BizWest names winners for IQ Awards honoring innovation – BizWest

BOULDER — Thirteen local companies were honored Monday at the 19th annual IQ Awards celebrating the “Innovation Quotient” among Boulder Valley companies.

BizWest previously named almost 100 companies as finalists in 10 product-and-service categories, narrowing those finalists to runners-up and winners that were announced at the event at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Boulder.

The awards presentation was preceded by a “fireside chat” examining funding for Boulder Valley startups.

The IQ Awards were sponsored by Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP, Dorsey & Whitney LLP and EKS&H, now part of Plante Moran. Boulder Digital Arts provided video and live-streaming services.

Here are the runners-up and winners in each category:



Uzio Technology LLC — Uzio produces the world’s first solar electric fence energizer that can be controlled from a phone.


Agribotix — The Agribotix Agrion Starter and Plus solutions are portable drones that come equipped with a near infrared camera designed to capture superb field-level imagery, which is uploaded to the Agribotix FarmLens platform for processing. Results are produced automatically in the cloud, eliminating the need for hard-to-use software packages.

Anemoment LLC — Trisonica Mini is the world’s smallest and lightest 3D ultrasonic anemometer. It is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, yet it is a powerful and highly accurate tool engineered for atmospheric monitoring, weather reporting and ecosystem research.

Business Products & Services


Occipital Inc. — The Structure Sensor adds precise 3D vision to a mobile device, giving it a new way of understanding the world around it. This enables a growing set of advanced capabilities such as 3D scanning, indoor mapping and mixed-reality experiences.


PasswordPing Ltd. — PasswordPing Credential Screening  proactively notifies organizations if their customers, partners or employees are using exposed credentials, allowing them to prevent unauthorized access.

ZingFit LLC — zingfit is a SaaS platform fueling the world’s boutique fitness brands. The platform integrates scheduling, commerce, and marketing tools — delivering an effortless and authentic digital experience for boutique fitness studios’ customers.

Clean Tech


Clean Energy Federal Credit Union — Clean Energy Federal Credit Union uses deposits that are federally insured solely to provide loans for clean-energy projects, offering clean-energy CDs and loans for solar-electric systems, clean-energy vehicles and energy-efficiency home improvements.


HOMER Energy LLC — The HOMER Pro and HOMER Grid software suite is used to optimize the design of distributed energy and microgrid projects. It is the first software to combine chronological simulation with powerful optimization algorithms within a decision support framework.  

Hygge Power Inc. — Hygge Power’s Orchestrated Power Outlet  saves utilities money, gives their customers control of their power, and reduces emissions. The OPO family of behind-the-meter, smart-home energy-storage products reduces energy costs for utilities via load-shifting programs while improving customer satisfaction and grid reliability.



Nite Ize Inc. — The Nite Ize Steelie Orbiter Dash-Mount Kit combines a dash mount with the powerful Orbiter Magnetic Socket and a low-profile metal plate that easily attaches to a phone or case. The Dash Mount adheres on any vehicle dash with strong, removable adhesive for a secure hold.


Hearth — The Hearth Smart Vents don’t require expensive hubs or external sensors that clutter a home, and they don’t require a construction crew to install them.

PopSockets LLC — Popsockets originally were needed to help with headphone storage/management. Since its start, the product has morphed into something that serves as stand for your mobile device, grip and its original purpose.



Bitsbox — Bitsbox is a simple tool that helps kids learn how to code. Every month, the company sends a box full of DIY coding projects for 6- to 12-year-olds. Kids follow the instructions to build apps on their computers, and then play with the apps on any mobile device.

Mindscribe — MindScribe, a research and design studio founded by Layne Jackson Hubbard, a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of Colorado Boulder, creates talking stuffed animals to ask kids questions about their  and  creations.


Specdrums Inc. — Specdrums Rings are an accessible solution to playing music to inspire the next generation of musicians and creative thinkers. The main product is an app-connected ring that turns color into sound, making the entire world of colors an instrument. Users can assign pitches and sounds to any set of unique colors, allowing them to create musical beats and melodies anywhere.



Cryptanite Blockchain Technologies Corp. — Cryptanite’s ChargaCard software system allows recurring billing, business-to-consumer financing and risk-management services as a way to bypass third-party financial institutions and credit cards.


Stateless — The Akros network services platform is designed to overcome providers’ biggest networking challenges. Thanks to a first of its kind architecture, the platform can tackle the challenges that middleboxes and network functions virtualization couldn’t.

