The 2015 Venture Accelerator cohort, shown with Jessica Rawley, far left, and Christine Chin, third from right, of the Institute for Entrepreneurship.
The Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Colorado State University College of Business has announced the latest group of student-founded companies to join The Hatchery at the Innosphere in Fort Collins.
Change Composites, Gamecentrics, Purenfusion and QuadshoX, all companies that completed the Venture Accelerator program in the Institute last semester, will spend the next year in the technology incubator working to take their businesses to the next level. The Hatchery provides furnished office space free of charge for the fledging companies, which also have access to the full range of services offered to other startups at the Innosphere.
“I am so proud of these companies and so happy that we can give them some room to grow for the next 12 months,” said Christine Chin, interim director of the Institute. “The first few years are critical to the development of any startup. We hope The Hatchery program gives this cohort of companies the jumpstart they need to be successful.”
These four companies are the third group to join The Hatchery since it opened in 2013. Some of the seven previous Hatchery members, such as Fort Collins Specialty Foods, maker of chocolate-chip-flecked marshmallows called Stuff’n’Mallows, have “graduated” to become full clients of the Innosphere as they build a national distribution network. Others, such as Living Ink, which produces printing and drawing inks from algae, used their year in The Hatchery to refine their original ideas; some have even pivoted from one product to another with more viable market potential.
The Hatchery is made possible through a partnership between the Institute for Entrepreneurship and the Innosphere, with support from the CSU Bookstore and OfficeScapes.
This year’s cohort of Hatchery companies range from manufacturing to software development. Three of the four also competed in the 2015 CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge business pitch competition against startups from other Colorado-based universities in May.
Change Composites makes the Umbo bicycle helmet, which uses a patented innovative shock absorption technology that results in a superior amount of shock absorption and distributed force transferred to the brain during an accident. The company took home $10,000 for second place in the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, and third place in the University of Northern Colorado Monfort Entrepreneurial Challenge in Denver in April. changecomposites.com
Gamecentrics, another CSU Blue Ocean competitor, has developed a cloud-based gamification platform that provides organizations with the ability to launch a variety of intuitive and easy to understand games designed to engage employees and provide incentives for them to do their best on a consistent basis while also providing organizations the ability to measure performance data in real-time be it productivity, quality, or safety metrics. Gamecentrics took second place in the Monfort E-Challenge. gamecentrics.com
Purenfusion makes Purenz, nutrition-dense vegetable blends frozen into convenient servings that can be added to smoothies, soups, sauces or other meals to easily increase the health benefits in every serving. Purenz products can be found at the Fort Collins Food Co-Op, Beaver’s Market, and the Larimer County Former’s Market every Saturday morning on West Oak Street, and are served at the Fort Collins Coffeehouse, Mugs Coffee Lounge and Yum Yum’s. purenfusion.com
QuadshoX creates advancements in wheelchair technology and is deeply dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis. The CEO and founder is a C-4 quadriplegic; QuadshoX is truly a company providing solutions for people in wheelchairs, designed by people in wheelchairs. The company won the Venture Accelerator Showcase competition, competed in the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign and appointed a board chair and executive vice president for finance to move forward. quadshox.com