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Entrepreneurship and Innovation : Development News

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School of Mines joins Catalyst HTI

The Colorado School of Mines will join the roster of tenants at Catalyst HTI, a healthcare innovation hub opening this summer.

The Colorado School of Mines plans to open a 1,700-square-foot office inside Catalyst HTI in early fall. The space will be an open workshop and classroom, home to Capstone Design projects, career fairs, technology information sessions and a gallery showcasing the work of students and faculty. The university’s new graduate program in quantitative biosciences and engineering and the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation are among the entities that will have a presence in the space.

“The biotech and healthcare industries offer great employment opportunities for Mines students and great collaborative opportunities for our faculty who are working on the cutting edge of tissue engineering, computational systems biology, medical device development and more,” Mines President Paul Johnson says. “We’re excited to join the Catalyst HTI venture, increasing our visibility in this vital, growing field of health technology at a local level and accelerating our progress toward establishing Colorado School of Mines as an innovative partner for the industry.”
 

VALOR loan program has helped 16 veterans

The Colorado Enterprise Fund’s VALOR loan program has surpassed the $1 million mark in loans produced since its inception seven months ago.

The VALOR program was created last year to support U.S. military veterans and Gold Star Families in Colorado. Since November, it has helped 16 veteran borrowers either start or grow their businesses in Colorado.

“Working with CEF has been a life preserver for H.C. Trucking,” says Ron Burnett, a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant who owns the freight shipping and trucking company. “When we were informed about the VALOR loan program, we worked with CEF to renegotiate a lower interest rate and the process was seamless. This has truly been a collaborative partnership, and we’re proud to be part of the CEF family.”

The program offers loan amounts up to $500,000 for working capital, equipment, inventory, property improvements, business purchases and commercial real estate. The program offers a loan rate that is discounted 2 percent from standard CEF rates with terms of up to 10 years and interest-only periods of up to six months.

“Access to affordable capital for vets and their families continues to be a challenge, and we are proud to offer this program to support those who have supported our country by serving in the military,” CEF President and CEO Ceyl Prinster says.

Before CEF launched VALOR, the organization had provided 33 loans to vets over the course of two decades totaling $1.5 million. With the help of the VALOR program, CEF has provided nearly 50 loans to vets totaling $2.6 million. The loans have helped to create 385 jobs and allowed for the retention of nearly 125 jobs.
 

Cheers! Downtown's Skyline Beer Garden opens June 8

t’s a sure sign that summer is just around the corner when the Skyline Beer Garden opens at Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall at Arapahoe Street.

Sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnerships and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, the Skyline Beer Garden opens June 8. It will have nearly 40,000 square feet of outdoor space with open-air and tented seating that will feature live music every Friday and Saturday. The communal Oktoberfest-style picnic tables can collectively seat more than 350 guests.

Weekly programming also will offer a host of evening activities, including Sweat & Sim (exercise classes followed by beer), Trivia Night and a Meet the Maker series. The family friendly game area features giant Jenga, foosball, ping pong, a nine-hole miniature golf course and cornhole.

The Skyline Beer Garden features 12 different brews on tap and serves up casual fare, including locally made street tacos.

The Skyline Beer Garden is also available for private events. Reservations for parties of 20 or more are being accepted for special events and private gatherings, including office happy hours, convention after parties and gatherings, birthday celebrations and family get-togethers. To book your party, contact Kristen Becker at kirsten@citystreetinvestors.com.

The Skyline Beer Garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from June 8 through mid-October, weather permitting.
 

7 startups chosen for program to help growth

Seven Denver startups have been selected to participate in the city’s ScaleUp Network, an intensive six-month training program that helps proven but fledgling companies catapult to their next stage of growth.

The companies chosen for the program, now in its second year, are Altius Farms, Bold Betties, Ensight Energy Consulting, Maxwell Financial, Nokero, Orderly Health and Overwatch ID. The companies were all referred to the program upon graduation from a diverse set of business startup accelerators, and each firm has demonstrated the potential to garner capital investment and add jobs.

“Denver is proud to work with our startup and accelerator communities to hand-select enterprises that are positioned for growth, funding expansion and job creation,” says Turid Nagel-Casebolt, director of business development for the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED). “We’re building on last year’s ScaleUp Network, with training and key connections that is matched beautifully by the peer-to-peer mentoring among the founders themselves.”

The 2018 group of companies begins its curriculum knowing that the 2017 class is enjoying significant success in equity raises, obtaining other financing and leveraging critical connections. Leaders from the 2017 group have pledged to continue supporting each other in addition to actively guiding the 2018 class on the path to second-stage growth.
 

Colorado Enterprise Fund to participate in CO Impact Days

Colorado Enterprise Fund is among the 100 social ventures seeking “impact investments” that was chosen to meet with investors at CO Impact Days Social Venture Showcase Nov. 17.

