3 young Front Range tech companies to keep tabs on

June 5, 2014

The Colorado startup community continues to grow expanding with new companies every year. Here's the lowdown on some of these up-and-coming companies and where they are headed in the future. 

 

Planning Pod

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Planning Podfounded in 2013 by Jeff Kear and Steven Feingertz, helps customers simplify how they manage events and details with over 26 online tools in one app.

Where did you get the idea for Planning Pod?

“The idea for Planning Pod came from an existing online SaaS product we had already launched in 2008 for professional wedding planners (B2B-focused software),” said Kear. “Previously Steven and I had run a marketing firm, and we had always been looking for a product of our own to build. We built the wedding product on a hunch that it was an underserved market, and to a certain extent, we were right.”

“However, we kept hearing from all kinds of event planners and venues who were asking for some kind of overall event management software that was an all-in-one package for managing every detail for any kind of event. Like tasks, calendars, attendees, budgets, itineraries, schedules, floorplans, proposals/invoicing, payments, contracts, etc. So we did more research, asked more questions, did lots of beta testing and, after about a year of development, launched Planning Pod in the fall of 2013. We are already cash-positive, profitable and growing every month.” 

Why do you do what you do?

"We love to create tools that bring actual value into the world, tools that really do help people be more productive and efficient, tools that people see value in using because they make their lives easier. Steve and I both love being entrepreneurs; we enjoy building and marketing products; and we feel that we have found an industry and a product that are the perfect fit.”

What's in store for you this summer?

“This summer we will be working hard on version 2.0 of Planning Pod, which will have lots of in-line editing, an even cleaner UI, updated feature set and several new features that will make us even more competitive in our space and provide more revenue streams.”

“We hope to be launching this new version of our event planning software in Fall 2014. In addition, in late 2014 and 2015, we will be adding an event guest check in software tool, an event website builder and an online event registration tool to our existing pool of 26 online event planning tools.”

Why do you think your community is a good fit for your company?

“Denver is a great fit for Planning Pod because of the supportive atmosphere of the startup community here,” Kear said. “The Colorado tech startup scene is still in its early stages, which poses some challenges when trying to find funding and programmers. However, this has also made us all more resourceful and efficient, and it has promoted an attitude of sharing and openness that makes Colorado a wonderful place to build a startup."

“Steve and I personally would love to talk and share more with anyone (especially those of us building SaaS products) who wants to sit down and grab a cup of coffee or a drink and see how we can help each other out. By giving back and helping each other address problems and challenges, we can build our community into one that sustains and nurtures each one of our ventures and makes it easier for other startups to spread their wings.”

 

Havenly

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Havenly, founded in 2013 by sisters Lee Mayer and Emily Motayed, offers custom interior design at a flat rate.

Where did you get the idea for Havenly?

“It was actually because both of us were faced with similar decorating woes- we both had moved into our respective new homes and interior designers weren't interested in working with us - our budgets weren't big enough,” said Motayed. “They all charged large fees or expected us to have much higher budgets. We realized there was an opening in the market for a business that leveraged technology and e-commerce to make the process of decorating and purchasing furniture a lot easier.”

Why do you do what you do?

“We love it,” said Motayed. “Not only do we love the interior design industry and home decor and believe it's overdue for a shake-up, but it's been really fun having fresh outside eyes on the industry, and figuring out ways to use our own personal experiences to build a really fabulous experience on the consumer side.”

What's in store for you this summer?

“We are bringing on a few new team members to really start building out our team, as well as releasing more options and shopping experiences for those who may not want to be as hands-on with the traditional interior design process (so for people who are looking more for inspiration, rather than customized options). We'll continue to work on our technology to truly optimize the design process, so be prepared for a few new site changes in the upcoming months.”

Why do you think your community is a good fit for your company?

“Denver's a great place for us to grow simply because the local startup ecosystem is incredibly supportive and is almost like a small family,” said Motayed. “Being a part of a startup scene here has helped us immensely, not only in receiving access to various connections that have taken us further down the path, but also in receiving advice and support from those around us.”

 

Meet Mindful

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MeetMindful, founded in 2013 by Amy Baglan, Lindsey Strickler and Dan Wilf, is an online dating site for singles interested who value healthy living, personal development, spirituality, yoga, meditation, authentic connections. The beta version of the site just launched last week.

Where did you get the idea for Meet Mindful? 

“Ever since I started YogaDates a few years ago, I could sense that something was missing in the dating space for people like me,” said Baglan, CEO and founder. “The YogaDates concept was simple---connect like-minded singles through yoga---and no one was doing it. The brand quickly gained national attention with mentions in Yoga Journal, Women's Health and ORIGIN magazines, to name a few. Through this experience I saw first-hand how dissatisfied this market of people is with the current dating sites. So, I decided to do something about it.”

Why do you do what you do? 

“We do this in the name of connecting a tribe of people who have a hard time finding love and authenticity in the mainstream dating scene,” said Baglan. “We do this because the path of mindful living can be a lonely one and there are not enough outlets to connect with like-minded people. At the heart of it all, we do this because we truly believe that romantic relationships are the fastest path to our own awakening and growth. We are here to raise the vibration of love around the world.”

What's in store for you this summer? 

“We just launched in beta last week so we have a lot of work to do,” said Baglan. “The summer will be a time for learning from and building both our product and our community. Keep an eye out for new features, in-person events and a growing library of valuable content. We have a few key people to bring on to round out our current team and carry us through our beta launch as we roll-out across Colorado and NYC.  We plan to launch nationally in early 2015.”

Why do you think your community is a good fit for your company?

“We've been members at Galvanize since last summer and it has been one of the single most important factors in driving our business forward,” said Baglan. “I met my co-founder Lindsey at Galvanize during Startup Week, as well as our rockstar designer/developer and one of our advisors (plus countless informal advisors). The Galvanize community gives us support that, if we were not members, would be very difficult to access. And that applies to the Denver startup community at large. We're so grateful to be surrounded by hundreds of brilliant, hungry, driven people every day.” 

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