Clash of the Colorado startups:
Who will be fairest of them all?

ou’ve seen American Idol. Now get ready for American Startup — or at least Colorado Startup. As part of its annual APEX conference, the Colorado Technology Association has fielded 10 regional tech startups to face off in the APEX Challenge — a live competition for top entrepreneurial honors.

Who decides? You do … sort of. The CTA is inviting all comers to attend the free event and vote via mobile devices for the best idea. That voting will influence the final decision of a panel of celebrity judges that will include ex-Bronco kicker David Treadwell and ex-Nuggets guard Bill Hanzlik. (We’re not quite sure what qualifies the pair of sports icons to judge tech startups, but it’s reasonable to assume they have seen enough high-intensity competition to know a winner when they see one.)

The event is expected to draw hundreds of onlookers who will hear pitches by the companies and critiques by celebrity angel investors. At stake is more than $20,000 in cash prizes that will go to the three most deserving startups.

It all happens from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Hyatt Regency, 650 15th Street in downtown Denver. You can register for the event here. After the contest, all voters are invited to argue the results at the closing happy hour of the APEX Colorado Summit, which will take place earlier in the day.

So who are these brave entrepreneurial gladiators? Read on.

Denver-based Active Junky is an online shopping community that rewards and incentivizes users for their passion for gear and the outdoors.
Recent TechStars Boulder graduate BrandFolder ensures consistent brand representation by providing companies with a simple, visual brand asset sharing platform. The company recently took first prize at the SIMTank pitch competition.
Intelivideo based in Denver, helps companies move from DVDs to the world of streaming and downloadable videos for any device.
Headquartered in Denver, MyRounding develops, markets and sells technology solutions for hospitals and health care organizations to perform structured leadership rounding and replace paper-based methods.
Duke University Startup Challenge Winner Boulder-based Nanoly BioScience is developing a chemical that will allow vaccines to survive without refrigeration so that they can be delivered to rural areas of the world.
Rachio of Denver has created an amazingly simple internet connected smart sprinkler controller that saves the average homeowner hundreds of dollars and thousands of gallons of water each year. The company won Denver Startup Weekend, the "Glorious Failure” contest at the Colorado Innovation Network Summit and has been selected to compete on Dream Big America.
Denver-based SeedPaths teaches young people how to develop software and then helps them get a job through their recruiting business. The company is about to launch their first high school class at a charter school predominantly serving low-income and minority students.
Boulder Startup Splick-It offers mobile and online ordering, payments and restaurant loyalty applications plus a consumer distribution network. The company currently powers more than 1,500 restaurants does over $1.2M in transactions every month with their branded mobile apps and online ordering that allow guests to skip the line and get fed fast.
SupportLocal of Denver, is an inspired community of friends recommending local businesses. The company has been selected as an Innovation Award winner and is currently vying for the grand prize in the JumpStart Biz Plan competition.
TAGster, a Highlands Ranch-based startup makes it easy to reunite owners and their items and provides emergency tags that give first responders an incredibly easy way to see a person’s medical profile and instantly notify their contacts.