The 100 ventures will convene at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the second year of the “shark-tank for good” statewide marketplace for impact investing. The selected social ventures will showcase their investment opportunities to offer not only a financial return on the impact investor’s investment but also to offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

“We are so thrilled to again invite more than 200 investors and philanthropists to interact with these valuable social ventures,” says Dr. Stephanie Gripne, founder of the Impact Finance Center and creator of the CO Impact Days. “When these two groups of powerful movers and shakers share a room, there is no telling the good that will come. We’ve aimed to offer a diverse array of impact investments, with a goal that every investor will leave knowing that deal flow is not a Colorado impact investing problem.”

The goal of CO Impact Days is to catalyze $100 million in impact investments into Colorado social ventures in the next three years, and it is kicking off with CO Impact Days Nov. 15-17. The initiative is possible because Colorado is home to a number of national leaders in impact investing and a thriving and collaborative community of social venture entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, as well as philanthropists and investors who are committed to growing Colorado’s economy and creating good jobs.

“Funding from these impact investors will enable us to serve more Colorado businesses, which in turn will ultimately advance economic opportunity and prosperity in our Colorado communities,” says Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund.
 

Business loan program for veterans created

The Colorado Enterprise Fund has created a program for Colorado veterans and Gold Star family members who are interested in starting or growing a small business in the state.

Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource (VALOR) will provide discounted loan rates and extended terms for military veterans who are unable to secure financing through traditional banks.

Any honorable discharged U.S. military veteran or Gold Star family member who is a Colorado resident is eligible to apply for a VALOR loan of up to $500,000. Recipients will receive a 2 percent discount from standard Colorado Enterprise Fund rates and an origination fee of 1.5 percent. The loan term would be for up to 10 years with an interest-only period of up to six months.

The loans can be used for working capital, equipment, inventory, property improvements, business purchases and commercial real estate.

For more information, contact Senior Loan Office Mike Jensen, a U.S. Army veteran, at (720) 473-4068 or at mike@coloradoenterprisefund.org.

Founded in 1976, the Colorado Enterprise Fund is a non-profit lending institution that specializes in loans for small businesses and startups statewide that are unable to secure traditional bank financing. To date, the organization has has made more than 2,000 loans totaling $63 million to small businesses.

Cloth + Gold pitches a new niche in entertaining

A new Denver company promises to take the hassle out of entertaining.

Cloth + Gold is an online one-stop shop for dinner party essentials. The company will deliver all the ingredients for expertly set table directly to your door and retrieve them when the party’s over — no dishwashing required.

“Far too often, we get caught up in daily living and our online lives that we forget to actually live in the moment and make memories with those we care about,” says Bridget Rogers, the company’s founder. “I’ve had some of the best nights of my life at dinner parties — totally unplugged — and want to make it as easy as possible for others to share meaningful experiences with great friends, family, food and drinks in the comfort of their own homes.”

Each Cloth + Gold table is expertly planned and delivered straight to the host’s door. The company offers six styles of tables, with frequent additions based on new trends and seasonal occasions. Each table includes complete place settings, including charger, dinner and salad plates; wine glasses; flatware; and cloth napkins. A runner and centerpiece accessories also are provided. Hosts can purchase in increments of four for up to 40 guests.

Pricing ranges from $17 to $24 per place setting and is all-inclusive with delivery, cleaning and pickup. Tablescapes have a three-day rental period and can be ordered with at least seven days’ notice.

Cloth + Gold also provides a recommended playlist; suggested menu, including recipes; entertaining tips; example photos; and a timeline to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Hosts can purchase additional party supplies such as candles, cake toppers and cocktail services from Cloth + Gold’s online shop.

“Our goal is to regain the elegance and excitement of the social gathering without the hassle, Rogers says. “We want to create beautiful, celebratory experiences, where people are inspired to put down their phones, pick up their forks and truly connect.”
 

Craft makers open up shop in North Denver

Two of Denver’s homegrown makers, Craft Boner and Moore Collection, are teaming up to open their first brick-and-mortar store in North Denver.

Yes Please has opened a 3,000-square-foot retail and production facility at 3851 Steele St.

“Craft Boner and Moore Collections are very different brands, but for years we’ve shared the dream of opening a store that’s also a community space,” says Kiwi Schloffel, owner of Craft Boner. “Our vision is to showcase the real people and work behind our products with a retail space in front and a visible production area in the back.”

Craft Boner, known for its hilariously poignant gifts and paper products, started its online business in 2012, inspired by the dilemma of purchasing a greeting card that honestly says what the giver means. Brand favorites include a mug inscribed with  “Christmas is For Carbs” greeting card.

