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Four Boulder Businesses Named Among 2019 Colorado Companies to Watch

BOCO Gear, OZO Coffee, Scientific Aviation and Uplight recognized with state honor

Four Boulder-based businesses have been named among this year’s Colorado Companies to Watch award winners. City Council recognized the Boulder companies at its Tuesday meeting and declared December Boulder Colorado Companies to Watch Month.

These four Boulder companies – BOCO Gear, OZO Coffee Company, Scientific Aviation and Uplight – represent a range of industries. They support the local and state economy by providing important goods and services and employing more than 400 individuals.

The governor of Colorado initiated an annual Colorado Companies to Watch award program in 2009 to recognize second-stage companies with high potential for future growth. From more than a thousand nominations, only 50 companies from throughout the state are selected for the award each year. More than 90 companies from Boulder have been recognized as Colorado Companies to Watch over the years. The City of Boulder’s Community Vitality staff coordinate the city’s participation in the program, which includes nominating local companies for the award.

The four Boulder-based businesses highlighted below were selected as 2019 Colorado Companies to Watch for their innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, sustainable growth, strong company culture and community involvement.  


Founded in Boulder, BOCO Gear designs and builds customized high-performance headwear and accessories for endurance athletes. After 25 years in the outdoor industry, founder Kay Martin created the company to fill a need she saw for quality gear in the athletic headwear industry.

OZO Coffee Company

OZO Coffee Company was founded in Boulder in 2007 by Justin Hartman. The company’s mission includes promoting quality in coffee and coffee education, and its core principles include service, quality, community and sustainability. The company currently has five locations in Boulder including a café attached to its Lab and Training Center and roasting facility.

Scientific Aviation

Scientific Aviation is a Boulder-based company that helps combat climate change by providing airborne measurements of greenhouse gases and pollutants to regulators, research institutions, industry participants and environmentally oriented groups. The company was started by CEO Stephen Conley when he couldn’t find a commercial company that could collect data for his research when he was an Atmospheric Science PhD student at University of California-Davis.


Uplight is the new company created when Simple Energy merged with Tendril Networks earlier this year. Both companies were founded in Boulder. Simple Energy was recognized by Colorado Companies to Watch as the leading provider of programs that reward utility customers for using less energy and for its commitment to workplace culture and sustainability.

Published: Dec. 3, 2019