Business Digest May 24, 2013
Boulder-based Agloves, a trade name of Hindsight Investments LLC, has closed operations. The mother-daughter team of Jennifer and Jean Spencer, who co-founded the company, decided it was better to close the business than to lose their personal relationship with each other, daughter Jean Spencer said. The company’s product, Agloves, have silver knitted into the fingertips to allow users to keep their gloves on while operating touchscreens on mobile devices such as iPhones. The silver-nylon conducts electricity generated by the body that activates the screen. The privately held company was financially solvent when it closed, and customers still can find a few pairs of gloves for sale on Amazon.com, Jean Spencer said. Agloves won a Boulder County Business Report IQ Award in 2011 in the consumer products category.
REC Solar Inc. completed the installation of a 500-kilowatt Cowdery Meadows Solar Array community solar project in Boulder. It consists of approximately 2,000 solar panels and occupies 3.5 acres at 1600 66th St. It is the first community solar project completed under Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Community program, under which any utility ratepayer can directly purchase energy from a solar garden. REC Solar, a subsidiary of Mainstream Energy Corp., has an office in Westminster. It designed and built the array, while Clean Energy Collective in Boulder will operate and maintain the system. REC Solar has additional Solar Rewards Community projects under development and construction for completion later this year.
The General Aviation Business Unit of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. in Broomfield announced that its global fleet of nearly 1,200 Pilatus PC-12s reached a major milestone by accumulating 4 million flight hours since the first aircraft was delivered in October 1994. The PC-12 has logged more than 24,000 hours in operation as an air ambulance with Air Bravo in Ontario.
Boulder-based Golden Spike Co. received a thumbs-up from Northrop Grumman Corp. on designs for landing pods that would carry commercial passengers to the moon’s surface. Northrop Grumman conducted a feasibility study of Golden Spike’s designs for the lunar lander, dubbed Pumpkin, because of its spherical shape. The lander returns the crew to orbit after the surface exploration party. Northrop Grumman was contracted by Golden Spike in 2012 to help with the design of the new lander.
Sierra Nevada Corp. Space Systems shipped the DreamChaser spacecraft to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California for more testing. Workers at SNC Space Systems in Louisville built the spacecraft and conducted initial tests on it in Colorado. SNC Space Systems workers will be in charge of the new tests on DreamChaser at the flight center at Edwards Air Force Base near Lancaster, California.
The unemployment rate in Boulder County decreased to 5.1 percent in April, compared with 5.4 percent in March, according to a labor report released by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The jobless rate in Broomfield County improved to 6.4 percent, down from 6.8 percent in March. Boulder County has 171,782 people employed and 9,190 people looking for work, according to the report. Broomfield County has 29,687 workers and 2,030 looking for jobs. Colorado’s jobless rate decreased two-tenths of one percentage point, to 6.9 percent. The state added 11,600 jobs from March to April, for a total of 2,362,700 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Of the state’s 64 counties, Cheyenne County has the lowest unemployment rate at 3.2 percent, and Costilla County has the highest at 11.7 percent.
Broomfield-based can manufacturer Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL) has closed an offering of $1 billion in senior notes at a 4 percent interest rate.Ball said it plans to use the loan to pay off previous notes that had a 7.125 percent interest rate and for general corporate purposes. The outstanding higher interest notes had a 2016 repayment date. The new notes have a 2023 repayment date.
Boulder-based toymaker Kodo Kids has signed up to receive mentorship from the Innovation Center of the Rockies. Kodo Kids, founded by Chris Hume, will receive support from advisers of the organization that supports entrepreneurs. The advisory board consists of David Monahan, founder at Sprig Toys; Ed Soehnel, former vice president of sales at Brainetics; Richard Lappen, partner at Red Ideas Group; Ileana Street, former vice president for operations at Galileo Learning; and Teresa Forrester, owner of Forrester Design.
