5 Colorado Tech Companies You Should Be Watching in 2021

by Taylor Karg
January 21, 2021
colorado tech 2021

As a job seeker, what about a company grabs your attention? 

Aside from company culture and personal growth opportunities, some looking for a new career are looking for companies that have clear and defined business goals —  like increasing protections to customers’ data or amplifying a diversity and inclusivity strategy. 

If clear and defined business goals are at the top of your list, then you may want to check out the following five Colorado-based businesses — some of which are even hiring right now. Built In Colorado spoke with leaders from Xactly, Druva, FirstBank, Duda and Prove to gain some insight into their 2021 business goals. Here’s what they said. 


xactly 2021
Leanne Bernhardt
Chief Human Resources Officer

This year, Xactly, a SaaS company that provides cloud-based enterprise software and services, is focusing its efforts on advancing its diversity and inclusion strategy to a deliberate set of actions including more training, enhanced benefits and much more, Chief Human Resources Officer Leanne Bernhardt said.


What is one of the most important focuses for Xactly in 2021?

We’re a mission-driven organization to our core — everything we do is in an effort to inspire people to succeed at work, regardless of any personal demographic. We believe in celebrating diversity and creating an inclusive workplace environment where everyone feels heard and has a sense of belonging. 

We are focused on fueling this momentum by continuously advancing Xactly’s D&I strategy through a defined set of deliberate actions, versus a final destination. We have taken steps to increase the number of underrepresented minorities, doubled down on diversity training, enhanced our fertility benefits, broadened our relationships with historically Black colleges and universities, and have added a more diverse slate of job boards focused on identifying underrepresented minorities.

In addition, we are continuing to elevate our competitive edge and strategic partnership with InternX, a recruitment platform for thousands of diverse and career-ready young adults. Our “work from anywhere” philosophy aligns with the interests of our employees and enables Xactly to create an even stronger diversified workforce by no longer being tied to a specific location, where the diversity of the workforce is lacking.

A diverse workforce helps to foster innovation and helps us build better products that meet the needs of all of our current and potential customers.”

What impact will this have on Xactly and your industry? 

It’s no secret that gender and racial discrimination has been a big problem in hiring across industries, especially in tech. It’s an issue of personal importance to me for many reasons. By focusing on diversifying our workforce at Xactly and removing geographic biases and restrictions to hiring locations, we have a much better chance of bringing in talent with varying perspectives and backgrounds. A diverse workforce helps to foster innovation, build more understanding for opinions that differ from our own and gives us access to a wide variety of points of view.

These varying perspectives, in turn, help us build better products that meet the needs of all of our current and potential customers. In addition, I hope to encourage other technology companies to enrich their teams by embracing action-oriented diversity and inclusion programs as well.


Stephen Manley
Chief Technology Officer

In order to simplify data protection for its users, Druva, which provides SaaS-based data protection and management products for corporations and government agencies, is focusing on creating a seamless system that is automatically integrated in their preferred ecosystem of tools, Chief Technology Officer Stephen Manley said.


What is one of the most important focuses for Druva in 2021?

The goal for 2021 is to simplify data protection for our customers. Over the last five years, customer environments and threats have evolved so quickly that protection has not kept pace. Organizations now run business-critical applications outside the data center — in the cloud, with SaaS vendors and at the edge. Meanwhile, cybercriminals are now relentlessly attacking companies of every size, exploiting any weakness they can find. 

Despite the application sprawl and elevated threats, companies cannot invest more time and energy on data protection. Therefore, at Druva, we’ve resolved to simplify protection for our customers. That includes centrally protecting applications wherever they run, building in ransomware protection and integrating into our customers’ preferred ecosystem of tools. In 2021, data protection should protect the business automatically.

In 2021, data protection will become a ‘zero-touch’ service that businesses can depend on.” 

What impact will this have on Druva and your industry?

We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation revolution in data protection. For the last 20 years, the backup industry has built bigger and faster hardware appliances to keep up with exponential data growth. Meanwhile, IT teams invested more time, energy and money into managing backup. 

Today, however, companies are investing in applications, not infrastructure. The business does not want to buy more boxes that require more administrators. They want to buy infrastructure services that “just work.”  

In the next five years, data-protection-as-a-service will replace legacy hardware and software. Companies will measure performance on network efficiency to the cloud, rather than raw throughput. Instant self-service recovery will replace waiting hours for the backup team to respond. Disaster recovery, ransomware protection and backup will converge into a unified data protection service. Most importantly, data protection will become a “zero-touch” service that businesses can depend on. Welcome to 2021 — the beginning of a new era in data protection!


Kate Liosis
IT Director, Project Management Office

In 2021, IT Director Kate Liosis said that FirstBank, a platform that offers individuals and businesses online banking, personal checking and savings services, is focusing its efforts on digital innovation in two specific areas: business banking and real-time payments for individuals.


