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City honors fresh batch of high-growth firms in celebration of Denver StartUp Week

2015 “Denver Gazelles” a showcase of tech, communications
As the fourth annual Denver StartUp Week rolls into high gear, the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) today continued its annual practice of recognizing a group of high-growth companies as “Denver Gazelles.” Each firm has been named for its success and growth potential. The 2015 class, all tech-related firms, are Altitude Digital, Four Winds Interactive, ProtectWise, and Wayin.

“We want the venture capital community to recognize that something special is happening in Denver,” said Paul Washington, OED executive director. “We’re proud to celebrate entrepreneurism through the Denver Gazelles. These firms are widely recognized as companies on a path of growth and each will have a remarkable exit strategy.”

Since 2012, OED has named an elite number of Denver Gazelles each year based on referrals and internal research among its business development staff and the venture capital/financial community. Criteria include exponential job growth and a CEO-level commitment to engagement in strengthening the Denver entrepreneurial climate.

The 2015 Gazelles will be celebrated along with a panel discussion of current and previous year’s winners on Wednesday, September 30 at 2 p.m. at the Denver Startup Basecamp at 1515 Arapahoe, 1
st Floor. More details and registration is available at the Denver Startup Week website.

The recognition of high-growth companies is a business retention initiative identified in the OED’s multi-year JumpStart strategic plan. Over four years, the total roster of Denver Gazelles has grown to 19.

OED adopted the name “gazelle” from the observation that all honorees are demonstrating swift growth in job creation. Small firms such as these are expected to drive half of Denver’s workforce growth over the next decade.

To celebrate the program, the OED has produced a
Denver Gazelles video featuring interviews with past and present honorees. 

SUMMARY PROFILES – 2015 Gazelles

Altitude Digital
In 2009, Jeremy Ostermiller founded Altitude Digital with just $500. Today the digital media company is recognized as one of the fastest growing video advertising technology companies in the world with a mission to simplify, automate and streamline video and mobile advertising for online publishers. Since its inception, ad tech industry leaders and peers have recognized the company for its growth, innovative technology and service. Altitude has been listed on the Inc. 500|5000 Top Private Companies in America list for four consecutive years and has won Top Company of Year by ColoradoBiz Magazine, as well as being listed as one of the fastest growing companies in Colorado. Their 90 employees are headquartered in Denver with offices in San Francisco and New York.

Four Winds Interactive
Four Winds Interactive provides a software platform that serves as the visual layer in a digital business, helping customers build, deploy, and manage visual applications in an expanding toolbox of digital signs, interactive kiosks, desktop, web, and mobile. Co-founded in 2005 by David Levin, who has served as president and CEO since its inception, FWI makes it easy to create a powerful communications tool that solves wayfinding challenges, enhances safety, and increases sales. After 10 years, 325 employees, 5,000+ clients and more than 300,000 screens deployed, FWI’s software platform is driving visual communications to millions of people every day in airports, banks, corporate campuses, professional sports stadiums, hospitals, hotels, casinos, universities, manufacturing facilities and retail stores. FWI is based in Denver with offices in Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Miami, and the United Kingdom.

ProtectWise is a network security firm founded in April 2013 by Scott Chasin and Gene Stevens. The company is disrupting the network security industry with its Cloud Network DVR, a virtual camera in the cloud that records everything on the network. The service allows security professionals to see threats in real time and continuously goes back in time to discover previously unknown threats automatically.The company is based in Denver and led by a team of security and SaaS industry veterans from McAfee, IBM, Mandiant and Proofpoint. ProtectWise has raised more than $17 million in funding and was named to Network World's list of "10 Security Start-Ups to Watch" and a 2015 Gartner Cool Vendor in Cloud Security Services.

A recognized leader in real-time digital marketing capabilities, Wayin integrates with public Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram content to give marketers and media companies a powerful technology to find the most compelling social content and trends to build authentic consumer interest and persuade action. Wayin continues to be well positioned to take advantage of the rapidly growing marketing technology industry and serve the evolving needs of today’s marketers at big-name brands, such as Walgreens, MLB, The Weather Channel, Logitech, Blizzard Entertainment and Mashable. Started in 2010 by Scott McNealy, the former Sun Microsystems co-founder and CEO, Wayin is based in Denver with offices in NYC, San Francisco, and Atlanta as well as a strong international presence. There are currently 61 employees.