positive momentum, increased operating expenses resulted in net losses of $33.8 million or $1.96 per share, compared with a net loss of $23.3 million or $1.54 per share in 2017.

MiRagen Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEN) posted a 2018 fourth=quarter loss of $10.3 million, or 33 cents per share. It’s an increase in loss over the same period in 2017, ended Dec. 31, which was about $6.4 million, or 29 cents per share. Total revenue also decreased from $1.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to $476,000 in 2018. Revenue grew from $4 million in 2017 to $8.4 million in 2018. Net loss grew from $26.5 million in 2017 to $32.7 million in 2018, although net loss per share for the year went from $1.38 in 2017 to $1.10 in 2018. The company also added shares. In 2017, it had about 19.2 million shares, but grew that amount to 29.6 million in 2018. Research and development expenses were $8.2 million in Q4 2018 and $30.4 million for the full year, compared with $5 million and $19.6 million, respectively, in 2017.

Noodles & Co. (Nasdaq: NDLS) posted a 2018 fourth-quarter net income of $19,000, or zero cents per share, a significant improvement over the same period the year prior, when the Broomfield-based company had a net loss of $487,000, or 1 cent per share. Noodles went from 41.1 million shares in the fourth quarter of 2017 to about 43 million for the fourth quarter of 2018. Net revenue grew from $112.8 million in Q4 2017 to $113.2 million in Q4 2018, missing analyst expectations by $560,000. Adjusted net income was $500,000, or 1 cent per share, in Q4 2018. Comparable restaurant sales for the quarter increased 4 percent system-wide, increased by 3.7 percent for company-owned restaurants and by 5.3 percent for franchise restaurants. For the full year, net loss decreased from $37.5 million, or $1.20 per share, in 2017 to $8.4 million, or 20 cents, in 2018. Revenue grew from $456.5 million in 2017 to $458 million in 2018.

Surna Inc. (OTC: SRNA), a manufacturer of environmental-control and air-sanitation systems for indoor cannabis-cultivation facilities, posted a net loss of $4.7 million in 2018, or a loss of 2 cents per share. It’s a bit of an improvement on 2017, when the company had a net loss of $4.9 million, or 3 cents per share. Total shares grew from 183 million in 2017 to 219 million in 2018. Surna had a Q4 2018 net loss of $816,000, a significant improvement over the same period the year prior, when it lost $1.4 million. The Boulder-based company also grew revenue — from $7.2 million in 2017 to nearly $9.6 million in 2018. Fourth-quarter revenue was nearly $2.2 million, down $114,000 — or 5 percent — from Q4 2017.

Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced higher-than-expected revenues for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. The Broomfield-based ski resort company also announced that it would increase quarterly dividends by 20 percent. Total revenues were up $115 million, or 15.7 percent, to $849.6 million in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2018.

EVENTS

The Rotary Clubs of Fort Collins will host Daryl Davis, a speaker who specializes in improving race relations in the United States, at a special event from 6 to 9 p.m. April 9 at the Colorado State University Lory Student Center. Tickets may be purchased online at peace.eventbrite.com or at the door for $10 for students and $15 for the general public.

The annual Green Business Breakfast, an event hosted by the cities of Lafayette, Louisville and Superior and their chambers of commerce, will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m. April 9 at the Louisville Recreation Center, 900 W. Via Appia. Interested businesses can contact the Lafayette Chamber at 303-666-9555 or send an email to info@lafayettecolorado.com.

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce will issue its 2019 Small Business of the Year Awards at the Celebrating Small Business event on May 23 at the Drake Centre, 802 W. Drake Road. For information, contact Heather Emory at 970-482-3746 or hjemory@fcchamber.org.

KUDOS

Broomfield-based Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL) was recognized with the inaugural Founding Sponsor Award for the company’s long-term support of Colorado For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Ball received the award at the 2019 FIRSTRobotics Competition Colorado Regional in late March at the University of Denver Ritchie Center.

Broomfield County is the nation’s fifth healthiest county, according to the recently released 2019 Healthiest Communities Rankings compiled by Aetna and U.S. News and World Report.

