4 Tech Leaders Reveal the Key Factors Driving Their Innovation

March 26, 2021
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One of Colorado tech’s most captivating qualities is its sheer diversity of industries.

While the state is home to well-known industries like big data, fintech and insurance, Colorado also plays homebase to companies that have identified niche markets. 

Sunday, for instance, is driving innovation in the lawn care industry by creating sustainable, toxic-free and customized yard treatments via a direct-to-consumer business model. This year, the company will add eco-friendly pest control to its line of products.

Meanwhile, CampMinder has found a market overlooked by other workflow SaaS companies in the summer camp space. After a camp season lost to COVID-19 last year, the company hopes to help their clients make a full recovery — and then some — this summer. 

To find out how else companies are driving innovation in their unique spaces this year, Built In Colorado connected with four local tech leaders. 

 

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campminder employees
campminder
Analiese Brown
VP of Talent and Culture

Due to the pandemic, about three-quarters of CampMinder’s clients — summer camps — had to close during the summer of 2020. The success of this upcoming season is critical, said CampMinder VP of Talent and Culture Analiese Brown. As such, Brown said the camp management platform is working to ensure this camp season is their clients’ most successful yet. 


What is one of the most important focuses for CampMinder in the coming months?

Our team is laser focused on making sure our camps have a successful summer and that we’re there to support them every step of the way. This includes hiring and training seasonal support representatives so that we’re ready to provide world-class support to camps and families. It also includes delivering critical functionality within our Campanion app, which is designed to help camps engage and communicate with parents through mobile forms, a new photo uploader and text messaging features. We also just released a suite of COVID-19 health check features to support a safe return to camp. The tools are built to help parents and staff answer pre-screening questions based on guidance from health authorities and will allow camps to track and report things like vaccinations and COVID-19 test results to make informed decisions about who can safely arrive at camp.
 

We see it as our responsibility to step up and help the industry come back even stronger this summer.”


What impact will this have on the business and your industry?

COVID-19 had a devastating impact on the camp industry in 2020. All of the camps we serve were affected substantially. Almost 75 percent of our clients made the heart-wrenching decision to cancel their programs altogether, which eliminated their annual income, due to concerns around camper safety and the logistical difficulty of implementing appropriate safety measures. We see it as our responsibility to step up and help the industry come back even stronger this summer, so that children can experience the kind of in-person connection, community, and hands-on learning that camp offers — and that kids need now more than ever. With our help, the camps we serve will be able to continue providing vital and enriching camp experiences for an estimated 600,000-plus campers in 2021 and beyond.
 

 

GigSmart launched in 2019 to provide a holistic marketplace for people to find work across several industries, said COO Mitch Catino. As the platform continues to grow, Catino said GigSmart is working on features that will make it easier for people to find full-time, part-time and temporary jobs.


What is one of the most important focuses for GigSmart in the coming months?

Our goal was to be able to provide a platform that facilitated any type of work to be completed, be it construction, retail, hospitality or residential. In the coming months, we are focused on supporting the economy by getting people back to work across all industries and skill types. We are working to release features that support full- and part-time positions, as well as temporary work for businesses and residential projects.
 

We are focused on supporting the economy by getting people back to work across all industries and skill types.”


What impact will this have on the business and your industry? 

Prior to COVID-19, we were having success in the retail and hospitality industry for temporary staff. When COVID-19 hit, we were positioned in such a way that we were able to easily pivot our job marketplace where demand picked up, like in warehouse fulfillment and delivery. 

In the coming months, we want to do everything we can to support getting people back to work full-time, part-time and on a flexible basis. Therefore, we are focusing on product features like a full- and part-time job board, hourly shift gigs for businesses and residential projects. This will allow businesses and homeowners to connect with skilled workers across any type of work they need help with and maximize the amount of opportunities for work available for job seekers.
 

 

Verblio finished 2019 with 11 full-time employees. Today, the multimedia content creation platform employs a team of 30 and has additional key positions to fill, CEO Steve Pockross said. As the company continues to scale, Pockross said they’re focused on upholding their culture, which has helped them thrive in a crowded market since 2011. 

 

What are Verblio’s most important focuses in the coming months?

We’ve seen firsthand at past companies that culture can take a back seat to growth when things get exciting. The results can be truly damaging. We are focused on growing rapidly in accordance with our core values surrounding team and culture. 

Many years ago, we decided to prioritize our people and culture over every other key area of the business. We look for people who have interesting passions and bring that level of passion and curiosity to their work at Verblio. We spend lots of time getting to know each other, and focus on having fun in meetings, on Slack and elsewhere. 
 

Content marketing is a hyper-saturated industry, and our people and culture give us a key competitive advantage.”


What impact will this have on the business and your industry? 

Content marketing is a hyper-saturated industry, and our people and culture give us a key competitive advantage. Over the last decade, there’s been an explosion of low-quality content on the internet, often because it was rewarded in search results.

Our North Star is to provide premium content through our platform while having our people and values lead the way. Through these efforts, we aim to help our clients share authentic stories that rise above the noise. 

We hire people who are passionate about our mission, product and clients. Our people bring their whole, curious selves to work every day and create better relationships with the stakeholders they work with. We’re giving our company, our writers and our clients the best shot to do the same — and win at marketing by doing so.
 

 

sunday lawn care
sunday
Coulter Lewis
Founder and CEO

As the winter months come to an end, those with yards will begin tending to theirs once again — and Sunday will be ready to help them. Founder and CEO Coulter Lewis said that in addition to Sunday’s toxic-free lawn care treatments, this year they will be releasing pest control. 

 

What is one of the most important focuses for Sunday in the coming months?

The beginning of spring is an exciting time for us. In addition to our recent retail launch with Walmart and the start of a new lawn care season, we’re also launching a direct-to-consumer pest control subscription. Our expansion into pest control is a huge opportunity for us to extend the same science-driven, natural-ingredient-powered approach to a stagnant category where consumers are demanding innovation.

 

Our expansion into pest control is a huge opportunity for us.”


What impact will this have on the business and your industry?

We’re on a mission to improve people’s lives by making it easier than ever for families to enjoy their home and yard in a safe, sustainable way. Our expansion into pest control is an extension of that mission. By using natural ingredients like lemongrass oil, cedar oil and pyrethrum from chrysanthemum flowers to repel pests in a more thoughtful way, we’re empowering do-it-yourself consumers to take matters into their own hands with simple applications that are easy, effective and safer for people, pets and the planet.

 

 

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CampMinder
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Verblio
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Sunday
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GigSmart
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