Sphero will make pitch to Branson

Firm one of three fi­nal­ists at CES

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Ta­mara Chuang

Con­nected toys clicked with judges at the Ex­treme Tech Chal­lenge on Fri­day, giv­ing Boul­der’s Sphero an­other win to its name.

The ro­bot toy maker, which built the pop­u­lar Star Wars BB- 8 toy, was one of three com­pa­nies in the chal­lenge to win the op­por­tu­nity to pitch Sir Richard Branson on his pri­vate Necker Is­land next month.

The event, held at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show in Las Ve­gas, also named Bloom Tech­nolo­gies, a San Fran­cisco firm with tech­nol­ogy to help ex­pec­tant moth­ers, and Girop­tic, a French 3- D cam­era firm, as fi­nal­ists of the year- long com­pe­ti­tion.

Af­ter the three fi­nal­ists pitch to Branson, he will pick one as the win­ner.

Or­ga­niz­ers said about 1,000 com­pa­nies vied for a spot. Judges nar­rowed that to 25 last fall, which in­cluded Den­ver’s per­sonal safety de­vice maker Revolar and hobby site Hobby DB in Boul­der.

Last month, the group­was whit­tled to 10. Boul­der’s Kick fur­ther, which touts an Uber- meets- fi­nance for­mat let­ting peo­ple make a profit by in­vest­ing in a star­tups’ in­ven­tory, and Den­ver’s Mass Roots, which cre­ated a so­cial net­work for the cannabis com­mu­nity, also pre­sented Fri­day.

Sphero vaulted to global at­ten­tion last year with its BB- 8 ro­bot. At CES, it demon­strated the “Force Band” with which users can con­trol the BB- 8 toy by wav­ing their arm.

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