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The Internet wasn’t very wide or worldly in the early 1990s.

Bob Newman remembers flipping through telephone books to find businesses with the word software in the name. He and his friend Don McCubbrey put 400 Colorado company names into a spreadsheet, hit mail merge and sent out a survey to find out how big the state’s software industry was.

Newman, then in his 40s, didn’t mind the menial tasks. But he was a busy guy. The early 1990s was when the cofounder of J.D. Edwards, one of the state’s largest software companies, grew his piece of the company, he said, “from a little tiny thing to over 2,000 employees.”

But he wanted to give back.

“One thing we noticed was that even though there were a number of companies, they were small. Many had just three employees, or less than 10. That was a trigger. Let’s help this company grow,” said McCubbrey, who was at the time department chair of The Daniels College of Business of the University of Denver.

That was the genesis of the Colorado Software Association, which changed its name to the Colorado Technology Association three years ago.

The group became official in 1994. Newman welcomed 10 top software company executives to the first meeting. And it grew. And grew. Today, as the organization celebrates its 20th year, there are 15,000 members.