Louisville-based Gaiam Inc. (Nasdaq: GAIA) reported revenue of $56.6 million for the quarter that ended March 31, a 19.6 percent increase compared with $47.3 million generated in the same quarter a year ago. Operating income for the quarter was up $151,000, compared with a loss of $1.2 million for the same quarter a year ago. Shareholders incurred a loss of 1 cent per share for the quarter, compared with a loss of 5 cents per share for the same quarter a year ago.
Lousiville-based Real Goods Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: RSOL) reported an 8 percent decline in revenue and a loss of $3.8 million for its first quarter that ended March 31.Revenue decreased to $16.8 million compared with revenue of $18.3 for the first quarter a year ago. Net loss for the first quarter was $3.8 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $1.9 million, or 7 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Boulder-based Encision Inc. (PK: ECIA) recently laid off 12 people and reported lower product revenue for the most recent quarter ended March 31. Half of the workers laid off were salespeople who are expected to be paid on commission, said Fred Perner, president and chief executive of Encision. The layoffs represented 20 percent of the company’s previous 61-employee workforce. The surgical device maker reported quarterly product revenue of $2.7 million for the quarter ended March 31 and a net loss of $279,000, or 3 cents per share. The quarterly earnings compared with quarterly product revenue of $2.93 million and a net income of $40,000, or 1 cent per share for the same quarter in 2012.
Broomfield-based MWH Global Inc. was selected as the program manager as part of a $3 billion to $4.5 billion initiative to develop and enhance London’s water utility assets for Thames Water’s AMP6 asset management program. As program manager, MWH will share a third of a $1 billion to $2.25 billion component of the contract, helping guide its execution by improving customer service, providing value for money, delivering health and safety performance and achieving operational efficiency. The planning phase of the program will begin almost immediately to prepare for project delivery between 2015 and 2020.
Boulder-based Confio Software Inc. hired Arrow Electronics Inc. to distribute Confio’s Ignite suite of database monitoring software tools in the United Kingdom. Englewood-based Arrow Electronics (NYSE: ARW) will deliver and implement Confio products and be the primary sales, support and technology contact with customers in the United Kingdom through its Enterprise Computing Solutions division. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Boulder-based Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. was awarded a contract from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in South Korea to build an air-quality sensor. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed. The Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer will monitor pollution for the Korean peninsula and Asia-Pacific region. The spectrometer will measure the ozone, its precursors, and aerosols. Hourly measurements will improve early warnings for potentially dangerous pollution events and monitor long-term climate change. Ball Aerospace and KARI will design, fabricate and test the sensor that will be launched into space in 2018.
Boulder-based OPX Biotechnologies Inc. will jointly develop bio-based chemicals with Evonik Industries AG in Germany. Financial terms of deal were not disclosed. The bio-processes being developed will have the potential to create “economic and sustainable versions” of products Americans use every day, said Charles Eggert, OPX Bio’s president and chief executive. OPX Bio also will be able to market bio-based products resulting from the Evonik collaboration.
The Interbike International Bicycle Expo in, San Juan Capistrano, California, a division of Nielsen Expositions, has selected TDA Boulder as its first advertising agency of record. An undisclosed budget will support print and online advertising. The selection was based on a prior business relationship with Interbike managing director Pat Hus, formerly at bike manufacturers Cannondale, American Bicycle Group and Titus.
Boulder Language Technologies Inc. received a $923,561 competitive grant from the Department of Education to research cognition and student learning. The grant will be used to evaluate a program that uses a virtual tutor to assist elementary school students who may need extra help with science lessons.
The University of Colorado-Boulder is offering a management-consulting certificate through the Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program. CU-Boulder is partnering with the Institute of Management Consultants USA on the new courses. The Washington, D.C.,-based institute is the certifying body and the industry association for management consultants and management-consulting companies. The graduate credit-eligible certificate prepares students to serve in a consulting role for companies in various technical industries.
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