Innosphere: 2013 economic metrics show breakout year for startup growth and job creation

By: InnovatioNews Friday February 21, 2014 0 comments Tags: Access to Capital, CREED, CSU, Fort Collins, Innosphere, Mark Wdowik, Mike Freeman, NREL

Rocky Mountain Innosphere RMI logoFORT COLLINS -When it came to attracting capital and hiring new employees, 2013 proved to be a breakout year for client companies of Rocky Mountain Innosphere, the Fort Collins-based nonprofit technology incubator.

Innosphere said it worked with 44 client companies last year, the most companies to ever come through the tech incubator in one year. Thirteen of the 44 companies graduated from Innosphere's incubation program because they met their graduation goals. For some, it meant hitting a significant revenue target or raising enough capital to finance sustainable growth. For others, the goal was a strategic partnership with stable funding streams.

Innosphere said its 44 client companies in 2013 collectively achieved the following metrics:

  • Raised $35.3 million in grant, angel, and equity funding;

  • Supported the creation of 297 new jobs in Colorado;

  • Had an average salary of $59k for a full time employee

  • Had gross revenues of $16.2 million; and

  • Raised a cumulative of over $85 million in capital to date.


 

Innosphere also worked with 14 CSU startup companies in 2013 who collectively raised $8.1 million in capital; created 78 full and part-time jobs; had $2.9 million in revenues and raised a cumulative of $14.1 million in capital to date.

Innosphere said additional 2013 successes included furthering its partnership with Colorado State University; launching a new office to expand its flagship cleantech program; and building their "Access to Capital" program by adding additional funding pools.

"Innosphere continued to make great progress this past year and continues to build a strong partnership with CSU," said Mark Wdowik, Innosphere board chair and Assistant VP for Research & Industry Partnerships at CSU. "Due to Innosphere's deeply rooted relationships within the entrepreneurial community of Colorado, they offer clients a broad web of networks, connecting them with mentors and industry leaders who are experienced in their fields and can provide invaluable insights."

CSU and Innosphere have developed a "Technology to Market" (T2M) process in order to provide a diagnostic tool that provides a common language, and to keep a strong pipeline of startup companies coming into Innosphere's incubation program. The T2M process starts with research and goes through all the phases of development, validation, startup and growth in order to better define a clear path for companies to follow.

Innosphere launched a new office in Golden that serves to expand Innosphere's cleantech program throughout all of Colorado by supporting startups who will provide the next generation of clean, renewable and efficient energy technologies. The new office is located at the Colorado Center for Renewable Energy Economic Development (CREED), which is co-located with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Innosphere said the cleantech space "is alive and well," with $16.2 million in total capital raised in 2013 among those companies.

Innosphere said it continued to build its Access to Capital program in 2013 to help entrepreneurs bridge the gap between friends and family and traditional forms of capital. Innosphere said it is working closely with the State of Colorado to implement the state's new $14 million Advanced Industries (AI) Grant Program. In accordance with the AI Program's quarterly disbursement regime, on Dec. 20, 2013, nearly $3 million in grants were issued to eight Colorado companies, four of which are Innosphere client companies.

"We are always looking for companies to work with, exciting technologies, sponsors and investors to join our startup ecosystem," said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO. "Innosphere has been able to accomplish this through a variety of reasons, one being that they are able to provide client companies with access to internal funding pools and external resources for capital."
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