State awards $8.6M in grants to startups

DENVER — Thirty-six Colorado startups secured almost $8.6 million in grants as part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Program.

The AI Accelerator Grant program received 119 applications for the current grant cycle, with applications reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as an industry-specific reviewer. A pitch session with 22 companies occurred in May with the full AI committee. Final recommendations were approved by the Colorado Economic Development Commission Thursday.

“As Colorado begins its recovery from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, support of the economic engines that are the advanced industries is more important than ever,” Katie Woslager, senior manager, Advanced Industries, said in a prepared statement. “These projects expand the Colorado innovation ecosystem, creating jobs, expanding industries and driving investment into the state.”

The program provides proof-of-concept grants to Colorado research universities, federal laboratories within the state and other labs with technology-transfer offices seeking to commercialize research. Early-stage capital and retention grants fund companies that are “commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally.”

Two Colorado companies — Local News Network and Serenity App Inc. — met performance milestones and were approved for a second round or “transition” funding for a total of $250,000.  

Grants included:

FinGoal Inc., Lafayette — $250,000. FinGoal builds infrastructure and analytics for financial brands to better understand individual users on a human level — what they value and what is motivating them.

Fulfilld, Denver — $250,000. Fulfilld provides an intelligent warehouse-management platform that leverages 5G for real-time tracking services.

Hippo Health, Boulder —$125,000. Hippo Health’s platform enables patients to see doctors on demand.

InScribe Education, Denver — $250,000.  InScribe provides a digital support platform that leverages human connection, community and artificial intelligence to connect students with answers, resources, and individuals they need to succeed.

Link to Learn, Denver — $247,195. Link to Learn seeks to improve access, reduce costs and enhance knowledge retention for advanced critical care skills. A Mobile Cadaveric Lab and Training Support Team delivers advanced emergency medical training anywhere within the U.S. 

Rank One Computing Corp., Denver — $250,000. Rank One develops facial recognition algorithms used to solve mission-critical security issues and enhance user experiences.

CardioScout Innovations Inc., Boulder — $250,000. CardioScout is a minimally invasive platform for the visually directed treatment of life-threatening conditions on the surface of the beating heart, allowing for cardiac interventions designed to be safer, faster and more effective than current techniques.

Ceria Therapeutics Inc., Aurora — $250,000. Ceria is developing a pipeline of drug products based on a single active agent to treat inflammatory diseases with severe morbidity such as nonhealing wounds, acute lung inflammation and severe intestinal distress.

EZaLife LLC, Cherry Hills Village — $250,000.  EZaLife, a University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus startup company, seeks to improve the overall health and safety of those with “simple to complex” or “short- to long-term” medical issues, by developing devices that simplify their lives, in a way that will allow them to live with dignity and greater independence.

Mosaic Biosciences Inc., Boulder — $242,257.   Mosaic provides experienced biopharma teams to advance challenging protein therapeutic programs from discovery through preclinical development.

New West Genetics, Fort Collins — $250,000.  New West Genetics is a plant genetics and breeding company that provides novel genetics for efficient, sustainable, large-scale production of hemp.

Rock Immune LLC, Denver — $250,000. Rock Immune develops and commercializes diphtheria toxin-based recombinant immunotoxins as therapeutic drugs for cancer treatment.

SunPath, Louisville — $250,000. SunPath, a clean-tech startup funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, develops a technology to advance efficient buildings, including commercial, residential and indoor (controlled environment) agriculture.

REQYRD Inc., Wheat Ridge — $250,000.  REQYRD provides U.S.-based chemical and metal recovery using a low energy, low-waste process to stabilize pricing and establish circular chemical production supply chains.

Ecologic Materials Inc., Lakewood — $500,000.  EMC seeks to solve the single-use-plastic waste problem while building high-performing sustainable roads.

Phase IV Engineering Inc., Boulder — $381,000. Phase IV Engineering produces wireless industrial sensors that reduce expensive unexpected downtime and increase process efficiency.

Boulder Sterilization Services, Boulder — $250,000. Boulder Sterilization Services develops equipment to provide “Quick Turn” sterilization services for medical-device companies.

Contour Printworks LLC, Longmont — $250,000. Contour Printworks enables brewers and other beverage companies to create and can thousands of products for the first time, and create thousands of new production and sales options for their current canned products.

Liberty Dynamic, Denver — $152,190. Liberty Dynamic provides multidisciplinary research and development, training and manufacturing teams to innovate and provide safer alternatives for law enforcement and military customers in both the domestic and international markets. 

Cubby Beds, Denver — $250,000. Cubby’s insurance-reimbursable smart beds have customizable sensory inputs to help with sleep and anxiety and padding plus remote monitoring to improve safety for children with autism.

HiveTech Solutions LLC, Westminster — $500,000. HiveTech Solutions, a spinoff of the University of Colorado Boulder, has designed, built and tested a smart-container system that eliminates the spread of varroa mites and precisely manages the interior environment to match the optimal winter conditions for honeybees.

Barn Owl Drone Services, Colorado Springs — $200,000.  Barn Owl provides drone and robotic services to help farmers secure their food supply and increase profits.

PlanIT Geo, Arvada — $250,000. PlanIT developed the TreePlotter Software Suite, a comprehensive mapping SaaS platform to maximize tree benefits through data-driven, efficient tree-care operations.

Op-T LLC, Denver — $250,000. Op-T develops  therapeutics to control autoimmune inflammation across a range of diseases, with the primary focus type 1 diabetes, with later indications to include multiple sclerosis  and atherosclerosis.

Orbit Genomics Inc., Boulder — $250,000.  Orbit Genomics’ technology platform analyzes novel genomic markers, repetitive DNA called microsatellites, that uniquely reflect not only inherited disease risk, but also risk acquired from lifestyle and environmental exposures.

Vona Oncology LLC, Aurora — $250,000. Vona Oncology is an early clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing targeted therapeutics to treat aggressive cancers such as triple-negative breast cancer.

Ageto LLC, Fort Collins — $250,000. Ageto has developed the Ageto ARC Microgrid Controller, a microgrid control solution.

AMPP Technologies, Lakewood — $250,000. AMPP Technologies is commercializing a novel Self-Terminating Etching Process that reduces the costs of metals 3D printing by upward of 30% — potentially saving the industry $3 billion to $4 billion a year by 2030.

University of Colorado Denver researcher Nicholas Jacobsen, Denver — $129,975. 3D Voxel Printing for Presurgical Planning.

University of Colorado Denver researcher Srinivas Ramachandra, Denver — $300,000. Evaluating and Improving Cancer Therapy with Epigenomics.

University of Colorado Denver researcher Sheana Bull, Denver — $90,139. Development of the COVID-19 Nudge Chatbot.

Colorado School of Mines researcher Mark Eberhart, Golden — $150,000. Development of a unique tool, called Bondalyzer, that allows users to predict a material’s mechanical properties virtually.

Colorado School of Mines researcher Andy Herring, Golden — $150,000. Tuffbrane Membranes for Water Electrolysis Applications

Colorado School of Mines researcher Jeff Squier, Golden — $150,000. Super resolution metrology and manipulation for Advanced Manufacturing

The next application cycle for proof-of-concept and early-stage capital and retention grants will open on July 1, 2021, and applications will be due Sept. 1, 2021.

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