Moore Collection, owned by Tanner Barkin and Taylor Palmie, began in 2010 as a custom screen printing business in Barkin’s parents’ garage. Today, the duo designs and hand prints its own T-shirts, each with a high level of quality. Popular styles include imagery of Aspens surrounding a campsite, as well as designs inscribed with “The Mountains Are Calling” and “Take Me To The Trees.”

“Our goal at Moore Collection is to create something tangible, inspired by our own interests, that other people can enjoy,” says Palmie. “By juxtaposing our T-shirts with Craft Boner’s playful products, we’re confident that Yes Please will offer something for everyone while supporting Colorado makers.”

Yes Please will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
 

Milwaukee firm acquires Burkettdesign

Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) has expanded into the Rocky Mountain region with the acquisition of Denver-based architecture and interior design firm Burkettdesign.

Burkettdesign will change its name to BurkettEUA, and its entire 27-person staff will join EUA. Burkettdesign’s leadership team, including owner Rick Burkett and principals Catherine Quintero, Michele Pinicsan, Gillian Hallock Johnson and Kitty Yuen, will become shareholders in EUA. AssociatePrincipal Ben Niamthet also will join the other principals as a member of the core leadership team of BurkettEUA.

“Burkettdesign was founded in 1990 and has established itself as one of the region’s most accomplished and recognized firms by focusing on client service and delivering high-quality, personalized services,” says Burkett says. “Those core values and the team providing them will not change, but what will change is our ability to offer our clients even more specialized services with the added resources, expertise and support that comes from combining with EUA.”

EUA has more than 180 employees in three offices in Wisconsin and Iowa. Its clients include a range of private and public organizations, including GE Healthcare, Ascension, Baird, Northwestern Mutual and Johnson Controls.

Burkettdesign clients include Charter Communications, Vail Resorts, Holland & Hart, TIAA, Comcast, Janus Capital Group, Lockheed Martin, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Sierra Nevada Corp.

“I see this union with Eppstein Uhen Architects as a merger of like-minded firms,” Burkett says. “Our cultures, our high design standards and our service-first mentalities echo each other. We are now a bigger, stronger firm that still puts our clients’ needs first.”

Smart-pill drug delivery firm joins Catalyst HTI

A company that’s developing a smart-pill drug delivery and monitoring system is the latest tenant to join Catalyst HTI in RiNo.

Veloce Corp. joins a community that will include national healthcare organizations like Kaiser Permanente, Anschutz Medical Campus and American Osteopathic Association, as well as health-tech startups like CirrusMD, BurstIQ and Telespine.

“We’re thrilled to be joining the Catalyst HTI community,” says Robert Niichel, CEO of Veloce. “Moving our offices to the building should help us acquire funding, forge partnerships and meet clients. It will also enable healthcare providers to learn about our SmartTab drug delivery and monitoring system.”

SmartTab will deliver active ingredients to specific areas of the human body at specific times or in response to a monitored physiological condition. The system will interface with custom or current wearable monitoring technology. It has the capability to deliver a wide range of active ingredients and interact with the Internet of Medical Things to optimize patient care.

“Our SmartTab platform achieves a level of precision in drug delivery that was previously impossible,” Niichel says. “With SmartTabs, providers can monitor the efficacy of treatment regimens and ensure medical compliance, which can be a costly and often deadly problem.”

After being spun out of Nano Pharmaceutical Laboratories in 2015, Veloce was accepted into StartUp Health’s investment portfolio, which contains nearly 200 health-tech startups. Veloce received a patent for its drug delivery and monitoring system earlier this year.

Stonebridge wins Emerging Company award

Denver-based hotel developer and operator Stonebridge Companies has received the Emerging Company award from the Association for Corporate Growth as a result of its continued profitability, social responsibility and community service.

Each year, the association grants awards to two Colorado companies that demonstrate excellence in growth strategies surrounding their markets, growth, customers or products and that display social responsibility and community involvement. The companies must have annual revenue between $10 million and $100 million.

"Stonebridge rises above all entries for its excellent management and long-term strategic execution on its growth plans," says Joanne Baginski, partner at EKS&H and chair of the corporate growth awards committee. "The company truly represents the spirit of these awards through its commitment to corporate growth in Colorado."

Stonebridge also was recently awarded the Marriott Spirit to Serve award in recognition of its community involvement and global awareness.

"We feel very proud to be the recipient of such a notable local award," says Navin Dimond, president and CEO of Stonebridge. "Through our commitment to our distinguished hospitality brand, our mission is not merely about growth as a company but also to contribute to and be active members of every community we represent."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Colorado Lending Source boasts $346 million economic impact

Colorado Lending Source injected $346 million into the state's economy last year through approving a total of 270 business loans that helped created 1,845 jobs.

