A Colorado company with the transformative technology behind a revolutionary prosthetic socket design that provides easier application and release was among 24 Colorado start-ups approved for funding as part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program. A total of $5,214,528 Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants that fuel the growth of Colorado’s advanced industries were awarded in this reporting cycle.
“Funding such a diverse cross-section of innovative Colorado companies continues to advance Colorado’s key industries and solidify our state’s reputation as an innovation incubator,” said Senior Manager of Advanced Industries Katie Woslager “Innovation drives economic growth and these grants directly support Colorado’s vital innovation ecosystem.”
24 Colorado companies were approved to receive Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention grants (see list below). Proof-of-Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other labs with valid technology transfer offices for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation. Early Stage Capital and Retention grants fund companies commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally.
One Colorado company – Copper Labs – successfully met all of its performance milestones and was approved for $100,000 of second round or “transition” funding.
Colorado State University funded four additional projects for $258,964 and National Jewish Health funded three projects for $59,274 as part of their annual allocation given to approved Technology Transfer Offices for Proof of Concept funding.
The AI Accelerator Grant program received 60 applications during the current application cycle. Applications were reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as an industry-specific reviewer. 23 companies were invited to participate in a November pitch session with the full AI committee. Final recommendations were approved by the Economic Development Commission on November 21, 2019.
The next application cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants will open on January 2, 2020 with corresponding applications due March 2, 2020.
The Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs (AIA) were created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries by driving innovation, accelerating commercialization, encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to early stage capital and creating a strong infrastructure to increase the state’s capacity to be globally competitive. AIA encompasses three distinct grant programs: Proof of Concept, Early Stage Capital and Retention, and Collaborative Infrastructure.
2020 award winners
First Ascent Coffee Roasters, LLC – Crested Butte, CO $250,000 – Through a proprietary process, First Ascent makes a specialty instant coffee - from start to finish - in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado. Through conscious sourcing, skillful roasting and precise brewing, First Ascent crafts a delicious, lightweight and convenient coffee that is a perfect choice for backpacking, bike tours, climbing expeditions, or any other outdoor adventure that demands excellence in rough places.
Impact CBS, Inc, Durango, CO $250,000 - Impact Fenders integrates a closed cell recycled foam interior wrapped with a PVC coated polyester shell. This all encompasses a pliable interior to mold to any hull design. Their fastening system connects with polypropylene webbing through stainless steel grommets and then finally to their custom cleat on your boat. Everything is adjustable and form fitting to the boats hull to deliver years of protection.
LongPath Technologies – Boulder, CO $250,000 - LongPath is a spin out from the University of Colorado, leveraging Colorado Nobel-prize-winning frequency comb laser technology to help oil and gas companies comply with stringent Colorado air regulations and ease tensions at the urban/oil-and-gas interface along the Front Range. The technology, which has been proven under stringent blind-testing protocols, offers one of the only proven continuous monitoring solutions in the industry.
New Iridium, LLC – Boulder, CO $250,000 – New Iridium accelerates pharma drug development with powerful light-driven photocatalysis that offers unparalleled efficiency. Long development time and high costs (10 years, $3B/drug) are motivating pharmas to invest in this emerging technology. By reducing drug synthesis steps, photocatalysis shortens R&D cycle-time, improves time-to-market and reduces downstream manufacturing costs. Our patent-pending high-performance organic photocatalysts are the key enabler of this transformative technology.
Quorum Prosthetics - Windsor, CO $248,000 - Quorum brings state-of-the-art technology and personalized service to anyone in need of prosthetic or orthotic devices to improve their mobility. With a wide range of products tailored to individual needs and an all-inclusive clinic, Quorum provides patients with the maximum and highest quality mobility possible.
RCAM Technologies – Boulder, CO $250,000 – The U.S. is planning to install approximately $17B worth of new fixed-bottom offshore wind turbine foundations in the next ten years. However, conventional support structures have numerous cost, production rate, installation, and environmental challenges. RCAM has developed a 3D Concrete Printed (3DCP) foundation that reduces the installed capital cost by up to 40% saving $4 M per foundation or $400 M per wind plant.
Skyland Analytics, Inc. – Niwot, CO $250,000 - Skyland Analytics develops cloud-based data management software for drug manufacturers. Drug companies are universally reliant on paper records and spreadsheets for the management of critical data and on 3rd parties for drug development and production. The Skyland PIMS data collaboration platform enables customers to cohere paper, spreadsheet and digital data throughout the supply chain while meeting FDA guidelines for data integrity, and data visibility between drug owner and their manufacturers.
SmartForce Technologies, Inc. – Greenwood Village, CO $175,000 - SmartForce helps public safety agencies make the world a safer place by becoming more efficient and effective. The SmartForce Agency Management System is a one-stop shop for communicating and collaborating important organizational information on a mobile and secure CJIS compliant platform.
