CSU Institute for Entrepreneurship and CSU STRATA to host innovation event April 18

Participants at the 2019 Demo Day

Participants at the 2019 Demo Day

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Day at CSU is back this year, featuring student-led startups, projects and pitches through CSU STRATA’s Demo Day and the CSU College of Business Institute for Entrepreneurship’s Venture RAMS Business Showcase Competition.

This joint event will take place from 12-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, at the CSU Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom, and Demo Day abstracts are due by March 8. Both CSU STRATA and the Institute for Entrepreneurship partner to offer resources for students, faculty and the greater community at any step of the entrepreneurial journey while leveraging innovation to make a real-world difference.

For Scott Shrake, executive director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and assistant vice president for strategy at CSU, it’s about cultivating a collaborative environment that serves as the foundation for bringing new ideas to life.

“Our joint Demo Day and Business Showcase is another example of CSU coming together to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem that offers critical support for Coloradans at every phase of the innovation continuum,” Shrake said. “I’m excited for the community to be able to see the incredible work being done by our innovators from early ideation through commercialization.”

Participants at the 2019 Demo Day

Immersive incubator

This day serves as an immersive incubator allowing participants to further explore their ideas and watch them flourish in a supportive environment. Entrepreneurs and start-ups present will inspire and give back by sharing their personal experiences of innovation and entrepreneurship. Both CSU STRATA and the Institute for Entrepreneurship have played a role in several of those journeys as they work to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators.

CSU STRATA has celebrated innovation since 2014 by hosting its annual innovation symposium, Demo Day. This event features students, faculty and CSU organizational members to fully embrace the impact that innovative products out of CSU are creating. Presenting sponsor BergHill Greenleaf Ruscitti and other community partners of CSU STRATA will be there to engage in fellowship and build future partnerships. Cash prizes will be given to allow innovators to expand their efforts and inspire them to take the next step to commercialization.

Faculty, post-docs and grad students are invited to participate to show their ideas for commercialization. This will be the first Demo Day for Richard Magid, vice president of technology transfer at CSU STRATA. This year all researchers that have received patents, had a technology licensed or launched a startup over the past year will be recognized at the ceremony itself.

“CSU STRATA hosts Demo Day to say ‘thank you’ to all the faculty, students and staff that worked with CSU STRATA over the past year,” Magid said. “It’s also a celebration of the innovation going on across CSU, and a chance for us to bring awareness to the breadth of new ideas and technologies being developed in every college and department.”

Participants at the 2019 Demo Day

Keynote speaker

Molly Kocialski, director of the Rocky Mountain Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, has accepted an invitation to be the Demo Day keynote speaker. As the regional director, Kocialski oversees implementation of initiatives and programs tailored to the unique innovative ecosystem.

Additionally, CSU STRATA and the Institute for Entrepreneurship are also excited to welcome the 16th president of Colorado State University, Amy Parsons. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, Parsons will speak on behalf of the innovation demonstrated by student and community-led startups. This will lead directly into the Venture RAMS Business Showcase Competition at 5 p.m.

The Venture RAMS Business Showcase provides students with the opportunity to further explore and share their business ideas, no matter what stage of the process they are in. Whether it’s conceptualized in a business class, or a more fully developed venture, students are encouraged to deep dive into what entrepreneurship means to them and how they can scale it while making a difference.

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply and will have the opportunity to fine-tune their ideas and presentations through Institute for Entrepreneurship programming and coaching. Finalists will get seven minutes to pitch their idea in front of a panel of esteemed entrepreneur judges, while also facilitating a five-minute Q&A session. Winners will receive cash prizes totaling $15,000. Applications to pitch can be submitted here, and the deadline is 11:59 p.m. on March 31.

How to get involved

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Day is a reflection of CSU’s student innovation and creativity. Those who have an idea that has potential for commercialization can submit their Demo Day abstract here by March 8 at 4 p.m. Additionally, those who have a business idea that they want to pitch at the Venture RAMS Business Showcase Competition can submit their application here before the March 31 deadline.

The greater Colorado community is also invited to come and support entrepreneurship at CSU, and RSVPs can be submitted at the links below to secure a spot:

  • Register to attend Demo Day here
  • Register to attend the Venture RAMS Business Showcase Competition here

To get connected with CSU Demo Day, contact Charlotte Davis, marketing coordinator for CSU STRATA Technology Transfer, at charlotte.davis@colostate.edu

For more information about the Venture RAMS Business Showcase, contact Aubrey Kruse, marketing & events coordinator for the CSU Institute for Entrepreneurship, at aubrey.kruse@colostate.edu.