Innovation Fair showcases emerging companies

Ag Innovation

Nearly two dozen pioneering Colorado companies will be highlighted at this week’s “Advancing the Agriculture Economy Through Innovation” summit at Colorado State University. The Innovation Fair will run concurrent to the summit, showcasing emerging ideas and technologies from businesses, faculty and students. The fair, which will be held March 19-20 in Ballrooms A and B in the Lory Student Center, and is open to the public, free of charge.

The larger summit, co-presented by CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Office of Engagement, will run March 18-20 and feature industry leaders, CSU scholars, and government officials. It coincides with National Ag Day and Colorado Ag Day, which take place on March 18.

Living Ink Technologies

One of the companies highlighted at the Innovation Fair is Living Ink Technologies, founded by two CSU doctoral students – Scott Fulbright and Steve Albers. The company launched with greeting cards that used an algae-based ink to grow the message once exposed to light. Albers, a doctoral candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, said they are transitioning into developing coloring books for young children using the same technology.

“We are finalizing our partnership with a local Colorado toy products company to produce coloring books which will include a fast growing algae-ink pen and a slower growing pen, so when the drawing is exposed to the light the message appears at different rates,” said Albers. The first product should be on the market by late fall or early winter. Albers said that participating in the Innovation Fair allows Living Ink Technologies to “collaborate, communicate and make connections” that can only benefit the fledgling company.

Pitch Slam

The fair will culminate with a Pitch Slam event for registered guests on March 19 where a select group of field-tested ventures will compete for cash prizes before a panel of industry experts and investors.

To apply for the Innovation Fair, visit

These emerging companies join an impressive list of established businesses supporting the summit including Viaero Wireless, Western Dairy Association, IBM, CoBank, Cargill, Old Elk, City of Fort Collins, WhiteWave, McWhinney, Hirakata Farms, Philips, Colorado Corn, Bank of Colorado, McKee, Voorhees and Sease PLC, City and County of Denver, Colorado Livestock Association, Oskar Blues Brewery, Northern Colorado Economic Alliance, InnovatioNews, Colorado 4-H Foundation, National Western Stock Show, Boulder Brands, and Aurora Dairy.

Atmel mobile classroom

A recent addition to the summit is the Atmel mobile classroom. Atmel, a leader in microcontroller and touch technology solutions, will set up its “Tech on Tour” trailer outside of the Lory Student Center on University Avenue between the Student Center and Morgan Library parking lot. The trailer, which opens out into a 900-square-foot walk-in space, features hands-on training and demonstrations of cutting-edge technologies that power everyday devices, and will be open 7 a.m.-12 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

The Advancing the Agriculture Economy Through Innovation summit is produced in partnership with Colorado State University Offices of the President, Provost, Vice President for Research, Vice President for External Relations, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College of Business and CSU Ventures. It is supported by the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) and Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).

More information

For more information on the summit or to register, visit