Economy & Economic Development  May 25, 2023

Firms, researchers win advanced-industries accelerator grants

Companies and researchers in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado make up more than half of the 37 firms and six researchers statewide who have been selected to share in more than $9.5 million worth of grants from the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

The grants, either for proof of concept or for early-stage capital and retention, were issued by OEDIT’s business-development division as part of its Advanced Industries Accelerator Program. The Proof of Concept grant is intended to help Colorado research institutions speed up applied research in the advanced industries as well as commercialize products and services in partnership with the private sector. The Early-Stage Capital and Retention grant supports businesses commercializing innovative and disruptive technologies in the advanced industries that will be created or manufactured in Colorado.

“The Colorado Advanced Industry Grant program provides early-risk capital that is greatly needed in our growing technology ecosystem,” said Mike Freeman, CEO of Fort Collins-based Innosphere Ventures, an incubator supporting high-tech startups. In a prepared statement, Freeman thanked Gov. Jared Polis, the state Legislature and OEDIT “for their unwavering support of this essential grant program.”

Eleven companies affiliated with Innosphere’s ecosystem were honored, along with one tenant based within the Innosphere headquarters building.

Innosphere client companies and graduates receiving Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grants include:

Beryl Therapeutics Inc., Longmont, $250,000: Developed a patented small molecule that increases bone formation and reduces bone resorption to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Burst Diagnostics Inc., Fort Collins, $250,000: Developed a first-in-class point-of-care diagnostics platform for infections for use in doctor’s offices, clinics and urgent- care facilities.

E-Flux LLC, Fort Collins, $97,662: Developed a passive soil gas trap to evaluate the greenhouse-gas footprint of agriculture operations.

Impact Cooling Inc., Fort Collins, $250,000: Developed a data center cooling technology that achieves top-tier peak-load efficiency in high ambient temperature environments using only air.

New West Genetics, Fort Collins, $250,000: Developed sustainable, high yielding hybrid hemp seed using a combination of traditional breeding, genomics and agronomic expertise.

OMC Hydrogen Inc., Fort Collins, $250,000: Developed an isothermal pressure swing redox technology for thermochemical production of green hydrogen or syngas.

Recycle Global Exchange, Castle Rock, $250,000: Developed a cloud-based marketplace that enables businesses to move end-of-life IT assets with a vast pool of recyclers and resellers.

RoGO Communications, Lakewood, $250,000: Developed a lightweight device that connects firefighters over cellular-denied and radio-denied areas. 

SiVEC Biotechnologies, Fort Collins, $250,000: Developed a live biotherapeutic delivery platform to enable the next generation of nucleic acid and gene editing therapies.

TissueForm Inc., Boulder, $250,000: Developed a biostimulatory and reversible dermal filler to improve life for people affected by volumetric tissue loss.

An Innosphere client receiving a $150,000 Proof-of-Concept Grant was Reza Nazemi at Colorado State University, developing modular electrochemical systems powered by renewable electricity to produce nitrogen-based fertilizers from agricultural waste streams.

Non-Innosphere clients in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado who won Proof-of-Concept grants included:

Vivian Li, CSU, $121,007 for developing cellulose nanocrystals to convert hemp agrowaste to high-value bioproducts.

John Mizia, CSU, $60,000 for developing a wavelength-specific, narrowband LED photochemical vaccine manufacturing testbed.

Linda Watkins, University of Colorado Boulder, $150,000 for developing individualized treatment for multiple sclerosis through site-specific drug therapy.

Non-Innosphere clients in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado that won Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grants include:

AEMS Corp., Boulder, $250,000: Developed a collection of sanitizers that destroy harmful bacteria on sprout seeds prior to sprouts germination.

Brightspot Automation LLC, Boulder, $250,000: Developed solar panel testing equipment to identify defects in solar cells and solar panels on land and in space.

cQuant.io Inc., Louisville, $500,000: A B2B SaaS provider of advanced analytic solutions for energy companies through a cloud-based platform.

Dark Sky Technology, Fort Collins, $250,000: Developed a code translation platform that can create human readable, compliable and performant code with no memory or type safe issues.

Enrichment Systems LLC, Boulder, $250,000: Developed a mechanism creating and distributing oxygen nanobubbles in sufficient volume to service commercial controlled environment agriculture irrigation systems.

Flourish Medical LLC, Boulder, $250,000: Developed a single-use, disposable device for the management of stress urinary incontinence in women.

Latimer Controls Inc., Boulder, $100,000: Developed a utility-scale solar plant generation control software that integrates with existing hardware to control that generation in real time.

Modendo Inc., Boulder, $250,000: Developed an ultra-thin multi-probe endomicroscope that provides high-resolution imaging capabilities for inaccessible regions of the brain.

ThinkOrbital Inc., Lafayette, $250,000: Developed a single-launch configured multi-mission space platform that supports a range of private and public sector needs.

Urban Farms Inc., Boulder, $250,000: Developed a low-cost, fully automated vertical farm for sustainable food production. 

These awards represent a total of $9,978,669 in funding. The Advanced Industries Accelerator Program received 99 applications this grant cycle, which were reviewed in a multi-stage process by committees of business, technical and financial experts in the seven advanced industries. Final recommendations were approved by the Economic Development Commission on May 18.

The next application cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants will open on July 3, and applications will be due by Sept. 1.

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