As President Obama riffed on new jobs and manufacturing during his recent State of the Union speech, one comment may have caught the attention of Northern Coloradans who were listening closely.

“If we want to make the best products, we also have — have to invest in the best ideas,” he said. “We’re … devising new materials to make batteries 10 times more powerful.”

The mention may have struck some as a reference of CSU chemistry Professor Amy Prieto’s work with non-toxic materials and citric acid to make a more efficient battery. After all, the White House honored Prieto last year with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Nominated by the National Science Foundation, Prieto was one of 96 scientists who received the award at a White House ceremony last month. She owns Fort Collins-based Prieto Battery, which aims to commercialize an environmentally friendly battery that lasts longer and charges faster.

Prieto Battery appreciated Obama’s remark about batteries in his speech, but there’s no way to know exactly what he was referencing, Katie Hoffner, the company’s marketing veep, said in an email.

“We were just glad to have advanced battery technology acknowledged in his address,” she said.


Flex time or sex time?

Trying to convince your boss to let you work from home? Are you debating whether to ask? Well, FlexJobs Corp. has some surprising information that could influence you or your boss’ thinking.

FlexJobs is touting the results of a recent survey it conducted that included more than 1,000 respondents. It found that 99.5 percent of people think a flexible schedule would make them happier, but a substantial number of people think it would make them a better friend, parent — or lover.

According to the Boulder company, 63 percent said workplace flexibility would help them be a better friend, 91 percent said they would have more time for family or friends, and 82 percent said that it would help them be a more attentive spouse, partner or significant other.

The real surprise: 41 percent of respondents said having a flexible job would improve their sex life, and another 34 percent were optimistic that it would.

“Some of the results of this survey really took us by surprise,” FlexJobs founder and chief executive Sara Sutton Fell said. “We are well-informed on the many work-life benefits offered by flexible job arrangements such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time and flexible schedule jobs. But we hadn’t really considered on a broad scale how having a flexible job could positively affect people’s love lives and romantic relationships as well. It’s exciting!”


Greeley company debuts product at Global Pet Expo

Tim Petersen was far ahead of the natural pet food craze that has become the norm today.

Petersen first began selling natural pet foods in the 1990s, and was “ribbed about his passion for purity in pet food,” according to the website for his company, Wild Calling.

As more consumers became aware of the actual contents of the food sold by major brands, an opportunity developed for Petersen, who launched his company in Greeley last year.

His goal is to produce high-quality pet food made from U.S.-bred meat ranging from rabbit to bison, at prices lower than most pet foods with similar ingredients.

The Global Pet Expo, held in Orlando, Fla. from Feb. 20-22, will be Wild Calling’s chance to debut its product.