The not-for-profit business lender, which shared its economic impact report at its annual meeting, approved the loans in 15 different industry categories spanning 130 unique types of businesses in 65 Colorado cities and 27 counties.

"Colorado is the best place in the world to live, work, play and start or grow a small business," says Mike O'Donnell, the organization's executive director. "Our entrepreneurs are all amazing, and we were thrilled to see so many people come out to celebrate our success and all small-business achievement in  2016."

Colorado Lending Source also presented awards to five entrepreneurs: Clear Intentions, Maria Empanada, Sample Supports, Sweet Action Ice Cream and Vortic Watch Co. Juana Gonzales from Mile High Delights received the Ice House Achievement Award for effectively implementing strategies taught in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program and for launching her business as a result of the program.

Two banks also received an award: FirstBank received the Top SBA 504 Partner Bank Award for partnering with Colorado Lending Source on 23 SBA 504 loans totaling $45.9 million; and First National Denver received the Top SBA 7(a) Partner Bank Award for its partnership on 10 loans resulting in $9.1 million in financing.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Regis joins Catalyst HTI

Regis University will join the health-tech innovation campus Catalyst HTI, slated to open in RiNo in 2018.

As a higher education partner, Regis' College of Computer & Information Science (CC&IS) will bring its expertise in health informatics, data science and cybersecurity to Catalyst HTI, collaborating with other health-tech industry leaders such as Hitachi Inc., the American Diabetes Association and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to transform the digital health environment.

"Regis is proud to be a partner in this new kind of health-tech venture at Catalyst HTI," says CC&IS Dean Shari Plantz-Masters. "It signals we are involved in helping solve problems within our society, which dovetails so well with the Regis mission of educating and inspiring our future leaders to have a positive effect on the world."

Catalyst HTI is an industry integrator, bringing together relevant stakeholders in health-tech innovation -- from single-person startups and Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations and healthcare providers -- to build a community in which collaboration and integration lead to accelerated innovation within the industry.

"We are thrilled to have Regis University as a member of our community," says Mike Biselli, president of Catalyst HTI. "Regis is a leader in cybersecurity and the protection of health-care information. The College of Computer & Information Science's ability to attract industry leaders to join its faculty will help us accelerate our health-care innovations."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Closetbox awards scholarship to student entrepreneur

College student Josh Doering was selected from 120 applicants to receive the $5,000 Closetbox Entrepreneur Scholarship, an award that recognizes the importance of those starting a business to stay in school through the end.

Denver-based Closetbox selected Doering, a student at Morningside College Sioux City, Iowa, for his ability to take an idea and turn it into something real and functioning. Doering saw the need to increase safety and efficiency on the farm where he grew up and created Seed Slide, a remote box opener that is useful for adding safety and convenience into any bulk seed tote operation. 

"In various startup communities, a negative view of college education has taken hold, and we take issue with this," says Marcus Mollmann, Closetbox founder and CEO. "We believe in keeping bright young people in school through the end, as these minds are starting the businesses of tomorrow."

Closetbox, a full-service storage company, has grown to more than 60 locations in two years. The company provides free pickup and handles the heavy lifting to move customers' belongings from their homes to secure storage facilities. the company inventories a customer's items, then provides them with a personalized dashboard so they can view their items online. From the dashboard, customers can request any or all items to be returned on demand.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Healthcare crowdfunding platform joins Catalyst HTI

A healthcare-focused crowdfunding platform is the latest tenant to sign on with Catalyst Health Tech Innovation, an industry integrator that’s bringing together relevant stakeholders in health-tech innovation.

Seattle-based angelMD is will lease space in the 300,000-square-foot building under construction on the west side of Brighton Boulevard between 35th and 36th streets.

"We are looking forward to working with Catalyst HTI to accelerate digital health innovation in Denver and across the country," says Tobin Arthur, founder and CEO of angelMD. "Our partnership will be a valuable asset to drive change in how individuals, especially medical professionals, invest in the innovation taking place throughout the healthcare industry."

As one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the United States, Denver is becoming a favored location for many startups from across the country, including those in health IT. Denver has attracted a new and innovative culture that combines favorable cost of living, availability of talent and a great quality of life.  AngelMD’s goal is to tap into the innovation culture and add to the growing tech economy in the city.

"AngelMD will find the Denver community welcoming and engaging," says Mike Biselli, president of Catalyst HTI. "This is the perfect environment for them to thrive, and we are excited to embed their innovative investment marketplace operations within the Catalyst HTI community."

AngelMD connects medical startups, physicians, investors and industry through a digital platform that leverages the strength of its growing network of experts. It enables startups to create profiles in the site and develop exposure to potential investors, customers and acquirers.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
73 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Articles | Page: | Show All
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