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5/13/2004

Longmont well-represented at CTEK awards ceremony

By Tony Kindelspire
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — CTEK held its final awards ceremony Wednesday morning — at least the final one under its current name.

CTEK — formerly the Boulder Technology Incubator — will be undergoing what president Lu Cordova is calling a “reverse merger” this summer with CVC — Colorado Venture Centers.

“As of July 1st, I’m resigning my position at CTEK,” Cordova told the crowd. “And the entire staff is resigning their positions.”

But neither Cordova nor her staff are really going away. Under the new name, CTEK Venture Centers, the organization will be a statewide, state-chartered 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.

What is now CTEK’s headquarters in Boulder will be split off from the new Boulder Venture Center.

Other similar centers will spring up around the state, and CTEK-Longmont will become the Longmont Venture Center.

Wednesday morning, Cordova said she would be asking the Longmont Area Economic Council to nominate someone who could represent Longmont to the new CTEK Venture Centers board.

But it’s not like Longmont hasn’t been well represented throughout the 15-year history of the organization.

Cordova, now in her third year as CTEK’s president, said she had been with the group a year before she had any contact with Susan Pratt, who has donated Pratt Property space in Longmont since the group’s inception.

“She sent me an e-mail one day — this woman named Susan Pratt — and she said, ‘I like what’s going on, and I’d like to become more involved,’” Cordova said before presenting Pratt with the Board Member of Distinction award.

Pratt has been chairwoman of CTEK’s board for the past two years, and has been instrumental in the revitalization of CTEK-Longmont.

“She’s getting this kicking and screaming because she doesn’t, I don’t think, like to have her honor displayed in public,” Cordova said.

Boulder-based Energy Window, a business-to-business company that helps corporations buy their energy needs on the open market, was named CTEK Client of the Year.

Founded in 1999, the company has doubled its revenue every year, and has among its clients a dozen companies in the Fortune 200, according to company president and co-founder Jack Mason.

Other awards given Wednesday:

•The Halo award was presented to Dave Duncan of EncryptX, a data security firm. Duncan referred to CTEK as the “parachute” that helped save his company. EncryptX’s involvement with the CTEK Angels even led to the company hiring one of the Angels to be its CEO.

•Angel of the Year award was given to Scott Gaisford, who recently stepped down as director of CTEK Angels.

•Sponsor of the Year was the law firm of Holme, Roberts & Owen, which provided legal consulting for CTEK’s Making Business Happen events. At these events, three of which have occurred so far, five or six companies pitch their plans to an audience of people vying to provide “venture labor” — in other words, work for deferred compensation or other types of alternative compensation.

Before bringing in Holme, Roberts & Owen, Cordova said, she was afraid that such events had the potential “to break a ton of laws.”

•Program Advocate of Distinction was Mark Feuer, who coordinated the Making Business Happen events.

While the basic idea of the events seemed a reach at first, Feuer said that as a former entrepreneur himself, he understood that “when someone says you can’t do this or can’t do that, that’s a darn sure way to make sure it gets done.”

•The Client Advocate of Distinction award went to Sam Pai, a veteran of multiple high-tech startups.

Other acknowledgement was given to five CTEK Advisors in Residence and five Volunteers of Distinction. Two of the latter were Van Stow and former Longmont Mayor Leona Stoecker, who both serve on the CTEK-Longmont committee.

About 250 people turned out for the breakfast at the Raintree Conference Center.

Cordova said details regarding CTEK Venture Centers would be announced at the group’s annual Entrepreneur’s Ball in October.

Tony Kindelspire can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 291, or by e-mail at tkindelspire@times-call.com.