A Colorado company focused on improving education by turning digital devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones – into gateways to musical creativity and self-esteem for kids is among 27 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 $6,125,730 was approved this grant cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support Colorado’s advanced industries.
“Funding a diverse cross-section of innovative companies in Colorado’s key industries is one of the ways we fuel the economy,” said Michelle Hadwiger, global business development director. “These grants help expand Colorado’s economic ecosystem, spurring job growth and innovation.”
27 Colorado companies were approved to receive Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital Grants for a total of $6,125,730.00 (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.
Additionally, two Colorado companies – Nikola Power and Global Weather and Climate Solutions (dba IQ Planet) – successfully met all of its performance milestones and was approved for second round or “transition” funding for a total of $189,365.
The AI Accelerator Grant program received 100 applications this grant cycle. Applications were reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as an industry-specific reviewer. 21 companies were invited to participate in a pitch session in May with the full AI committee. Final recommendations were approved by the Economic Development Commission on May 16, 2019.
The next application cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants will open on July 1, 2019 and applications will be due September 3, 2019.
The Advanced Industry 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 that increases the state’s capacity to be globally competitive. AIA encompasses three distinct grant programs: Proof of Concept, Early Stage Capital and Retention, and Commercialization Infrastructure.
RoGo Fire – Westminster, CO $100,000 - RoGo Fire is developing an advanced satellite integrated communication solution including devices and software designed to enable wildland firefighters to communicate and access data in remote areas where cellular service is unreliable or not available. Our mission is to deliver a communication system that will reduce line of duty deaths, firefighting expense and property damage, as well as improve firefighter situational awareness by ensuring a productive deployment of emergency responders.
Voormi, LLC – Pagosa Springs, CO $500,000 – VOORMI is a company built around the convergence of textiles and technology. From advanced manufacturing techniques, to the seamless integration of consumer technology, VOORMI believes that bringing a *Silicon Valley* lens to the fabric that touches your body every day will truly change what we come to expect from the clothing we wear. As we look forward, we see a future where that same level of foundational comfort brings with it an endless world of connectivity and services.
Edify Technologies, Inc- Denver, CO $250,000 - There are ~1 billion children (ages 5-14) worldwide with limited access to music education, and another ~400 million who struggle with traditional instrumental instruction. The good news is that well designed software can turn digital devices – desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones – into gateways to musical creativity and self-esteem for kids. Edify is the startup building that software, with over $1.3 million in support from the National Science Foundation and 320,000+ users to date.
Colorado School of Mines, Researcher Owen Hildreth – Golden, CO $105,000 – Dissolvable Metal Supports: Reducing the Costs of Metals Additive Manufacturing by 40%
Pairin, Inc – Denver, CO $250,000 – PAIRIN’s mission is to make education relevant and hiring equitable. We use Friendly ScienceTM to personalize career exploration, job matching and professional development. Recognized as the Denver Chamber of Commerce Start-Up of the Year, Colorado Technology Association APEX Emerging Tech Company of the Year, and Colorado Companies to Watch winner, PAIRIN leads the skills-based talent pipeline evolution
ImmunoMolecular Therapeutics, LLC – Denver, CO $250,000 - Autoimmune diseases are inherently genetic in nature and can be treated with a personalized medicine approach by blocking the action of the underlying genetic risk factors. We are the first company to do so and have successfully demonstrated the effect of such a genetically targeted therapy in type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Our lead drug will enter human trials this year and we are actively building a pipeline of therapies with the core technology platform across other autoimmune diseases
Bolder Industries – Boulder, CO $250,000 - Bolder Industries is a technology-enabled company focused on creating valuable, sustainable products from waste tires. We have developed a proprietary solution that reuses 98% of the tire, thereby offsetting 90% of the water and 90% of CO2e emissions relative to traditional methods in a net energy positive manufacturing facility. BI’s process saves customers money, delivers a sustainable economy to the market and is highly profitable at the same time.
Aspero Medical – Boulder, CO $250,000 - Aspero Medical is an early stage company that is focused on improving gastrointestinal balloon endoscopy for the patient & physician. Aspero Medical’s differentiated micro-textured balloons provide consistent anchoring during in vivo use. This technology reduces procedure time, improves patient outcomes, & increases revenue. Physician preference drives the adoption of micro-textured balloon endoscopy, with head-to-head pricing, that leads to higher ROI with faster and more effective procedures.
Mallinda, LLC – Aurora, CO $250,000 – Mallinda lowers the barriers to adoption of fiber reinforced composite parts by improving the economics and reducing the environmental impact of composite part production. Mallinda’s circularly recyclable technology enables 1-minute production cycle time, or less, for high volume industries like automotive.
Jujo, Inc. – Boulder, CO $250,000 - Jujotech is a software development company for Industrial Augmented Reality, Connected worker communication, and Actionable Workflow for Industrial and Enterprise solutions in smart headsets. The company also integrates Industrial IoT into handsfree solutions for smart headsets
Opterus Research and Development, Inc. – Loveland, CO $250,000 - The Aerospace Industry is shifting towards smaller satellites to reduce launch costs, driving the use of more on orbit deployment technologies to expand solar arrays, RF antennas, sails, etc. This great challenge is also an opportunity: High Strain Composites from Opterus expand by over 200x and are more reliable and lower cost than competing technologies. HSCs are stiff, yet flexible materials revolutionizing the Aerospace Industry by replacing traditional mechanisms.
