Member News

CTC Roundtable Members Nominated for Colorado Technology Association’s 2015 Startup of the Year APEX Award

Karyssa Cox - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Two members of the Clean Tech CEO Round Table, Tim Prior of eThos Electric Car Share and Philip Calabrese of Boom Algae, are seeing their companies nominated for the Colorado Technology Association’s Startup of the Year APEX Award. 

The APEX Awards have been in place since 2001 and offer an excellent way to celebrate Colorado’s innovations in technology. Awards are given in nine categories including CIO of the Year, CEO of the Year, Educator of the Year, Project of the Year, and Startup of the Year. 

The Startup of the Year Award recognizes Colorado’s most promising technology company in operation for 2 years or less. According to CTA,“Each company will be judged on the initiative it took in creating, promoting or advancing the product or service offered; the technical innovation of the product or service offered; the need in the marketplace for the product or service; and the acceptance by customers of the company’s product or service.” 

Based in Golden, eThos electric car share is the nation’s first all-electric car share. The company was born out of the desire to improve transportation efficiency and lower the economic barrier to the car, as well as to encourage a transition to clean, efficient, renewable energy. eThos is driven to show the world that EVs are an immediate answer to many of our current problems. They can be powered on 100% renewable energy; they produce no tailpipe emissions that contribute to local air pollution and health problems. 

Boom Algae is a Boulder-based company that partners with breweries to convert waste CO2 generated during the brewing process into algae, from which they extract omega-3 oils and other algae oils that can then used in products like vegan omega-3 supplements and cosmetics. The long-term aim is to develop a cost-effective way to produce algae to serve as a source of renewable energy. 

The APEX Awards dinner ceremony will take place on November 5th at the Sheraton Downtown Denver. 

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CTC Member Czero named as one of America's fastest-growing private companies

Karyssa Cox - Friday, August 14, 2015

Colorado mechanical engineering R&D firm Czero named to Inc. 5000 as one of America's fastest-growing private companies 
Fort Collins, Colorado – August 12, 2015. Czero announced today that Inc. Magazine has named it one of the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the United States. In its debut on the list, Czero broke into the top 1,000, with a rank of 923 based on a 484% 3-year growth rate, and was seventh among engineering companies. 

A mechanical engineering R&D firm, Czero specializes in complex machine design, advanced hydraulics and early-stage, concept-to-prototype development of new technologies for the cleantech, oil and gas, and automotive industries. The company has grown steadily since veteran engineers Guy Babbitt and Chris Turner founded the company and has nearly doubled in revenue in each of the last three years. 

"We're honored to be included among America's leading entrepreneurs in the 2015 Inc. 5000." said Guy Babbitt, Czero co-founder and CEO. "It's a tribute to the innovation work we do for our clients and a credit to our team of dedicated, experienced R&D engineers that Czero has grown so consistently during the economic turbulence of the last few years." 

To qualify for the Inc. 5000, open only to privately owned, independent U.S.-based companies, Czero demonstrated growth over a four-year period from revenue of at least $100,000 in 2011 to revenue of at least $2 million in 2014. 

"We really specialize in things that have never been done before, technologies that leap ahead of what's already out there," said Chris Turner, Czero vice president of engineering. "There's big business value in that for our clients, which keeps our advanced engineering R&D services in high demand." 

Czero innovations, R&D partners and clients have received high-profile recognition in the U.S. in recent months. An automotive cleantech innovation for natural gas vehicle (NGV) refueling that Czero jointly developed with Oregon startup Onboard Dynamics was showcased at the first-ever White House Demo Day on August 4th, hosted by President Barack Obama to highlight diversity in American entrepreneurship. And in July, the Smithsonian opened the Places of Invention exhibit which features three Czero clients. 

Earlier this year, Czero won the Colorado Companies to Watch award for contributions to the state's economy and made the Mercury 100 list of Northern Colorado's fastest-growing companies.

White House Demo Day showcases innovation developed jointly by Czero (CTC Member) and Onboard Dynamics to transform natural gas vehicle (NGV) refueling

Karyssa Cox - Friday, August 07, 2015

White House Demo Day showcases innovation developed jointly by Czero and Onboard Dynamics to transform natural gas vehicle (NGV) refueling

Fort Collins, Colorado – August 72015. Presenting an automotive-engine cleantech innovation in development through collaboration with Czero engineers, Onboard Dynamics was among 32 startup companies to exhibit at the first-ever White House Demo Day on August 4. Hosted by President Barack Obama, the event highlighted the diversity in entrepreneurship at the heart of the U.S. innovation economy.

In remarks at the event, President Obama said, "Here in this room, we've got some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs America has to offer, folks from all across the country who are working every day to transform the way we live and learn and communicate."

At the White House, Onboard Dynamics showcased its dual-function NGV engine that compresses natural gas from low-pressure lines, enabling any home or business with a natural gas line to serve as a refueling station. Onboard Dynamics CEO Rita Hansen used a 3D-printed model of the system, designed and printed by Czero, to demonstrate how the technology works.

Involved since the inception of the project, Czero's R&D team is currently working with Onboard Dynamics on the next-generation design for commercial launch. Prototypes of the system are currently being tested in labs in Colorado and Oregon.

