The Warehouse main entry is in Building C at the former Hewlett-Packard facility in Loveland. Those familiar with how the “The HP Way” played out in Loveland will recognize the entry as the lobby that HP used when it had operations there. Ken Amundson/BizWest

The Forge builds out space for Warehouse accelerator

LOVELAND — The Warehouse business accelerator, headquartered in the historic center of Loveland’s technology infrastructure at the former Hewlett-Packard Co. facility — now The Forge campus — has begun a capital campaign to complete construction of workspaces that will help stage two companies take the next step.

By fall, The Warehouse hopes to have 48,000 square feet of space available for companies that use the services of the accelerator and form the basis for an innovation hub for the community.

“One challenge we heard [when talking with young businesses] was ‘where can I place my business when I don’t know how much space I’ll need,’” said Allison Seabeck, executive director of the Warehouse.

Using a modular, flexible design, the accelerator will provide spaces for those companies, spaces that can be flexed up or down depending on needs.
The Warehouse hasn’t always been located at The Forge. It’s roots extend to a decade ago when the city of Loveland created a technology accelerator that it called Stone Soup. The city had hoped to locate the effort at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology, the Cumberland & Western Resources operation that owned the HP facility prior to The Forge.

Unable to reach an agreement for space, the accelerator went virtual. Partners Jay Dokter and Dan Kamrath collaborated with the Loveland Business Partnership and the city to provide accelerator services without having a facility in which to house them.

Services include helping second stage companies find and navigate business resources, locate specialty lawyers such as intellectual property attorneys, assist with supply chain issues and other services. “We don’t do startups, but grow ups,” Dokter said. The focus was, and remains, on technology companies with a national or international focus, he said.

Then, Dokter, Kamrath and other investors bought the RMCIT for $15.5 million in November 2020 and began to plan how to bring the 811,817-square-foot facility on 177 acres back to life.

“We wanted a sustainable program [for the Warehouse] but weren’t able to make it work because of rent. We didn’t want to burden taxpayers with that cost,” said Dokter. The Forge decided to make it a centerpiece of its operation and donated the 48,000 square feet to the Warehouse.

Companies that locate there will pay rent to the Warehouse, which will make it self-sustaining.

While Warehouse tenants will pay market rates, and can flex up or down depending on space needs, they’ll also have access to conference facilities, a shared marketing studio with photography and videography resources, spaces for job fairs or seminars, a cafeteria, and a shared equipment and tool lab that will include equipment that a technology company might need occasionally but not all the time in early stages of its development, Seabeck said.

She said the Warehouse should be able to accommodate about 20 companies. Seven companies, one of which is already located at the Forge, are part of the Warehouse operation now.

Companies that join the Warehouse access its services for $1,000 per quarter. They receive an initial assessment of operations and are matched with a lead mentor. Each quarter, two or three barriers to success are identified and plans laid for how to overcome them. Services are strategic in nature although subject-matter experts sometimes come into play as needed.

At some point, businesses in the program will no longer need the services and will graduate out, making room for others to take part.

“Behind nondescript doors around the community there are things happening that are changing lives in the world, and no one knows about them,” Seabeck said. “Their technology has already demonstrated value in the world; we help them build success and sustainable businesses around that technology,” she said.

Companies in the Warehouse

Over a three-year period, the Warehouse has helped companies raise $7 million in capital, and has seen revenue generated of $31.6 million. The companies in the Warehouse provide 115 jobs; 61 of those jobs have been created over the three-year period.

Among the companies that use or have used Warehouse services, as noted on the accelerator’s website, are:

Aerosol Devices Inc., which develops equipment to measure particles as small as 5 nanometers, including viruses such as the coronavirus. Its technology is useful in health care as well as semiconductor manufacturing where precise environments are required.

Opterus Research & Development, which designs and manufactures structures for the aerospace industry. Its composites can be compressed into tiny spaces on satellites, then expanded once in orbit.

Dynexus Technology creates battery monitoring and diagnostics technology that is used in electric vehicles and consumer electronics.

Bongo innovates software used in education and training to improve distance learning, such as that used over the past year as schools and universities put their classes online.

Progenero Products is developing a technology to test spot welded parts that might be hidden within vehicles, for example, without destroying the product to get at the weld.

Vergent Products, a long-time Loveland manufacturer of advanced electronic parts, uses the Warehouse as it moves from operations created by its founders to those needed as the company seeks to grow under new ownership.

Beau & Belle Littles creates reusable baby products such as reusable swim diapers.

Paradigm Research Optics creates optical coatings and assemblies including lenses, windows, waveplates, aspheres and other substrates.

LOVELAND — The Warehouse business accelerator, headquartered in the historic center of Loveland’s technology infrastructure at the former Hewlett-Packard Co. facility — now The Forge campus — has begun a capital campaign to complete construction of workspaces that will help stage two companies take the next step.

By fall, The Warehouse hopes to have 48,000 square feet of space available for companies that use the services of the accelerator and form the basis for an innovation hub for the community.

“One challenge we heard [when talking with young businesses] was ‘where can I place my business when I don’t know how much space I’ll need,’” said Allison Seabeck, executive director of the Warehouse.

Using a modular, flexible design, the accelerator will provide spaces for those companies, spaces that can be flexed up or down depending on needs.
The Warehouse hasn’t always been located at The Forge. It’s roots extend to a decade ago when the city of Loveland created a technology accelerator that it called Stone Soup. The city had hoped to locate the effort at the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology, the Cumberland & Western Resources operation that owned the HP facility prior to The Forge.

Unable to reach an agreement for space, the accelerator went virtual. Partners Jay Dokter and Dan Kamrath collaborated with the Loveland Business Partnership and the city to provide accelerator services without having a facility in which to house them.

Services include helping second stage companies find and navigate business resources, locate specialty lawyers such as intellectual property…