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KUSA - For our "Crushing It" category, this week we're focusing on a company called Gnip. Every business owner knows how vital social media data has become in the last few years, and each year it seems to become more and more valuable.

Social media has helped companies grow, and it's also served to provide businesses with the information they need to create products and services that appeal to their customers.

The issue is that it takes time to harvest the appropriate data and maximize the way it's used. That is what Gnip does. Gnip is one of only three firms that have access to Twitter's "firehose" of every single tweet — currently about 400 million every day. Gnip also analyzes data from WordPress and other social networks to be able to make reports to big customers like IBM and Adobe.

And when the Library of Congress wanted to archive tweets, it turned to Gnip to make that happen. All from a company based in downtown Boulder with about 80 employees, and about a dozen job openings. And we know this business is doing well because it has taken comparatively very little outside venture capital, so they can really control their own destiny now.

In our "Colorado's Own" category, this week the spotlight is on GoSpotCheck. This is a company that shows success is never a straight line. The company first began as a provider of rental maternity clothing. They realized that idea was fraught with trouble, so they ditched that and evolved into software for mystery shoppers.

That's been refined, and now it provides software for any business that has a distributed workforce and needs to collect data over smart phones. With GoSpotCheck software, business managers have the tools they need to gather the intelligence by building missions for their employees to complete on their smartphones in their own locations. This data is then compiled and organized for the businesses.

We're highlighting this company as Colorado's own because Google recently held a startup day for one company from each of 10 cities. GoSpotCheck was picked to represent Colorado because of the great story with that startup, and in part because it has offices at Galvanize, the tech hub that's part of Google's startup network. The company did so well with its pitch that it won $100,000.

Finally, in our "Early but Interesting" category, this week we're featuring CheddarUp. This company created a way to make it easy to do thinks like paying back your friends, chipping in for a group gift, or even organizing a fantasy football league. The system keeps track of the money you owe to others, and the money that's owed to you.

That means there's no more need to write things down on paper, and there's no need to feel awkward because you're tired of reminding your friend to pay you back for dinner last week.

Automatic reminders make paybacks a breeze, and CheddarUp is so versatile that it can be used in practically any situation in which you need to collect or pay money to or from friends. Interesting idea, and a company to keep an eye on.

This post was written by one of the freelance contributors to BlogMutt, where there is lots of freelance writing work available. Each Tech Tuesday, Scott Yates, founder of the company, highlights companies to be profiled. The best way to get covered in this space is to show up to a tech event (like these) and pitch.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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