New Venture Accelerator teams introduced

A dozen companies consisting of Colorado State University students and their business partners have been selected to participate in the Institute for Entrepreneurship’s Venture Accelerator program for Fall 2014.

The 16-week Immersion Lab workshops begin Aug. 28 when the new teams are introduced at a public reception at Rockwell Hall on the CSU campus. During the semester, companies will work intensely developing and perfecting their business idea with the ultimate goal of being “investor ready” or “launch ready” by December.

The Venture Accelerator program provides entrepreneurship training, advising and mentoring for student-run ventures. It is open to all CSU students, recent alumni, and their business partners, even those from outside the university, including undergraduates and graduates, from any major.

The companies selected range from an app that gamifies manufacturing processes to a revolutionary rear suspension system for wheelchairs and come from a vast array of backgrounds — see the complete list below.

“I was blown away with the quality of the business ideas proposed by all the applicants for the program,” said Charisse Bowen, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, which runs the Venture Accelerator Program each year. “Narrowing it down to just 12 was really tough. However, I am confident we have some game-changing businesses in the mix this year.”

Self-sustaining, investment-ready

The mission of the Institute for Entrepreneurship is to be an integral part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem by providing students with real-life experiences, connection to resources and funding opportunities, with the ultimate goal of creating self-sustaining, investment-ready ventures.

The second stage of the Venture Accelerator program, the Start-Up Spring Board, provides students the same resources as the Immersion lab but allows students to work at a more independent level on their venture. During this time, teams are eligible to compete alongside other student entrepreneurs for seed capital and mentorship opportunities to take their businesses to the next level.

The semester will wrap up with each company having the opportunity to demonstrate their product and pitch their business to potential investors.

For more information about the Venture Accelerator program, go to

Fall 2014 Venture Accelerator Participants

Quadshox     Founder: John Morris    Major: Economics

QuadshoX® is developing a one-of-a kind rear-suspension system for manual wheelchairs, built for people in wheelchairs by people in wheelchairs. Rear-suspension systems can extend daily activity for people who use wheelchairs.

728 Outdoor     Founder: Brandon Woolridge     Major: Liberal Arts

728 Outdoor produces high quality snowboards using sustainable bamboo that can be customized by clients and business partners.

Smoothie Cubes     Founder: Nicholas Quaintance     Major: Agricultural Business

Smoothie Cubes is a health food company that processes organic fruits and vegetables into frozen cubes ready to be used as nutritious additions to all kinds of meals (not just smoothies)!

BAUS Tech      Founder: Michael Barnes Major: Applied Computing Systems

BAUS Tech is currently developing an agriculture drone system that helps farmers gain precision data that allows them to reduce spending on inputs like nutrients, pesticides, and water while simultaneously increasing crop yields.

Gamification Consultants Founder: Sahan Jayasumana Major: Master in Computer Science

Gamification Consultants uses cloud technology to empower managers and employees by applying gaming principles to the workplace.

Change Composite Founder: Nathan Saam Major: Business

Change Composite is creating a cycling helmet from natural materials that is strong enough to sustain multiple impacts before being replaced to reduce cycling-related concussions and fatalities.

Bill Buddy Founder: Jordan Combs Major: Business

Bill Buddy is a unique and simple application that helps roommates resolve disputes about paying bills by consolidating payments into the system and then releasing these payments to companies.

greenTYPE Genetics Founder: Christopher Zalewski Major: Molecular Biology

greenTYPE is a genetics company that specializes in the sequencing of plant genomes in a strain-specific manner. The robust genetic resource can be used for a wide range of agricultural commodities.

Cosmas Founder: Joseph Aragon Major: Management

The Cosmas Medical Bracelet provides EMT’s with instant access to a patient’s real time vital signs, relevant medical information, chronic illnesses, and history so that responders can treat emergency situations quickly and accurately thereby saving lives.

Kapok Connect Founders: Joseph Ewing, Sam Slater, Ashley Saltzgaber, Conlaodh Guy Major: Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA

Kapok Connect connects socially conscious travelers to authentic, local tourism experiences offered by local “micro-entrepreneurs.” This service is offered through a web platform and mobile app acting like the AirBnB of local tourism opportunities.

Growing Capital Founders: Aaron Sebesta, Abigail Sebesta Major: Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA

Growing Capital works in Central America to provide affordable financing to rural farmers to purchase income producing agricultural assets, such as drip irrigation, thereby increasing farmer incomes and ensuring loan repayment.

Rich Media Founder: Richard Nelsen Major: Master in Computer Science

Rich Media’s product, Feed Frame, take the normally cluttered experience of switrching between social media applications and streamlines current posts into a single organized, and enjoyable, experience.