Ex-Googlers that live and work among Colorado’s digital community

by Carlin Sack
December 5, 2013

Though Colorado’s digital startup scene has its own unique history, it also, through various acquistions such as @Last Software/SketchUp, intertwines with Google’s story as well. Built In Colorado wanted to highlight Google's influence on our tech scene - via profiles of a few people who worked for Google and are now setting out on their own digital ventures...



Alex Haar, product manager at ZestFinance, founder at Tactilly

After five years at Google as an internal controls analyst and technical program manager for systems such as Google Checkout, Alex Haarnow works “with a lot smart people to bring together Google-style machine learning with Capital One-style credit scoring” as a product manager at LA-based ZestFinance. He is also the founder of Tactilly, an app for creating interactive photo albums. With Tactilly, Haar said he is “extraordinarily excited about what’s in store for 2014.” Built In Colorado caught up with Haar to find out why:

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Natasha Kelly, senior marcom manager at SolidFire

Natasha Kelly started working at SketchUp in 2005 as a marketing manager (an affiliations which gave her “celebrity” status at trade shows she soon found out) and then in 2006 became a part of Google through the @Last Software acquisition. After a year of continuing with the original SketchUp team that she said was never quite “Googlized” she then moved to Google’s product marketing team a year later, flying to Mountain View from Boulder once or twice a month. In 2012, she decided to stick around the Boulder startup community, taking up a role at Precog and then eventually at her current love:SolidFire. Built In Colorado caught up with Kelly to find out why she is so passionate about SolidFire:

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Christopher Johnson, director of technical operations at SpotXchange

After leading the West Coast production services rich media team at Google for three years (a role that stemmed from his previous rich media role at DoubleClick), Christopher Johnson now heads up technical operations at SpotXchange where he has to “wear many hats and have my hands in most projects as we still have that startup mentality.” Built In Colorado chatted with Chris to get insight into his current projects:

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Dan Daugherty, president and CEO at rentBits

When he started at Google in 2002, Dan Daugherty was one of the first 300 employees at Google. He ran the operations team for the Mountain States Region and helped to grow the region from $1 million to $100 million in annual sales. After about four years, he left Google to found his own company: rental solution tool rentBits. Built In Colorado caught up with him to see how he has been leveraging his Google experiences when founding rentBits, a profitable multi-milion dollar business without raising any outside funding to date:

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