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Colorado's Tech Luminaries Celebrated at APEX Awards

Wednesday, September 11, 2013   (1 Comments)
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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Selina Sandoval

Date: 9/6/2012 Media Relations


Colorado’s Technology Innovators, Achievers and Luminaries announced at CTA APEX Awards

Colorado Technology Association’s 13th Annual APEX Awards, APEX Conference and APEX Tech Challenge celebrates the year’s best and sets the agenda for tech in 2014 and beyond.

DENVER – September 10, 2013 – Tonight, more than 850 of the state’s tech leaders convened in Denver for the APEX Awards recognizing Colorado’s technology excellence, highlighting remarkable leaders and innovators. The state’s longest running tech awards program, the APEX awards kicks off the two-day APEX Conference featuring local and national speakers with a focus on the emerging tech trends of relevance to the state.

The following awards were announced, please join us in congratulating these remarkable individuals, teams and companies who are driving innovation and technology in the state.

Technology Startup of the Year – Cloud Elements

Sponsored by FORTRUST

This award is presented to the most promising technology company that has been operating for approximately 2 years or less. With Cloud Elements, developers and enterprises leverage reusable ‘Elements’ to build cloud applications faster by dramatically reducing the time required to integrate, monitor and maintain leading PaaS and SaaS cloud services. Cloud Elements leverages partnerships with leading vendors including SendGrid, Twilio, Box, and to accelerate the integration, management and monitoring of popular services used in building cloud applications.

Customer Service Company of the Year – Connect First

Connect First Inc. was founded in 2004 and is a privately held company based in Boulder, Colorado. Geoff Mina and Richard Manulkin founded Connect First as a way to reshape the contact center culture around the primary mission of providing exceptional customer experiences. Those experiences are derived from a culture of integrity, passion, transparency and communication coupled with world-class, mature telecommunications software that is stable and effective.

Technology Entrepreneur of the Year – Peter Hudson, CEO, iTriage

Sponsored by Colorado Business Financial Bank

The technology entrepreneur award is presented to a founder or CEO who has demonstrated creativity, innovation, determination, and has led his company to success. Whether it’s raising capital, finding strategic partners, differentiating operations, or negotiating unconventional deals, this award recipient is not afraid to propose unique ideas and strategies to be successful. This year’s winner was especially impressive as he made a direct impact by solving a specific need. Under his leadership, iTriage has grown to such a level where it’s now changing the way healthcare is not only consumed, but also provided, with healthcare facilities using the mobile app while providing care, and changing their workflows to accommodate patients to ensure their care plan is executed on.

Technology Advocates of the Year – Representative Angela Williams, Senator Mark Scheffel

Sponsored by Oracle

Over the years, CTA has worked with legislators and government leaders to serve as advocates for the growth and success of technology companies in Colorado. It is critical that we maintain a healthy business environment for our technology companies, including both proactive and reactive work with regards to legislation, regulatory issues, or even other circles of influence on behalf of our industry. CTA began honoring technology advocates in our community 4 years ago to ensure we honor the people who are helping us maintain a healthy business environment here in Colorado. When old regulations meet new technologies, there will inevitably be a clash. Angela and Mark have each separately tackled these challenges in a business-friendly way that attempts to set the stage for technology business growth and innovation.

Technology Teacher of the Year – Scott Schankweiler, Science Teacher, Mountain Range High School Adams 12 District

Sponsored by DeVry University

Education is not only an important initiative for CTA but it is essential for our future work force.The technology industry continues to grow, and the number of technology based job openings exceeds our current talent base. CTA began honoring technology teachers 6 years ago to ensure we honor the people who are helping us inspire our future talent.Scott Schankweiler is dedicated to his students and to getting more students involved in technology.

Technology Community Connector of the Year – Jim Franklin, CEO SendGrid

Sponsored by nVoq

The Technology Community Connector of the year award recognizes the significant hurdles that exist for new companies when it comes to securing their first reference customer. This award recognizes the company and individual who has supported these early stage endeavors through mentoring, or by being the first reference customer. Jim Franklin wins for the second year in a row for his consistent willingness to take risks on up-and-coming companies.

