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Colorado Tech Roundup: Ball’s Space Lasers, Zayo to Wire the NBA

Xconomy Boulder/Denver — 

Here is a quick roundup of recent news from Colorado startups and tech companies, including news about Ball Aerospace’s new laser-communications satellites, Zayo’s deal to wire the NBA, and the upcoming Apex Awards.

Space lasers: Ball Aerospace & Technologies announced this week it will be building a constellation of communications satellites that will use lasers to beam huge amounts of data around the globe and down to Earth.

Ball Aerospace, which is based in Boulder, CO, is developing the satellites for Laser Light Communications. The complete constellation, which could grow to as many as 12 satellites, is expected to deliver 6 terabits of data per second with bi-directional service speeds of 200 gigabits per second, according to a press release. That is nearly 100 times faster than conventional radio downlinks, the company said.

The satellites will operate in Medium Earth Orbit and connect with existing ground service networks. Laser Light Communications, which is based in Reston, VA, says the satellites will be the first global, all-optical commercial satellite system and could serve government agencies—think the Department of Defense and the military—as well as telecom companies. Laser Light expects the first satellite to be launched in early 2017, according to its website.

Zayo takes it to the hoop: Zayo Group, a Boulder-based telecom company with plans to go public sometime this year, announced this week it is working with the National Basketball Association to wire the league’s 29 arenas. Its fiber optic lines will carry live broadcast and video feeds for all games starting this year. The network will connect the arenas to the NBA’s offices in Secaucus, NJ.

Zayo’s network is up to 77,000 route miles and connects to 295 markets in the U.S. and Europe. Its clients include mobile phone companies, Internet content providers, high-bandwidth enterprises, and government agencies.

Funding news: Three local companies disclosed they raised equity rounds of $1 million or more in the past week.

Great Lakes Pharmaceuticals raised $11.2 million. The company’s target for the round is $24 million. The somewhat confusingly named company is based in Broomfield (according to its SEC filing) but was founded in Cleveland, according to its website. Great Lakes is attempting to develop and commercialize a product that will prevent microbial infections associated with the use of catheters. With the latest round it has raised nearly $16.9 million to date.

Silvergate Pharmaceuticals raised $1 million, bringing the total raised by the Greenwood Village company to $27.6 million. Silvergate develops medicines for children and has received approval from the FDA to sell enalapril maleate (Epaned). Epaned is a powder form of a hypertension drug that can be used in oral solutions for children ages one month and younger.

Flashback Technologies, a Boulder-based startup, raised $2.3 million. The company is developing machine-learning software it says can interpret large volumes of industry-specific data to monitor processes, productivity, and outcomes. The technology could be used in many industries, according to Flashback, but the company is initially attempting to make a product for trauma care that can detect internal bleeding and the progress of fluid resuscitation therapy.

Flashback Technologies has won grants and awards from sources including the U.S. Army, the National Institutes of Health, and the Colorado Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant program. Professors from the University of Colorado’s computer science department and medical school founded the company.

Awards finalists: Finally, the Colorado Technology Association announced the nominees for its annual Apex Awards. The awards honor the top companies, startups, and individuals in the Colorado tech industry. The winners will be announced Nov. 5 at a dinner in Denver. Check out this link to see the few dozen nominees.