DENVER -- Colorado companies with technologies that could prevent blindness in glaucoma patients, create more effective ways of delivering medications in the body, and even a workforce development app to inspire young people to pursue careers in STEM, will receive funding as part of the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).
A total of $3,244,982 was approved this grant cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support Colorado's advanced industries.
The companies are:
· AQ BioMed
· Ceyta Therapeutics
· CSU’s Gary Luckasen
· Erickson Electronics
· Lacuna Diagnostics
· Precision Profile
· ProStar Geocorp
· Tailwind Nutrition
· CU’s Newell Rogers
· Well Data Labs
Fifteen Colorado companies were approved to receive Proof-of-Concept and Early-Stage Capital Grants totaling $3.2 million.
Three of the companies awarded funding are located in rural areas of the state, including ActivArmo, ProStar and Tailwind Nutrition.
"The breadth and potential impact of the companies that were awarded grants this cycle is impressive," said Michelle Hadwiger, global business development director and OEDIT deputy director.
"One of Colorado's greatest strengths is the constant innovation in our key industries and we're thrilled to continue to support that ecosystem with funding."
Proof-of-Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other labs with valid technology transfer offices for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation.
Early-Stage Capital and Retention grants fund companies commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally.
Additionally, one Colorado company, MMA Design, was approved for second round or "transition" funding for a total of $137,482.
The AI Accelerator Grant program received 80 applications this grant cycle. Applications were reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as by an industry-specific reviewer.
Nineteen companies were invited to participate in a pitch session earlier this month with the full AI committee. Final recommendations were approved by the Economic Development Commission on Nov. 16.
The next application cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grants will open Jan. 1, 2018 and applications will be due March 1. The Infrastructure grant cycle will open Feb. 1 and close April 2.
The Advanced Industry Accelerator Programs (AIA) were created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado's advanced industries by driving innovation, accelerating commercialization, encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to early-stage capital and creating a strong infrastructure that increases the state's capacity to be globally competitive.
AIA encompasses three distinct grant programs: Proof-of-Concept, Early-Stage Capital and Retention, and Commercialization Infrastructure.