Delta Brick & Climate Company, Ltd – Grand Junction, CO $250,000 - Delta Brick and Climate Company is a sustainable building materials company located in the North Fork Valley. They produce greenhouse gas negative ceramics such as brick, pavers, and tile by capturing nearby coal mine methane to fire their kilns. Delta Brick uses locally sourced, high quality clay from the Paonia Reservoir that is currently clogging the reservoir. They are cleaning the atmosphere, slowing climate change, and increasing irrigation resilience in an important agricultural region.
Ageto, LLC – Fort Collins, CO $234,100 - Ageto Energy has created ARC, the Ageto Renewable Controller, to make renewable energy integration simple. ARC is a simple, intuitive, and operator-focused microgrid control solution. ARC breaks down the cost and complexity barriers that are currently preventing more renewable microgrid projects from moving forward.
Guidestar Optical Systems, Inc – Longmont, CO $249,961 – Guidestar’s adaptive optics technology addresses the ground-to-space optical communications needs of companies, enabling them to transmit large amounts of data more quickly, reducing latency of data availability to ground-based operations, and circumventing challenges in obtaining RF spectrum permits required for data transmission relying on slower radio transmission of data. Guidestar’s technology also addresses the backhaul network connectivity challenge in terrestrial 5G networks.
Sana Health – Lafayette, CO $248,000 - Sana’s mission is to redefine the way pain is treated. Approximately 100 million adults in the US live with chronic pain. Opioids are still the most effective treatment for most severe pain states, but they are hampered by side effects, abuse and addiction. Sana is the first non-invasive bio-therapeutic device that provides lasting relief for severe chronic pain sufferers. We have the potential to reduce or eliminate severe pain, at the touch of a button, anytime, anywhere.
Starfire Energy – Aurora, CO $250,000 – Starfire Energy is making clean fuel from air and water using the variable power of wind and solar, no CO2. We are making ammonia using our patent-pending catalyst, novel gas removal method, and specialized reactor. Ammonia can be combusted for energy, is an easy way to store and transport hydrogen, and has more energy by volume than batteries. We have two demonstration markets we are entering in preparation for mass manufacturing of our commercial synthesis unit to sell to large companies.
Arpeggio Biosciences – Boulder, CO $250,000 – Understanding how a drug works is the key to unlocking its therapeutic potential. Arpeggio’s platform offers a snapshot of cellular activity that is not possible by any other approach and allows the clear definition of a drug’s mechanism. These molecular snapshots enable our sponsors to make decisions at every step of the drug development timeline, from target discovery through patient stratification, reducing costs and improving the chances of clinical success.
Eximis Surgical, Inc.– Louisville, CO $250,000 – Eximis has developed a fast, easy solution for removing large surgical specimens through small incisions. Because large incisions lead to increases in patient pain, recovery time and complications, our solution improves patient outcomes and reduces cost of care. The specimen is contained within a double bag, minimizing risk of a bag breach. With 2M patients annually requiring enlarged incisions to remove large specimens, our specimen removal platform addresses a growing and unmet patient need.
Triple Endoscopy, Inc – Englewood, CO $250,000 - TEI is developing a turn-key medical system to enable unsedated endoscopy procedures for pediatric and adult patients for use in the 10 million annual worldwide procedures. TEI will seek FDA clearance for a system that will integrate 3 key proprietary elements including a custom optimized single-patient-use endoscope, a Virtual Reality based distraction method for eliminating the need for anesthesia, and a customized medical-grade software application to integrate the system.
Fisher Imaging – Wheat Ridge, CO $250,000 –Fischer Imaging will revolutionize breast cancer care. Its proprietary technology doubles the resolution and contrast of today's mammography using less than half the x-ray dose. It also removes the need for painful breast compression: the main reason why women avoid mammograms. They have a compelling product combined with a well-recognized brand, a billion dollar market with excellent exit opportunities and an experienced team.
University of Colorado- Colorado Springs, Researcher Dario Bueno Baques/Anatoliy Glushchenko- Colorado Springs, CO $149,365 – Development of a disruptive technology for low-cost, compact, radar scanning systems: Applications to communications, sensing and aerospace.
Air Squared, Inc – Broomfield, CO $199,939 – Air Squared listens, develops, and manufactures scroll technologies that enable its client’s innovations. Air Squared is the industry leader in oil free scroll design engineering solutions from silent miniature scrolls for bedside life support medical devices, high pressure liquid cooled electric vehicle compressors, to Mars bound zero gravity vacuum compression refrigerators. Air Squared has completed over 200 unique scroll based projects.
Respirogen, Inc. – Longmont, CO $250,000 – Respirogen™ has developed a lipid Oxygen Microbubble (OMB) technology which will deliver systemic oxygen to the body without using the lungs. This technology will treat lung injury patients with hypoxia (low oxygen saturation) due to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS affects 200,000 patients per year in the USA with a 40% mortality rate, more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined, and patients have limited treatment options. OMB will improve lung injury standard of care.
Sopris Health – Denver, CO $250,000 – Healthcare providers spend 50% of their day doing documentation and data entry, despite spending $60 billion/year on legacy documentation solutions. Sopris Assistant is the first of its kind. A patent-pending digital assistant that completes documentation tasks for providers, typically in less than 45 seconds - the time it takes to walk between exam rooms. Sopris Assistant is fully automated and real time, removing the need for dictation or scribes at a price point that works for all clinicians.
University of Colorado- Denver, Researcher Jeffrey Stansbury- Denver, CO $150,000 – Biocompatible and Biodegradable Polymeric Nanogel as Targeted Delivery Vehicle for CRISPR-Cas9