A Colorado company with revolutionary technology to develop and market a safe helmet liner using a patented energy-absorbing material and state-of-the-art additive manufacturing to a robotic AI company improving manufacturing efficiency were 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 $7,300,575 was approved this grant cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support Colorado’s advanced industries.
“The Advanced Industry grants expand Colorado’s vital innovation ecosystem where this very innovation drives economic growth,” said Katie Woslager, senior manager – Advanced Industries. “These cutting-edge companies create jobs and leverage additional investment into the state, proving to be true economic engines contributing to Colorado’s economy.”
27 Colorado companies were approved to receive Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital Grants for a total of $6,290,000 (listed 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 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 and one Proof Concept Application – Cetya Therapeutics and Career Allies and Colorado School of Mines by Researcher Terry Lowe– successfully met all of their performance milestones and were approved for second round or “transition” funding for a total of $381,250.
Nine projects will also be approved for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus totaling $629,325 for Proof of Concept Projects.
The AI Accelerator Grant program received 77 applications this grant cycle. Applications were reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as an industry-specific reviewer. 22 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 21, 2020.
The next application cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants will open on July 1, 2020 and applications will be due September 1, 2020.
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 Collaborative Infrastructure.
Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital Grant Companies
Advanced Material Solutions, Inc.– Erie, CO $250,000 – AMS has developed a new technology to manufacture clad pipes for applications in multiple AIs to transport sour crude oil, carbon capture and storage, and other corrosive fluids (acids). AMS developed this technology because the existing clad pipe manufacture technologies are slow, expensive and have a long delivery time resulting in many projects being shelved. AMS’s founding team members are global technical and commercial experts with many years’ experience in the field.
Allander Biotechnologies, LLC. – Aurora, CO $250,000 - Allander Biotechnologies is developing a protein therapeutic to treat patients suffering from inflammatory disorders with unmet medical needs. Our initial topical therapy will help cancer patients suffering from oral mucositis, a debilitating side effect of their cancer therapy that can limit their ability to receive the most efficacious treatment.
AmpVision – Aurora, CO $250,000 – There is a billion dollar industry that hinges on patient's receiving a needle injection in their eye every month. We are going to change that. AmpVision’s technology can be implanted once and provides protection equivalent to 40 injections.
Blue Cubed, LLC- Niwot, CO $250,000 - Blue Cubed provides cost-disruptive satellite communications systems through new design approaches. The company’s products span RF and optical links bringing new capabilities and dramatically lowering cost to each. CDMA allows a single ground (or space) station to talk to many satellites at once. A new approach to pointing optical inter satellite links allows much relaxed manufacturing tolerances while retaining the utmost precision required for long distance links.
Buderflys Technologies, Inc. – Denver, CO $250,000 – Buderflys imagines a future where the smart earbud will replace the need to carry around a smartphone. Despite the ever-changing way that we consume information and connect with each other, no earbud company has addressed the chief complaints in the industry – fit, ear fatigue, soreness, falls out, low-end sound - associated with long term earbud usage. Until now, Buderflys is redefining the $30B, high-margin (80%) industry with our proprietary comfort technology and unparalleled sounding smart-bud.
Cliexa – Denver, CO $250,000 - Cliexa is a modular digital intake and remote monitoring platform with clinical assessments, connected device data, payer claims data, and medication adherence. Cliexa integration services and rules engine connects fully supports bi-directional EMR integration, enabling custom clinician alerts, patient notifications and reminders to engage patients with their treatment plans while providing clinical and compliance metrics for documentation and quality reporting.
Crestone, Inc – Boulder, CO $250,000 - Crestone, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on inventing and developing novel mechanism of action small molecule drugs for serious bacterial infections including Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), resistant Gram-positive infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and chronic infections such as NTM disease.
Epic River – Loveland, CO $250,000 - Imagine a scenario where you’re paid in-full at the time your medical services are rendered, your patients are guaranteed low-interest medical financing with reasonable payment terms, and your local bank or credit union is able to remain viable by helping you and your patients with revenue generating loans. Epic River makes this scenario a reality. Their solution enables providers and patients to overcome the challenges that come with the high costs of our healthcare system.
Exum Instruments, Inc. – Denver, CO $250,000 – Exum Instruments is developing a new scientific instrument which is capable of measuring, mapping and quantifying any element or organic compound. Further, we are making it the easiest to use instrument on the market, with no postdoctoral degree required. Exum is building this tool to replace the dated, time consuming, and frustrating instruments and workflows of current instruments. They can accomplish this by combining new analytical technologies with modern software design sensibilities.
Impressio, Inc – Aurora, CO $250,000 - Impressio is the first and only company to develop and market a safe helmet liner using a patented energy absorbing material and state-of-the-art additive manufacturing to 3D-print player/user-specific helmet liners to reduce concussion and protect the head. This new approach has the potential to be used for any helmet technology to improve safety (such as football, military, and bike helmets). There is a growing trend among consumers and professionals to use 3D Printing and new materials.
Leaf Global Fintech – Evergreen, CO $250,000 – Leaf provides digital financial services to the stateless and excluded on a mobile device through blockchain technology. The company offers a safe way for refugees to protect and transport assets across borders while escaping conflict, avoiding the dangers and inconveniences that come with carrying cash. When refugees arrive in a new country with more capital, they can dramatically improve their quality of life. Ultimately, Leaf helps refugees create a lasting economic identity.
