CU starts business-accelerator program

BOULDER – The University of Colorado-Boulder’s engineering college and Deming Center for Entrepreneurship have teamed up to launch a business-accelerator program, the school announced Thursday.

Catalyze CU is open to CU-Boulder students and faculty to help them turn their innovations and technology into companies.

The first cohort of six ventures that include a total of 22 students kicks off Saturday and runs for eight weeks. During that time, Catalyze CU will provide the ventures with mentorship, grants and space at Spark Boulder – a student co-working space on University Hill – as they develop their products and business plans.

“Our goal is to move them to the next stage, whatever that is,” Doug Smith, assistant dean for programs and talent at CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, said in a statement. “It could be product development, raising capital funds and, in some cases, releasing their products on the market.”

Catalyze CU is modeled after other business-accelerator programs around the country, with local notables like the Foundry Group’s Brad Feld and Jason Mendelsohn and TechStars’ co-founder David Cohen providing their expertise.

More than 35 teams applied to be part of the first Catalyze CU cohort. The six selected include:

Malleable Metals – Malleable plastics that can be molded directly onto the body to eliminate the mold-making currently required for custom orthopedics.

Dynamic Measurement Solutions – A device that measures displacement of a residual limb within a prosthetic socket during dynamic movements along multiple axes.

Global Solar – A solar drip-irrigation pump for rural farmers in India that uses mirrors to concentrate solar power and reduce the initial price by 50 percent.

QuintEssentials – A subscription service that delivers care-package items to college freshmen in their residence halls.

Shinesty – An online clothing platform that helps people find outrageous and hilarious clothing.

IconPulse – A web platform and app that scores social media influence for the sports industry.

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