Venture Accelerator program introduces 13 new student-founded startups for 2014

By: Steve Thursday December 12, 2013 0 comments Tags: Cam-Keeper, Charisse Bowen, Fort Collins, OtterBox

By Steve Porter


FORT COLLINS - Thirteen new Colorado State University student-based startup companies were introduced Wednesday as the 2014 participants in CSU's Venture Accelerator program.

The companies range from a portable ventilator for battlefield use to a baseball cap with a solar collector that can power personal electronic devices.

The companies, selected from more than 30 applications by students from colleges across the CSU campus, are incubated for a successful business launch after the 12-month program under the university's Institute for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business.

Charisse Bowen, Institute managing director, said the selected Venture Accelerator participants will also be eligible to apply for grants from the CSU Business Advancement Fund to help them file patents, set up websites and do "whatever it takes to be investor ready and launch ready."

Bowen noted that two of last year's Venture Accelerator companies have already been very successful, including Stuff 'N Mallows, a smores-type product now sold in 17 stores, and Cam-Keeper, a company that manufacturers mountain-climbing equipment that received $150,000 in funding two months after graduation.

Bowen said the companies will compete for $20,000 in cash and in-kind contributions next May and also be eligible to compete in the Blue Ocean Challenge, a nationwide startup competition, that is a collaboration between CSU and Blue Ocean Enterprises, an investment company created by Fort Collins-based OtterBox.

"We are basically putting on the largest business pitch competition in the United States," Bowen said.

Bowen called the 2014 Venture Accelerator selectees "an impressive group" that's going to make waves.

"We've stepped it up a notch," she said. "I'm overwhelmed by how many of these companies have game-changing ideas. I think we're going to change the world."

The 2014 companies are:

  • Convenient Nutrition Solutions--An automated vending retail company that introduces innovative vending technologies into gyms and health clubs that supply health supplements.

  • Tactical Care--A developer of a portable ventilator that can be used to both induce hypothermia as well as deliver oxygen in a trauma situation.

  • Odin Tactical LLC--A company dedicated to providing tactical solutions and consulting to law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and federal agencies.

  • CDP Ventures DBA HomeProTek--A Web-based interface system that offers an app for use by homeowners and renters to track their property for inventory and insurance purposes.

  • Helios Outdoor Technologies--A company that creates solar-power integrated apparel that allows users to charge various USB devices from their clothing.

  •  Turf Toes--Creator of an innovative and comfortable sandal designed to provide users with a unique experience of walking on grass.

  • deYrd--A producer of sleek, comfortable, easy-to-use truly wireless ear buds.

  • Automatic Drink Maker--A company that plans to build and sell automated bartender machines.

  • Grow Your Message--A company that has invented and patented a unique way to use algae as ink.

  • Fort Collins Pedi Cab--A provider of alternative transportation for riders in the Old Town community.

  • AccuRateFitness--A producer of a fitness app that will use Bluetooth technology to link electronic devices and upload workout history to a user interface and profile.

  • CSU Confessions--A company that would legally collect and organize the submissions to Facebook and repurpose them.

  • Fargreen--Vietnam-based company that aims to take rice straw waste and cultivate edible mushrooms and create bio-fertilizer.

About the Author: Steve