Technology Project of the Year – Office of Information Technology, State of Colorado

Sponsored by Comcast Business

The Colorado Office of Information Technology (OIT) and project lead, Dianna Anderson, was recognized for implementing the Colorado Information Marketplace. Government agencies gather the same data to provide intelligence for decision making and for determining services for residents. The Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM) aims at stopping these redundant efforts by providing a secure, standard and reusable platform for data sharing. Additionally, in a time when public trust and confidence is at its lowest, CIM provides a platform where government and public entities can engage, collaborate, share and innovate within their communities to solve problems like they’ve never done in the past. CIM applies customer integration techniques developed in the private industry to the overlapping databases maintained by the State, in effect treating these disparate departmental systems as if they were a single system. The 3 major architectural components of CIM are Governance, Publishing (see and Linkage.

Woman in Technology of the Year – Michele Hovet, Deputy City Manager, Former CIO, City of Arvada

This award is presented to an individual woman whose efforts are making a real and measurable impact on the advancement of Colorado's technology industry. Michele Hovet recently was the CIO for the City of Arvada and is now the Deputy City Manager, where she currently oversees five departments. She switched to this role because she wanted higher-level leaders and officials more aware of the importance of technology and she wanted to combine her technology background with economic development. Michele has been an inspiring leader in the local tech community.

Technology Company of the Year – Ping Identity

Sponsored by Holland and Hart

This Denver-based company was recognized for its overall performance, which set it apart as a leader in its market segment. Ping demonstrated this through company growth, profitability and being a strong leader in the Security Industry. Ping Identity, founded in 2002, was a company without an industry. The term "identity management” hadn’t been coined and no one understood what Ping Identity did. Eventually the market caught up with the vision and identity access management is now recognized as a key sector in the security industry, and Ping Identity is the leader. As enterprises adopt Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), IT decision makers need to provide secure access to applications and rely on the use of Single Sign-On technology. Ping Identity adapted to this trend and developed innovations to scale secure federated identity and access management, such as PingOne. Before PingOne, enterprises could only connect through one-to-one connections with each of their service providers in order to access applications. It is the only solution that provides one place to centralize control and automate identity management.

Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award, Dan Caruso Co-Founder & CEO Zayo Group

Sponsored by the Colorado Technology Association

Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding achievements and commitments to furthering innovative technology in our community and the state, and has contributed to the initiatives of Colorado Technology Association. Dan consistently gives back to the startup community through mentoring and angel investing. He is a well deserving winner because of his involvementinColorado technology economic development

The awards took place at a gala reception and dinner featuring keynote speaker Arjun Gupta, Chief Believer of special situations venture capital firm TeleSoft Partners and emceed by Natalie Tysdal, President and Executive Producer, Everwise Entertainment with entertainment throughout the evening presented by Ken Arkind, Denver’s award-winning slam poet and author.



When: September 11, 2013 7:00am-6:30pm

Where: Hyatt Regency Convention Center


About APEX

APEX is the Colorado technology industry’s annual conference encompassing the 13th Annual APEX Awards, a single track conference, an interactive floor space and the Challenge featuring emerging tech genius from around the state. Past speakers at the event have included: David Cohen, CEO & founder of TechStars, Governor John Hickenlooper and Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems. Presented by the Colorado Technology Association (CTA), the event will be held on September 10-11, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver. For more information on the event, please visit

About the Colorado Technology Association

The Colorado Technology Association (CTA) represents Colorado’s $49.6 billion technology industry, one of the fastest growing sectors in the state. Colorado ranked second for its high-tech business concentration and the nine-county metro region ranked tenth out of the 50 largest metro areas in software employment concentration. Since 1994, Colorado Technology Association has provided a voice for technology professionals in legislative issues and public policy. The Association provides more than 50 programs, events and connections to support the industry. CTA's membership includes 500 Colorado companies from startup to enterprise. For more information visit



Molly Rauzi, Gagen MacDonald says...
Posted Thursday, September 12, 2013
Congratulations to all of the winners! What a fun evening.

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