Finalists for this year’s Colorado Manufacturing Awards include several companies from Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley. The awards are presented by CompanyWeek and Manufacturer’s Edge. Companies were to receive the awards on April 4 at the Cable Center on the University of Denver campus. Merritt Aluminum Products Co. of Fort Lupton and Longmont-based Sticker Giant were among finalists for Industrial/Equipment Manufacturer of the Year. Longmont-based Cambrex and Osypka Medtec competed for Bioscience/Medical Manufacturer of the Year along with the Infectious Disease Research Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Boulder-based Green Dot Labs and Wana Brands were among the finalists for Outstanding Cannabis Manufacturer. Loveland-based Tharp Cabinet Co. was one of the finalists for Builder/Construction Company of the Year. Loveland-based Wild Zora and Boulder-based Boulder Organic Foods vied for Outstanding Food Brand. Vortic Watch Co. in Fort Collins was a finalist for Outstanding Consumer/Lifestyle Brand. Finalists for Outstanding Contract Manufacturer included Longmont-based Custom Microwave, Broomfield-based Ingram Machining and Boulder-based High Precision Devices. Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins and WeldWerks Brewing in Greeley were among finalists for Outstanding Craft Brewer, and Special Aerospace Services of Boulder competed for Aerospace/Electronics Manufacturer of the Year. George Newman of Front Range Community College was a finalist for Manufacturing Advocate of the Year, while Boulder-based Bolder Industries and Louisville-based Solid Power were among those vying for Energy Manufacturer of the Year.

The new U.S. Highway 34 in Big Thompson Canyon between Loveland and Estes Park was named the top construction project in the nation as determined by Engineering New Record. The project was named Best of the Best among 820 projections around the nation. Kiewit Corp., Colorado Department of Transportation, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., and subcontractors were named on the award presented in New York. The road, destroyed by the 2013 flood, was temporarily reopened until permanent repairs could be made starting in 2015.

Bond Pets, a Boulder-based pet food startup that makes food out of animal proteins rather than meat, was included in Purina’s Pet Care Innovation Prize Class of 2019.

Stateless Inc., a Boulder-based company that is making network functions that can be offered in an “as-a-service” model, received a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, a follow-up to a previous $225,000 grant the company received from the foundation.

Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado breweries accounted for four of the nation’s top 50 craft brewers in terms of 2018 sales volume, according to a new ranking for the Boulder-based Brewers Association. Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Co. and Odell Brewing Co. were ranking fourth and 23rd respectively. Longmont’s CANarchy, the brewing collective that includes Oskar Blues, was the eighth highest producing brewery in 2018 and Left Hand Brewing Co. was ranked at 50.

Three Boulder County companies were among six Colorado companies winning Nexty awards at Natural Products Expo West 2019. The local winners were: Best New Ready-to-Drink Beverage: Hoplark Sparking Hop Tea (Boulder); Best New Condiment: Picaflor Live Culture Raw Fermented Pepper Flakes (Boulder); and Best New Meat, Dairy or Animal-Based Product: Annabella Low Moisture Fresh Water Buffalo Mozzarella (Longmont).

Two Colorado cities are considered among the 100 safest in the nation, according to FBI data compiled by Safewise. Johnstown is ranked No. 38 while Windsor comes in at No. 46.

Greeley won the “Best in Colorado” subdivision paving award for Keep Greeley Moving’s work last year in the Rolling Hills neighborhood. The Colorado Asphalt Paving Association recognized Greeley’s paving excellence at the 25th Annual “Best in Colorado” Asphalt Pavement Awards Program celebration in Denver. Additionally, the award recognized Greeley’s paving contractor for the work, Martin Marietta.

The Boulder Chamber recognized six business leaders and organizations at its Celebration of Leadership on March 6 before a sold-out crowd at The Dairy Arts Center. Ariel Solomon, division manager for Premier Mortgage Group, received the Business Leader of the Year Award. Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County, received the Impact Award. High Precision Devices Inc. received the Entrepreneur of the Year award, presented to Bill Hollander, president and chief executive. The St. Vrain Valley School District was named Innovative Business of the Year. Alyssa Harding, corporate responsibility manager for Justin’s, was named Rising Star. Larry Gold, chairman and founder of SomaLogic, received the Franny Reich Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Boulder County Business Hall of Fame selected its Class of 2019. The inductees will be honored at a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 26, at Embassy Suites, 2601 Canyon Blvd., in Boulder. This year’s inductees are: Marcel Arsenault and Pete Wells, Real Capital Solutions, Louisville; George Berg, Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP, Boulder; Henry Braly, Braly Frontier Inc., Longmont; Charles Haertling, Boulder architect (posthumous induction); Sam and Cheryl Sussman, Eight Days a Week, Boulder; Vicki Trumbo, executive director, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette; and Phil Wiland, Wiland Inc., Longmont. To become a sponsor of the program and event, contact Jeffrey Kash at 303-443-4672, ext. 1121.

UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins and UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland were recognized in IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) annual Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals study, which highlights the nation’s top-performing medical facilities.

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awarded the city of Greeley’s Finance Department the Certificate of Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Carbonite Inc. (Nasdaq: CARB) has closed on its acquisition of Webroot Inc. Carbonite is a Boston-based cloud-based data protection provider.  Broomfield-based Webroot uses artificial intelligence to protect companies and individuals against cyber threats. The two companies together will combine cloud-based backup and data recovery with cloud-based cybersecurity to provide more thorough endpoint protection. Webroot was purchased for $618.5 million in cash.

RiteHealth Solutions Inc., a Lafayette boutique insurance brokerage and benefits services firm owned and operated by Rachel Zeman, was acquired by Chicago-based insurance brokerage Hub International Ltd. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fort Collins-based In-Situ Inc. acquired Waukesha, Wis.-based ChemScan Inc., formerly known as ASA Analytics. In-Situ, which designs and manufactures water-level and water-quality monitoring equipment, will expand its ability to serve process applications such as municipal and industrial wastewater, drinking water and other industrial water process markets. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GroupEx PRO, a web-based group exercise management portal, was acquired by Daxko, a Birmingham, Ala.-based software and tech company for health and wellness groups. Boulder-based GroupEx PRO was founded in 2008 and adds to Daxko’s offerings of membership management platforms for more than 10,000 global wellness and health facilities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

TriBuild Inc., a Broomfield-based provider of software-as-a-service solutions for the construction industry, acquired cloud-based construction management software firm Radar Construction Software Inc. in Mead. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Confluence Financial Advisors LLC, a Boulder-based wealth-management firm, was acquired by Mercer Global Advisors Inc., based in Denver. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MOVES

Mountain Media Group LLC, publisher of NoCo Style magazine, relocated its headquarters from Fort Collins to the desk chair workspace, 201 E. Fourth St. in Loveland, on April 1.

Team ProMark, a sports merchandise company formerly headquartered in Longmont, moved its headquarters and fulfillment facility to North Fort Worth, Texas.

Commercial real estate firm CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE: CBRE) moved into a new office on East Harmony Road in Fort Collins, consolidating operations in the city into a single location. CBRE had been doing business out of two Fort Collins offices: one on John F Kennedy Parkway, primarily serving CBRE’s capital markets and leasing professionals; and the other on McClelland Drive, home to the company’s valuation and advisory services.

NAME CHANGES

Triple Threat Media LLC, a video and documentary company in Boulder, rebranded as Pixel Mill Studios.

OPENING

The owners of The Roost and Jefe’s, two Longmont restaurants, created a new fast-casual concept, Smokin’ Bowls. Sean and Rebecca Gafner will open Smokin’ Bowls at 449 Main St. in downtown Longmont on April 25. The restaurant will feature bowls made with fresh and local ingredients, such as a Hawaiian Ahi Poke Bowl and the Smoked Brisket BBQ Bowl. The quick dining restaurant will also feature local beer.

TextUs Services Inc., a company that makes software that integrates text messaging for businesses, expanded internationally with the opening of an office in Krakow, Poland. Boulder-based TextUs is a platform that helps customers and businesses engage in real time. Instead of cold calls, voicemails or emails, businesses can use it to text customers.

GH Phipps Construction Co., a Glenwood Springs-headquartered general contracting firm with offices in Fort Collins, completed construction of the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies’ Surgery and Recovery Center addition at OCR’s Loveland facility at 3470 E. 15th St.

The addition broke ground in October 2017. Infusion Architects designed the building and Studio Blue Design was responsible for interior design work. The surgery and recovery center includes eight operating rooms as well as a reception area, offices, and pre- and post-operative rooms on the main floor and 21 recovery rooms on the second floor. The first surgeries at the center are expected to take place this month.

ANB Bank, a Denver-based bank owned by Sturm Financial Group, has opened its first banking center in Loveland. The 8,400-square-foot branch, located across U.S. Highway 34 from South Shore Park at Lake Loveland, is ANB’s 31st location. Open Studio Architecture designed the banking center and Bryan Construction built it.

