How 4 Colorado companies stand out from the competition — and stay ahead of tech's biggest trends

by April Bohnert
July 10, 2019

From the technology a company builds to the way it interacts with its customers, there are a number of ways businesses can set themselves apart from the competition. That's not to say it's an easy feat, but with the right team, product and can-do attitude, there's little to stop a company from securing its place at the front of the pack. 

We caught up with four local tech companies — spanning a range of industries — to learn how they’ve differentiated themselves from competitors and how they plan to keep their edge as they tackle the next wave of tech trends. 

 

Payfone Colorado tech companies disrupting industries
Photo via Payfone.

Trusted by banks, brokerages, insurers and tech companies around the world, Payfone helps businesses combat identity fraud and keep their customers and users safe with its digital identity authentication platform. VP of Engineering and Operations Aaron Rodriguez said balancing security, convenience and privacy — a priority for its customers — has been crucial to Payfone’s success.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? 

At Payfone, we are continuously innovating our products and technology. One way we do this is by constantly expanding our diverse network of identity verifiers and signals, and developing new methods to help our customers seamlessly verify identities and build trust when interacting with their users. 

 

Enterprises have been working to balance security with convenience, but a third priority is now emerging — privacy.” 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

Enterprises have been working to balance security with convenience, but a third priority is now emerging — privacy. At Payfone, we've valued privacy since 2015 and continue to actively work with our service providers and authoritative identity verification partners to expand adoption of our Zero-Knowledge privacy technology to enable enterprises to verify a claim, such as age, without having to store, pass back or aggregate personal information.

 

SumUp Colorado tech companies disrupting industries
Photo via Sumup.

SumUp powers small business transactions in 33 countries around the globe with its portable card reader and payment services, which allow any business to accept debit, credit and contactless card payments. U.S. Managing Director Jan Hoffmann said his team focuses on removing the pain points that plague its customers by developing — and acquiring — new and improved product features.

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry?

We are becoming the first ever global card acceptance brand. We love empowering our merchants to grow their businesses and become successful at doing what they love. Providing merchants with a seamless experience is crucial to them being able to focus on what they do best. In a nutshell, we offer the simplest, most powerful mobile point-of-sale solution that brings all the benefits of a classic card processing solution with more value and fewer fees.

 

By taking these pains out of our merchants' daily lives, we believe that we can enable small businesses to focus on what they really enjoy.” 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

We’re working on creating an ecosystem for our merchants. This includes anything that supports merchants in starting, running and growing their businesses — for example, offering retail businesses the ability to push their inventory into an e-commerce shop within minutes and start selling — without any hassle. By taking these pains out of our merchants' daily lives, we believe that we can enable small businesses to focus on what they really enjoy. 

To further stay ahead of the market, we constantly develop new features that empower our merchants. Additionally, SumUp has recently acquired several companies, such as the e-commerce platform Shoplo and the invoicing and bookkeeping service Debitoor, which are great additions to our team and help us to develop these features even faster. 

 

FirstBank Colorado tech companies disrupting industries
Photo via FirstBank.

As Colorado’s largest locally owned bank, FirstBank is well known in the local community, but what’s less well known is its 300-plus strong technology department, which now plays a critical role in driving growth and innovation within the company. Chief Information Officer Christian Winward explained why FirstBank has invested so heavily in its technology and how having a robust tech team helps the company outmaneuver the competition. 

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry? 

FirstBank has a large IT shop for a bank of our size. This allows us to leverage technology to differentiate ourselves from other banks our size and to compete against much larger banks.  We do a lot of custom development where differentiation is important. Additionally, due to our size, we tend to be more agile than larger organizations. 

 

We do a lot of custom development where differentiation is important.” 

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

Fintech will continue to be disruptive to the banking industry. We will need to partner, as well as compete, with fintech companies. This means that we need to be the best at integrating internally-developed solutions with partner solutions. Agility and speed will be the most important factors within our industry.  

 

Church Community Builder Colorado tech companies disrupting industries
Photo via Church Community Builder.

Church Community Builder’s cloud software helps churches grow their ministries, manage day-to-day operations and foster strong, connected and engaged communities, both online and in person. CEO Don Harms explained how the company is leveraging machine learning and AI — as well as a strong culture and bootstrapped approach to business — to solidify its place as a leader in its industry. 

 

How has your company set itself apart as a leader in your industry?

We are a very missional organization. Our culture is made up of individuals who believe in our purpose and have a strong desire to see us provide amazing experiences to our church partners. We take our culture very seriously and even have a dedicated interviewing process that all potential candidates go through. Associates from throughout our organization are involved with this interviewing process to ensure each new hire will be a great addition to our culture. 

As we strive to be missional, we continue to be privately held, have not taken any outside money and do not have any debt. We feel very blessed to be able to run our organization this way and believe it helps us serve our churches without distraction.

 

We are introducing machine learning into areas of our business and are internally building our knowledge of these tools.”

What do you think will be the next big tech trend in your industry? How do you plan to stay ahead of that trend?

Several significant tech trends are going to change our industry. One of the trends we believe will have a big impact is data analytics, including machine learning and AI. We are working to stay ahead of these trends and endeavor to be a leader in our industry by investing heavily in our ability to capture valuable data and turn it into helpful insights for our church partners. We are introducing machine learning into areas of our business and are internally building our knowledge of these tools. Also, we're partnering with others in our industry that specialize in data analytics, like Gloo, to ensure we are working with others who are innovating in these areas.

 

Jobs from companies in this blog25 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
Legal
Marketing
Operations
Operations
new
SumUp
Boulder
Marketing
new
SumUp
Boulder
Operations
new
SumUp
Boulder
Operations
new
FirstBank
Denver
Developer
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Operations
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Operations
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Marketing
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Developer
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Developer
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Developer
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Developer
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Data + Analytics
new
SumUp
Boulder
Design + UX
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Operations
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Operations
new
SumUp
Boulder
Operations
new
SumUp
Boulder
Marketing
new
SumUp
Boulder
Finance
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Developer
new
Church Community Builder
Colorado Springs
Developer
new
Payfone
Denver
Developer
new
Payfone
Denver
Developer
new
Payfone
Denver

Colorado startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Denver & Boulder
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Colorado Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to Healthtech in Denver & Boulder
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Design Jobs in Denver & Colorado Tech