"U.S. policymakers increasingly are evaluating how alternative fuels can impact our country's overall energy use," said Hanson. "With Onboard Dynamics' unique natural gas compression technologies, vehicle owners can save money and significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by refueling with natural gas or renewable natural gas instead of traditional fuels."

"The Czero team is profoundly honored that the White House chose to showcase an innovation we played an integral role in developing," said Guy Babbitt, Czero co-founder and CEO. "A huge congratulations to Onboard Dynamics for being among the startups invited to White House Demo Day."

Onboard Dynamics' NGV refueling innovation originated with joint research conducted by Czero and the Energy Systems Laboratory at Oregon State University (OSU) – Cascades, and OSU researchers also remain involved in advancing the technology.

About Czero Inc.  |

An advanced engineering R&D services firm focused on early-stage, concept-to-prototype development of new technologies, Czero works with multinationals, startups, universities and government organizations around the globe to solve real-world energy challenges with innovations that improve energy efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. Founded in 2007, Czero is an in-house partner of Colorado State University's Energy Institute at the Powerhouse Energy Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. A recent Colorado Companies to Watch award winner, Czero was also named to Northern Colorado's Mercury 100 list in 2015.

About Onboard Dynamics, Inc.  |

Onboard Dynamics, Inc. seeks to lower fuel costs and carbon emissions by removing barriers to driving natural gas-powered vehicles. Its product line integrates natural gas compression into cars and trucks, allowing drivers to refuel from any low pressure natural gas supply line. Founded in 2013, Onboard Dynamics is based in Bend, Oregon. Several patents covering the company's innovative technologies are being pursued.


OptiEnz Sensors Awarded Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant

Karyssa Cox - Thursday, April 02, 2015

March 11, 2015 
Fort Collins, Colorado 
OptiEnz Sensors awarded Colorado Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant for innovative clean technology

OptiEnz Sensors ( was recently awarded a $150,000 Colorado Advanced Industries grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). OptiEnz’s innovative biosensor technology allows for continuous, in-place monitoring of organic chemical concentrations in water. The easy-to-use system is preferable to a remote laboratory analysis because it provides immediate results, comes at a fraction of the cost, and requires no pretreatment, expensive equipment, or skilled labor. This groundbreaking technology is highly useful in a variety of markets, including Environmental, for groundwater monitoring, site remediation, and water quality monitoring; Biotech for fermentation process monitoring, biofuels, and biopharma; Food and Beverage for evaluating food safety and process control; and Oil and Gas for produced water treatment and flowback water treatment in the fracking industry. OptiEnz is currently developing a variety of sensor tips that will measure different organic chemicals, including trichloroethene (TCE), a chemical commonly used as a dry cleaning solvent that is highly carcinogenic and is often disposed of by pouring into wells, causing it to infiltrate groundwater. 

“OptiEnz will be using the funding from the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant to support manufacturing our sensor tips here in Colorado,” said Steve Witt, CEO of OptiEnz. 

OptiEnz’s biosensor technology was developed from more than a decade of research on enzymatic sensor tips by Dr. Ken Reardon, a professor and researcher at Colorado State University and the company’s founder and CTO. OptiEnz has previously been recognized for its achievements in the clean tech space, including being named a 2013 Cleantech Open Finalist and receiving a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. 

“The caliber of winners of the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant, the number of jobs they are bringing to the state and the growth they are experiencing is further validation as to the importance of continuing the State support of these types of programs,” stated Patrice Barber, co-founder of Clean Tech Community. “We are delighted to see the Colorado Clean Tech Industry Association (CCIA) lead the way in working with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to foster the growth of this grant for clean tech companies. We are extremely pleased to count Steve Witt, CEO of OptiEnz, with the other CEO's of clean tech companies as part of our membership. Providing events, introductions and programs designed to foster the growth and continued success of these clean tech companies is at the core of the Clean Tech Community's mission" explains Barber. 

This year OEDIT awarded $1,773,938 for both Proof-of-Concept Grants (open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other labs with valid technology transfer offices) and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants (open to companies commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally). Colorado’s advanced industries are: energy and natural resources (including cleantech), infrastructure engineering, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, and technology and information. The economic impact of these industries account for nearly 30 percent of Colorado’s wage earnings, 30 percent of total sales revenues across all industries in Colorado, and 35 percent of the Colorado’s total exports. 

About OptiEnz Sensors 

OptiEnz Sensors, LLC, is a biotech company that produces innovative biosensors for continuously measuring organic chemical concentrations in water and aqueous solutions. The OptiEnz sensing system is easy to use and provides accurate results at a fraction of laboratory analysis costs — no pretreatment, expensive equipment, or skilled labor required. The technology is based on 14 years of fundamental research on enzymatic sensor tips by the company’s founder and CTO, Dr. Ken Reardon. 

About Clean Tech Community 

Clean Tech Community, a Colorado based association celebrating its one-year anniversary, connects emerging Clean Technology companies to the resources, funding and network they need as they take products from pilot to production. CTC collaborates with a wide range of incubators and accelerators with a focus on Clean Technology. CTC’s primary collaboration is with Clean Tech Open to provide monthly events, cross promotion, mentors, judges, and investor resources that are invited to serve in the accelerator roles of CTO for the 3-4 months they are needed there. 


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