Yonomi — Yonomi ThinCloud is a scalable, serverless IoT backend designed for building smart-home devices and apps. Yonomi ThinCloud offers device makers an efficient, scalable and secure solution for getting to market quickly — in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost, otherwise required.

Life Sciences


InDevR Inc. — The VaxArray Imaging System (VX-6000) is a compact instrument that enables high-resolution fluorescence imaging of both microarray slides and 96 well plates. The system is sold for use with the VaxArray Influenza potency test kits.


AktiVax Inc. — The ARAI auto-injector was designed to administer medical countermeasures under almost any condition. Using the same platform, it’s being developed for opioid overdose, hypoglycemia, and severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis.

Double Helix LLC — Double Helix’s Spindle gives researchers the ability to easily capture and analyze 3D images of cellular structures down to the single molecule level.

Natural Products


Cusa Tea LLC — Cusa Tea Premium Organic Instant Tea is the world’s first truly premium organic instant tea. Founder Jim Lamancusa created a cold-steep, vacuum-dehydration process, complete with 22 patents, that keeps the essence of tea, but makes it available to consumers in three seconds with hot or cold water.


Boulder Sun LLC — Sun Milk is a rich and creamy dairy alternative made out of Sunflower seeds.

The Honest Stand Ltd. — The Honest Stand provides plant-based convenient comfort foods.



Flashback Technologies Inc. — The CipherOx CRI M1 monitor is a handheld device that noninvasively calculates and displays heart rate, SpO2 and the Compensatory Reserve Index. CRI provides real-time, noninvasive indication of changes in intravascular volume relative to the individual patient’s response to blood loss.


AlsoEnergy Inc. — AlsoEnergy’s PowerTrack software platform empowers clients to optimize asset performance and manage energy portfolios. With a comprehensive feature set and broad compatibility, PowerTrack is a data intelligence platform, enabling customers to manage all their assets and business interests in a single integrated system.

Liqid Inc. — Liqid Composable Infrastructure makes it possible to design a living infrastructure that can adapt as needed to meet the massive data requirements of next-gen applications in artificial intelligence, IoT, edge environments, and DevOps.



Matador — Matador’s Beast28 is a rugged, technical pack designed for far-flung adventures and destination hiking. Ultra-light but durable, the backpack is big enough and strong enough to hold gear for day hikes and even light overnight treks, but packs up into included compression bag for space-saving travel.


Canaima Outdoors Inc. — Canaima’s TreePod Hanging Habitats create portable and stylish hang-out spaces that literally “hang-out.” The Pods blend together features of hammocks, chairs, and tents, offering a perfect space to relax while suspended off the ground.

Fitbot Inc. — Fitbot is an online coaching platform built for fitness professionals, helping coaches save time, deliver a better experience for their clients and grow their training businesses. Fitbot enables one-on-one coaching that scales, freeing up time for coaches.

BizWest also presented two special awards. Boomtown Accelerators was honored as the Incubator/Accelerator of the Year, which honors an incubator or accelerator that has had a major impact promoting innovation.

Boomtown launched in 2014 after just a month of planning. In that time, it had 150 applications for mentors and 250 applications from founders who wanted to be in its first cohort. In four years, Boomtown has broadened its model to become one of Boulder’s largest accelerators., forging partnerships with another local accelerator, UpRamp, as well as the National Health Council, NBCUniversal Comcast and Copic Insurance.

Inscripta Inc. was recognized as Innovative Company of the Year, which recognizes a company for promoting a culture of innovation in the region. Inscripta’s MAD7 CRISPR

enzyme is used in gene-editing. Its precision editing ability, coupled with the ability to use MAD7 royalty-free for commercial R&D purposes, makes it an ideal tool for researchers working on precision editing workflows.

Judges for the IQ Awards included Gina Cornelio, partner with Dorsey & Whitney LLP; Jerry Lewis, former editor and co-publisher of the Boulder County Business Report; and Theresa Szczurek, CEO of Radish Systems.

Judges viewed multiple variables for the selection process, including:

  • Judges sought products or services that are truly “innovative” — entries that stand out from the crowd — ideas that are very creative and perhaps even unique.
  • Judges reviewed innovations from both new companies and those already successfully doing business.
  • The idea also should be one that can lead to a “sustainable” successful business.
  • Products or services also should be in the marketplace or at least in a testing or beta situation.
  • A company that has won a previous IQ Award can win again for an entirely new product or service.
  • And, companies must be located in the Boulder Valley, including Boulder and Broomfield counties or the Denver-Boulder corridor.