4 Colorado tech community members predict 2015, including Governor Hickenlooper, a venture capitalist, a founder and a CTO

January 8, 2015

Governor Hickenlooper, a venture capitalist, a founder and a chief technology officer gave us their thoughts on the future of Colorado tech. Overall they were quite optimistic about 2015 and beyond, seeing the industry overcoming even its biggest challenges in 2015. Their thoughts range from venture capital flow to cyber-security to data storage, and everything in between.

Predictions below from:
 
John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado
Holly Hamann, CMO and co-founder of TapInfluence
Jamey Wood, chief technology officer of Wayin
David Gold, managing director of Access Venture Partners

 

John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado

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Will we see the type of growth we saw in 2014, in 2015? 

Colorado tech has many opportunities for growth in 2015. The healthcare and financial services industries both have large tech presences in Colorado and present many opportunities for tech startups. There is also opportunity in the government space for tech innovation to help deliver more efficient, effective and elegant government services.  
 
How do you think the Colorado startup community will be different in 2015?
 
The Colorado startup community should also continue to see tremendous growth in 2015. The community continues to get more and more connected, and continues to be recognized for the startup environment that has developed here. Colorado attracts the attention of Silicon Valley-based firms who recognize that the Colorado talent pool is growing and the market is more cost-effective and competitive.
 
Any other thoughts, observations, or reflections?
 
Colorado will likely see more merger and acquisition activity in 2015 with larger companies continuing to acquire fast growing technology companies versus paying to develop new technology backbones and platforms. We should continue to see more Blackstone portfolio companies interested in Colorado (we have 12 and growing). Digital healthcare, financial services (Visa and traditional) and cyber will also be growing markets.
 
Having such a diverse marketplace with cross-cutting needs — one of the objectives of the Colorado Blueprint — leverages Colorado resources better than other markets. And with the Internet of Things growing exponentially, Colorado tech will be presented with many more opportunities. This has far-reaching impact both at a consumer and business level.  
 
Is there one particular sector you think is set to boom?
 
Cyber security and data storage are two areas that could see considerable growth in the coming year.
 

Holly Hamann, CMO and co-founder of TapInfluence

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Will we see the type of growth we saw in 2014, in 2015? 

I think we’ll see more growth. We’ll seeing more out-of-state VCs participating in rounds, more later-stage fundings, a few IPOs, and some surprising acquisitions.
 
Is there one particular sector you think is set to boom?
 
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the colliding of three sectors that are poised for tremendous growth – social media, content marketing, and online advertising. Solutions that help marketers keep up with the pace and volume of information consumers want will play a big role.
 
Are there any tech startups in Colorado our readers should keep an eye out for? 
 
With the legalization of marijuana, we’ll see a flood of investment, innovation, and growth from local startups who are helping scale efficiency, marketing, distribution, and operations for that industry. Same for robotics (Orbotix), smart home technologies (Revolv), data (LogRhythm and Gnip) and storage (SolidFire, NexGen).
 
How do you think the Colorado startup community will be different in 2015?
 
I actually don’t think it will be much different than it’s been in the past. We’ll continue to see innovation, creativity, angel and VC investment, and support from seasoned leaders who call Colorado home. I’ve been part of the startup community between Boulder and Denver for 20 years and the roots of how this community operate run pretty deep. That means it would take a lot to disrupt its momentum.
 
Any other thoughts, observations, or reflections?
 
One of the things I love most about the startup scene here is watching how it creates and raises its own. There are many successful entrepreneurs who have started companies, had successful exits, and then instead of dropping out or moving away, they do it all over again here. They start other companies, invest in other companies started by people they used to work with, and go on to mentor another decade of go-getters. 
 

Jamey Wood, CTO of Wayin

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Will we see the type of growth we saw in 2014, in 2015? 

Unless there is a significant overall downturn in the economy, I would expect to see at least the same level of growth in 2015 as 2014.  In fact, I think that many signs would point toward that growth actually accelerating.
 
Is there one particular sector you think is set to boom?
 
It's probably cliche to say so, but I would expect to see mobile technology continue to be a particular area of growth and strength.
 
Are there any tech startups in Colorado our readers should keep an eye out for?
 
Absolutely! Colorado is packed with exciting tech startups. But to list a few as a starting point for investigation, I would call out Ibotta, SendGrid, and SolidFire.
 
Any big problems that Colorado tech needs to tackle?
 
I would love to see even more connections into the physical world (in areas such as wearables, self-driving vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, the Internet of Things, etc.). And in the longer-run, I believe that Colorado needs more nanotechnology startups.
 
How do you think the Colorado startup community will be different in 2015?
 
I think it will continue to grow and mature. There will be more participants, more supporting institutions and events, and more diversity in the challenges being pursued.
 
Any other thoughts, observations, or reflections?
 
I believe the strength of nearly any tech community, including Colorado's, starts with its educational institutions. If we want to ensure the long-term health of this industry in Colorado, we should give our local universities as much support as possible.
 
 

David Gold, managing director of Access Venture Partners

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Will we see the type of growth we saw in 2014, in 2015? 

Yes, I think, barring a major international crisis of some sort, the same type of growth in fundings, acquisitions and IPOs in 2015

Is there one particular sector you think is set to boom?

IT security (already booming and will continue big time), Deep Learning Technology, social media solutions that begin to dis-intermediate Facebook and Twitter.  
 
Are there any tech startups in Colorado our readers should keep an eye out for?
 
There are a bunch of companies we are keeping our eye on in Colorado for potential investment -- but I can't give you our playbook!
 
Any big problems that Colorado tech needs to tackle?
 
Colorado needs more big wins in the state like Rally and Zayo Group that create large tech companies that stay headquartered hear.  Hopefully, there are several more in store for 2015. 
 
How do you think the Colorado startup community will be different in 2015?
 
I think we'll see even more tech startups getting off the ground in 2015 and by 2016 hopefully Colorado is turning more heads with the big successful exits here.
 
Any other thoughts, observations, or reflections?
 
Colorado has a great foundation for venture backed startups.  We need to keep the momentum going.
 
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