Destination Startup links investors with startups spun off from colleges, research institutions

BROOMFIELD — It’s one thing to develop a functional piece of technology. It’s a different thing entirely to turn that technology into a successful business venture.

Destination Startup, held at the Omni Interlocken Hotel in Broomfield and hosted by the University of Colorado, brought together entrepreneurs, startup executives, research institutions and venture capitalists from across the Front Range to help startups make that leap.

The purpose of the first-time event was to connect companies spun off from Colorado universities and laboratories with investors to help them commercialize their research and technology.

“It’s probably harder to sell these things than it is to build them,” said Kevin Ness, CEO of Inscripta Inc., a Boulder-based gene-editing technology company.

Two dozen startups from various industries including medical devices, software, engineering, pharmaceuticals and biosciences participated in a series of showcases to pitch their products and attract investors.

The research institutions that participated in Destination Startup, sponsored by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, were University of Colorado, CU Anschutz, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado State University and University of Denver.

Investors were presented with a “one-of-a-kind opportunity in Colorado,” given the state’s 31 federal labs and engrained culture of entrepreneurship, said Stephen Miller, a commercialization network liaison with CU’s Technology Transfer Office.

Inscripta was recognized during the Destination Startup programming as an example of a company that has successfully made the jump from research into commercialization.

“You’re always selling yourself,” said James Linfield, a partner at law firm Cooley LLP, which works with investors and startups such as Inscripta. He stressed that relationships can be as important to investors and strong technology.

Inscripta was recognized during the Destination Startup programming as an example of a company that has successfully made the jump from research into commercialization.

The firm recently raised $30 million in capital. That fundraising came on the heels of a 2018 Series C round that brought in more than $55 million.

The company bought Solana Biosciences Inc., a life-sciences company founded by veterans of Illumina Inc. (Nasdaq: ILMN), in September 2018. That acquisition, the company said at the time, was aimed at accelerating commercialization of gene-editing technology.

During Destination Startup’s keynote address, Eric Moessinger, a partner with California-based venture capital firm NanoDimension, was asked what convinced him to invest in Inscripta.

“There was such a powerful vision at the end of the tunnel, we were willing to jump in,” he said, adding that NanoDimension’s strategy is to invest in “important, transformative companies.”

Vision is an important asset for a startup, but a strong will to succeed is more important, Ness said.

“You have to will (your company) forward” and surround yourself with team members with the same level of commitment, he said.

 

BROOMFIELD — It’s one thing to develop a functional piece of technology. It’s a different thing entirely to turn that technology into a successful business venture.

Destination Startup, held at the Omni Interlocken Hotel in Broomfield and hosted by the University of Colorado, brought together entrepreneurs, startup executives, research institutions and venture capitalists from across the Front Range to help startups make that leap.

The purpose of the first-time event was to connect companies spun off from Colorado universities and laboratories with investors to help them commercialize their research and technology.

“It’s probably harder to sell these things than it is to build them,” said Kevin Ness, CEO of Inscripta Inc., a Boulder-based gene-editing technology company.

Two dozen startups from various industries including medical devices, software, engineering, pharmaceuticals and biosciences participated in a series of showcases to pitch their products and attract investors.

The research institutions that participated in Destination Startup, sponsored by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, were University of Colorado, CU Anschutz, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado State University and University of Denver.

Investors were presented with a “one-of-a-kind opportunity in Colorado,” given the state’s 31 federal labs and engrained culture of entrepreneurship, said Stephen Miller, a commercialization network liaison with CU’s Technology Transfer Office.

Inscripta was recognized during the Destination Startup programming as an example of a company that has successfully made the jump…