Coal Creek Physical Therapy opened a second location in Boulder County. Julie Byrt, owner and staff physical therapist, has opened at 350 Broadway, Unit 50 in Boulder. The office is in the Professional Medical Building at 27th and Broadway.

Boulder-based natural-foods grocer Lucky’s Market officially entered the Fort Collins market with the opening of its store at 425 S. College Ave. It occupies the former Sports Authority building, spending about $3 million on renovation of the property.

Alpine Bank opened its 40th Colorado location at 2375 Canyon Blvd. in Boulder.

PRODUCT UPDATE

Wohnrade Civil Engineers Inc., a full-service engineering firm in Broomfield that incorporates data obtained by unmanned aerial vehicles into civil engineering design, added a new drone to its lineup. The Altus ORC2 electric helicopter is equipped with an advanced topographic LiDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, survey sensor. The technology produces three-dimensional laser scans that enable Wohnrade to deliver highly accurate topographic survey maps.

Fort Collins-based OtterBox and Boulder-based PopSockets, two of the biggest names in cell phone accessories, launched an accessory that integrates elements from each company’s products. The Otter+Pop product line, available online and in retailers, features OtterBox’s case designs with the addition of swappable PopTops from PopSockets on the back of the case.

Boulder-based Wana Brands added four new flavors to its disposable vape line, doubling its offerings in that product line. New flavors include Sativa Lemon, Indica Grapefruit, Hybrid Berry and 1:1 Rose Gold. Those flavors launched the original four in the fall of 2018: Sativa Diesel, Indica Kush, Hybrid Haze and Balanced 1:1 CBD/ THC.

Zavvie, a Boulder-based real estate technology company, launched a new tool to help customers make more money. Offer Optimizer is a tool that can compare offers from iBuyers, a new breed of company that makes cash instant offers for homes. Leading iBuyers include Offerpad, Opendoor, Zillow Offers and Redfin Now.

Boulder-based Kokopelli Packraft, an outdoors startup specializing in boats that can be packed up and inflated, launched a whitewater-ready raft. The Recon is whitewater-specific, self-bailing and weighs 18 pounds. While most packrafts are made with coated nylon and Kevlar reinforcements in stress zones, the Recon is made from PVC, a more durable material.

Boulder-based Black Swift Technologies LLC, a specialized engineering firm, completed the first phase of a NASA-funded project using onboard sensors to develop a terrain-following unmanned aircraft system. The project combines artificial intelligence and machine learning with a fixed-wing Black Swift A2 unmanned aircraft. The goal is to have autonomous, active navigation around obstacles and over rough terrain, done by the aircraft itself.

Sara’s Cosmic Cookie Dough in Boulder launched Cookie Dough On The Go, an energy snack. Because Sara’s cookie dough is egg-free and made with almond flour instead of all-purpose flour, it can be eaten raw without risk.

Slalom Fox, a Longmont-based beverage startup, released a line of ready-to-drink canned cocktails. The alcoholic beverages are made with premium juices, spirits and herbal extracts, and come in a vodka and bourbon cocktail variety, with gin and whiskey offerings to be released in the spring. Slalom Fox has a Vodka Collins, meant to taste like a spiked lemonade with a hint of thyme, and a Bourbon Revival made with bourbon, lemon juice and black currant.

SERVICES

City and county government in Boulder and Boulder County will make energy rebates available to businesses and nonprofits with commercial meters if they install solar power. The rebates total $1 per installed watt of solar. The grants are part of a program called Partners for a Clean Environment; $330,000 is available in the city of Boulder and $70,000 elsewhere in the county. Boulder funds are greater because the city also contributes to the effort.

FirstNet, or the First Responder Network Authority, is developing an experience program in conjunction with the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab in Boulder to introduce first responders to current and future technologies available to them through hands-on experience.

Greeley’s Water Conservation Program, which provides free water audits to city residences and business to help save water, lower bills and improve efficiency, is accepting appointments for July, August and September. Residents can call 970-336-4228 to schedule a water audit.

EVMatch Inc., the vehicle charging company that was the winner of the Boulder Energy Challenge, launched a new commercial service. Businesses, hotels, multi-unit dwellings and other commercial sites can sign up for the service.

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