Local News Network, Inc. – Durango, CO $100,000 – Local News Network delivers local news that matters to Small Towns, USA.
MicroGrid Labs, Inc. – Boulder, CO $250,000 - Fleet electrification is both capital intensive and complex. It requires tools for detailed analysis and system sizing. MGL offers software to minimize costs and risks in electrification projects. The software helps develop the right charging strategy and optimize size and operation of vehicle batteries and charging/energy infrastructure. The unique nature of the solution is the joint modeling of transportation and energy. The platform is aimed at fleet operators, consultants and utilities.
Momentum Optics, LLC – Longmont, CO $250,000 – Momentum Optics is leveraging semiconductor processing techniques to develop an innovative manufacturing technology capable of producing optical components about 10X less expensively and 5-10X faster than traditional methods. Momentum Optics, LLC is solving the problem of long lead-times for custom optical lenses, a pain point for many companies as they seek a first-to-market advantage in an effort to capture early market share and create brand awareness.
Neurexis Therapeutics, Inc. – Aurora, CO $250,000 – Stroke and cardiac arrest affect millions of patients each year. Re-establishment of blood flow to the brain—although life-saving—does not address the substantial impact on quality of life and healthcare costs associated with the resulting neuronal death and cognitive impairment. No drugs are available, leaving a tremendous market opportunity for a product that significantly reduces damage to the brain. Neurexis is directly addressing this unmet need.
Robotic Materials, Inc. – Boulder, CO $250,000 – RM provides the robotic AI to improve manufacturing efficiency. Robotic Materials provides an easy-to-configure mobility, pick-and-place, bin picking and assembly skills that fit right into the majority of manufacturing processes. Skills work right out of the box and are stackable, no programming needed. Monthly revenue using a SaaS-model on proven, standard hardware.
SafeSpout, Inc. – Denver, CO $250,000 – Spout is the most accurate lead test for in-home drinking water, accurately detecting total lead concentrations well below 1 part-per-billion. Spout is a subscription-based, IOT device that utilizes single-use test cartridges. It establishes consumer confidence in the water that they drink; democratizes aggregated community data; connects consumers with mitigation solutions; accelerates lead service line replacement initiatives; and supports corporate sustainability programs.
Sandbox Solar, LLC. – Fort Collins, CO $250,000 - Currently, agriculture and renewable energy compete over the remnants of land space in our urban centers across the U.S. Sandbox Solar is developing a method, service, and technology for the two industries to exist compatibly and enable optimal land use. More distributed solar energy will be able to be deployed in strategic locations that keep agriculture in production. This relationship will increase the overall economics to the farmer and to solar developers.
SiVEC Biotechnologies– Fort Collins, CO $250,000 - Scientists and doctors can “cure” diseases in a test tube using nucleic acid drugs, however delivery to the patient remains a challenge and biopharma is looking for a delivery solution that works. SiVEC is offering a delivery system for nucleic acid therapeutics which provides a large therapeutic window, long-term payload stability, and tissue targeted delivery with a favorable safety profile. Potential targets are broad and include influenza, cancer, genetic disorders, and diabetes.
Sweetsense, Inc. Denver, CO $250,000 – Sweetsense, Inc. develops and deploys sensors to manage water and energy services in remote, off-grid environments globally. Our low-cost satellite-connected sensors are compatible with a wide range of fixed infrastructure. Leveraging machine learning, they enable responsive remote management of water and energy resources. Daily, Sweetsense, Inc. is monitoring over 3 million people’s water supplies in Africa, and expanding to support regulated groundwater management in the United States.
Urban Sky Theory, Inc. – Denver, CO $250,000 – Urban Sky is creating a new data set to fuel the cities of tomorrow - broad area, ultra-high resolution, ultra-fresh aerial imagery. Their novel invention, the Micro-balloon, leverages advances in component miniaturization and first-of-its-kind material re-usability to exponentially reduce the cost of high-resolution remote sensing and weather-related data capture over broad areas, leading to more impactful data over more areas than ever before.
Vitrivax, Inc. - Boulder, CO $240,000 – Vitrivax, Inc. is partnering with prominent human and animal pharmaceutical companies globally to formulate their vaccines to be thermostable, and require only a single injection.
Why Cycles, Inc, dba Revel Bikes – Carbondale, CO $250,000 – Revel Bikes designs and builds the best, and most fun, full-suspension mountain bikes you’ll ever ride, and they do it in the most sustainable way possible. Their bikes, as well as their wheels and other high quality bike products, are created with superior materials for strength and performance, unique engineering for comfort and speed, and cutting edge technology for advancing the industry and diminishing the environmental footprint throughout the process.
Xtract Medical – Louisville, CO $250,000 – Xtract Medical has built and patented a disruptive technology in stroke treatment that significantly improves patient outcomes, fits with existing catheters, and simplifies the surgeon’s life.
University of Colorado Denver, Researcher Maria Valeria Canto-Soler - Denver, CO $150,000 – Advanced biomaterial systems for stem cell-derived retinal transplants.
University of Colorado Boulder, Researcher Christopher Lowry- Boulder, CO $150,000 – Lead compound discovery from environmental mycobacteria strains for treatment of PTSD.
Colorado State University- Researcher Todd Bandhauer- Fort Collins, CO $150,000 - Advanced Data Center Cooling System.