What is one of the most important focuses for FirstBank in 2021?

One of the most important objectives for FirstBank in the coming year will be our focus on digital innovation. The digital banking channel continues to play a significant role in our industry and it is now more important than ever for us to continue to innovate in this space. A strategy that has worked well for us in the past is to pay close attention to what is going to allow us to remain competitive and be a leader in banking technology. We use this awareness to help identify and plan the projects that will be a part of our digital innovation strategy. 

This year will be no different for us as we strongly emphasize being a leader in technologies that matter to our customers. There will be several ways we will focus on digital innovation this year with two specific areas being business banking and the real-time payments space. We have several active projects prioritized in our portfolio related to business banking and real-time payments. The outcomes of these projects will allow us to continue to expand the products and services we offer so that we can continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

We will continue to offer multiple options — business banking and real-time payments — to provide flexibility and improved experiences to our customers.”

What impact will this have on FirstBank and your industry?

An important reason digital innovation will continue to be a focus for us is the impact it will have on the communities and customers we serve. Although digital innovation has long been a top priority for FirstBank, the pandemic has further shaped the needs of our customers and the banking industry overall. Our focus on business banking will allow us to continue to serve the businesses within our communities by offering the products and tools needed to navigate the environment ahead. This is important because we value the opportunity to support the banking needs of businesses in our communities. The impact of our real-time payment efforts is similar — the money movement needs of consumers and businesses have evolved. We would like to continue to offer multiple options to provide flexibility and improved experiences. 

An organizational impact we expect as a result of this focus is growth within our FirstBank technology teams. We have a lot of exciting projects planned and to continue to make progress on our top priorities we plan to grow our technology teams by at least 20 percent in 2021. We look forward to adding to the talent of our existing teams!


Itai Sadan
CEO & Co-Founder

To help its agency customers better support small businesses in 2021, Duda, a web design platform, is focused on creating new features related to e-commerce sales, online transactions and integration with new solution providers, CEO Itai Sadan said.


What is one of the most important focuses for Duda in 2021?

We’re constantly thinking about our customers’ pain points and how we can address those by providing them with more tools and features that make their lives easier and better equip them to support their small business clients. Especially nowadays as we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, we will continue to invest in helping our agency customers better support small businesses in their transition to digital with an increased focus on features related to e-commerce sales, online transactions and integration with many new solution providers in our app store.

We’re glad to be an enabler for businesses in this new reality and help them thrive by finding new ways to monetize their business.”

What impact will this have on Duda and your industry? 

We saw significant growth in our business in 2020 as the demand for digital presence increased due to COVID-19. We expect this trend to continue into 2021 and even accelerate as we double down on delivering new features that our customers need. We are glad to be an enabler for businesses in this new reality to help them thrive by finding new ways to monetize as they transition to meeting and engaging with their customers online.


prove 2021
Crystal Santistevan
Director of Product Management

As part of its 2021 business efforts, Prove, a mobile and digital identity validation platform, is focusing on scalability and innovation with existing technologies to better serve its customers’ needs, Director of Product Management Crystal Santistevan said.


What is one of the most important focuses for Prove in 2021?

The most important focus for the Prove product team in 2021 is to scale while continuing to be innovative. Our current products provide support to many use cases across industries and user devices. We must invest in technology in our platform to continue to meet current requirements and to be able to scale while enhancing our existing features and add new products without rearchitecting. 

Scaling includes more than just technology and performance — this includes scalability within our organization. As we grow, our employees and processes are a top priority so that we can effectively onboard, support our customers and their consumers. Customer service is essential to us at Prove and our product design reflects our client-centric ideals.

Innovation comes in many forms. Whether it’s using our technology to solve modern problems or designing up-to-date solutions for existing problems. Our product team is well versed in many industries that use Prove’s technology to solve authentication and identity verification. By analyzing and understanding customer workflows and fraud vectors, Prove is continually improving our technology in order to remain at the forefront of account exploitations.

Scalability and innovation will allow Prove to continue to support our existing customers and acquire new customers more efficiently.”

What impact will this have on Prove and your industry? 

The biggest impact that scalability and innovation will have on our business in 2021 is to allow Prove to continue to support our existing customers and acquire new customers more efficiently. By scaling, we will be able to expand and improve our system performance, therefore enhancing our customer service. Spending less time in fire-fighting mode allows us to focus on new methods to solve and improve our customer’s experience in Prove’s global suite of solutions. Scaling enables Prove to focus on new market and solution innovations, allowing us to enhance or create solutions to continue to accurately verify identity and authenticate consumers within digital transactions across all industries while mitigating fraud.

We are very thankful for the variety of companies we were able to help in 2020 in digital authentication, which was pivotal in driving the secure operation of many businesses. We are excited to see what we can accomplish in 2021!

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