Unmanned Experts, Inc. – Denver, CO $120,000 - Unmanned Experts is a world-leader in the fusion of robotics, unmanned aircraft and traffic management systems (UAS/UTM), based on pioneering work with UAS & UTM. Their air domain awareness architecture is based on NASA tech, tracking UTM’s transition to an FAA program of record in the National Airspace System. Their goal is to embed themselves in the fabric of public safety aviation beginning with fire aviation. They are committed to building UTM-powered air asset management tools at scale
Artimus Robotics, Inc. – Boulder, CO $250,000 - Many everyday tasks are impossible to automate because current robotics and physical automation technologies, such as electric servo motors and pneumatic actuators, are heavy, rigid, complex, and not adaptable. At Artimus Robotics, their innovative artificial muscle technology provides lightweight, simple, controllable, and versatile linear motion that can replace traditional actuators and enable the next generation of automation and robotics in industries ranging from warehouses to healthcare
Barn Owl Tech, Inc. – Colorado Springs, CO $240,000 - Barn Owl automates the monitoring of remote and mobile assets with an AI-powered surveillance platform.
Brava Diagnostics, - Boulder, CO $250,000 - Brava is developing a rapid, high-sensitivity troponin test for chest pain assessment. Emergency physicians need precise lab results to guide treatment or safe discharge. Results from the central lab take more than an hour and current point-of-care (POC) tests do not meet the new American College of Cardiology guidelines. Brava’s evanescent planar waveguide technology enables lab-quality performance in 15 minutes using a low-cost POC instrument and high-margin consumable cartridges.
Career Allies – Fort Collins, CO $53,750 – The Tilt Platform is revolutionizing parental leave in the workplace. Through a web based solution, their turnkey platform guides employees and companies through a research based, customized approach to retention, engagement and effective transitions.
Earable , Inc. – Boulder, CO $250,000 - Earable is an exciting early stage company that is revolutionizing cognitive healthcare by building smart earphones that help improving human's cognitive functions and productivity. Their pioneering work is at the intersection of breakthrough wearable sensing, signal processing and machine learning. Today they are commercializing their invention for the world's first and most advanced in-ear health improvement interface system that will be applied in sleep, health, and other monitoring applications.
Emergy, LLC. – Boulder, CO $250,000 – Emergy has developed an engineered system for the efficient conversion of organic, F&B industrial wastewater into high value biomaterials. Through Emergy’s patent-pending fermentation technology, fungal mycelium is cultivated on F&B facilities liquid waste streams, offsetting the water and nutrient requirements for growth. The system is of small footprint as it scales vertically and achieves high removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS). A high value material is derived from the mycelium.
BioLoomics, LLC– Boulder, CO $240,000 – Each year, thousands of Pharma companies test thousands of drugs in clinical trials with a 99% failure rate. BioLoomics technology can shift some of this failure from inside clinical trials to preclinical development. This technology uses Artificial intelligence to compare both the on and off target effects of new drugs to that of known drugs, revealing a proportion of drugs that are destined to fail. Their efforts will save billions in R&D costs and will lead to better drugs in your medicine cabinet.
STAQ Pharma– Denver, CO $250,000 – STAQ Pharma is a large, highly automated, cGMP manufacturer that makes compounded medications in prefilled syringes for hospital procedures. They focus on the Pediatric Hospitals and their needs, but also adult hospitals where the medication use is relevant to both. STAQ Pharma emphasizes Safety, Transparency, Availability, and Quality in everything they do. They are the first in their industry to develop and deploy robotic syringe filling in compounded medications.
Transverse Medical, Inc. – Golden, CO $250,000 – Transverse Medical Inc. has developed the POINT-GUARD™ device to address the costly unmet clinical need for complete stroke protection for the patient’s brain during Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement procedures, a $12.5B annual market. Utilizing novel technology to create dynamic double edge sealing the POINT-GUARD™ adapts and conforms to complex arch anatomy, making it the only true solution for Complete Cerebral Embolic Protection.
Watchmaker Genomics – Boulder, CO $250,000 – Watchmaker Genomics specializes in the design, development and production of DNA- and RNA-modifying enzymes that enable high-growth applications in genomics, molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine. Watchmaker is developing novel protein engineering and manufacturing platforms to create best-in-class, proprietary reagents for the reading, writing and editing of DNA. The company supplies these reagents to life science, diagnostic, and clinical sequencing companies.
University of Denver- Denver, Researcher Maciej Kumosa/Monika Bleszynski Denver, CO $60,000 –Because of its enormous potential as a multi-use nontoxic antifreeze agent for Colorado’s infrastructure ranging from roadways to high voltage lines, the University of Denver is seeking additional funding to further investigate the newly designed antifreeze compound and subsequently move this technology from the lab to commercial applications. At this stage there is still more laboratory work required to improve and test this promising new technology. This will be accomplished using the State support.
National Jewish Health- Denver, Researcher Tasha Fingerlin- Denver, CO $150,000 – Enabling comprehensive diagnosis of sub-acute infection in chronic respiratory disease via high sensitivity next generation sequencing.
University of Colorado- Boulder, Researcher Min Han- Boulder, CO $150,000 – Transformative treatment of anemia: using enterobactin to enterobactin to relieve adverse side effects caused by iron supplementation
Colorado School of Mines, Researcher Colin Wolden – Golden, CO $109,540 – This project will be executed in collaboration with SolidPower, located in Louisville Co. CSM will provide meaningful quantities of Li2S nanocrystals to SolidPower, who in turn will test it in their proprietary formulations on their pilot scale line.