Boulder startup Native wins CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge college division

FORT COLLINS — Boulder startup Native, founded by University of Colorado students, won the college division of the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge on Wednesday, taking home $20,000 in cash and qualifying for a spot in the $250,000 enterprise division of the competition to be held Friday and Saturday.

Native makes an app that offers personal travel assistants for as little as $25 per month who plan, book and handle travel details for users. The assistants coordinate flights, lodging, dining and rental cars by texting travel arrangements to customers’ phones.

In addition to the cash prize, Native also won a package that includes business mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises, software tools and professional services.

Native was founded early last year by Devon Tivona, Sam Feisenthal and Lianne Haug before going through the Techstars Boulder startup accelerator.

“This has been an overwhelming experience,” Tivona said in a release from CSU. “It’s a huge validation to us that others believe in us.”

Change Composites, founded by Colorado State University graduate student Nate Saam, took second place in Wednesday’s competition, winning $5,000. Change Composites has designed a new bicycle helmet using a shock-absorbing composite material developed by the company.

The competition was held at Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center, and included 12 teams from colleges around the state. Native and 15 other startups will compete for the $250,000 grand prize.