The Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Colorado State University College of Business celebrates the best and the brightest student entrepreneurs at the Venture Accelerator Showcase, Thursday, May 12 4-7 p.m. at the Powerhouse Energy Campus, 430 N. College Ave., in Fort Collins.
The event will feature pitches from the five student-founded companies that have been part of this year’s Venture Accelerator program. The innovative businesses range from a spam filter for digital content to the use of the black soldier fly to convert food waste. The student entrepreneurs come from all over campus, majoring in computer science, engineering, liberal arts, biology and business.
“The students have worked hard and learned a lot about developing their business,” said Christine Chin, interim director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship. “We are pleased to see them continue forward.”
The five companies participating in the Showcase will begin their pitches at 4:40 p.m. to a panel of judges including Jake Jabs, president and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse; Kirk Holland a venture investor with SlamData; and, Alicia Rob, senior fellow at Kauffman Foundation. The winner of the competition will be awarded $1,500, second place is $1,000, and the Audience Choice award wins $500.
The companies pitching in the Showcase follow.
Afinidata – Afinidata provides educational and health-focused tips to middle-income moms in Guatemala to help increase childhood development and wellness. Through this service, Afinidata collects data on these mothers and their purchasing habits which is sold to consumer goods companies, governments, and non-profit organizations interested in reaching this demographic.
IgnoreU – IgnoreU provides a spam filter for your digital content so that you can continue to enjoy the content you like and ignore the content you don’t. As an app, IgnoreU currently connects to Twitter and allows you to ignore keywords and topics of disinterest. Based on users, IgnoreU is able to aggregate useful data on consumer preferences which is sold to advertising and content companies.
Insecticycle – Insecticycle uses the black soldier fly to convert food waste and other organic material into a soil additive product as well as more flies which are sold as a food product for animals. The process creates valuable products for the fertilizer industry and the animal feed industry which is suffering high prices for traditional protein feeds for animals.
Nexus Bioenergy – Nexus Bioenergy uses a bioconversion technology born at CSU to turn organic waste materials into energy products like natural gas and fertilizer products like a peat moss replacement. The system is co-located with a business that uses the energy product on-site while the fertilizer products are sold to nursery and landscape companies.
Nursly – Nursly has created a digital platform that allows hospital patients to learn about and better understand their post-hospital care in order to reduce hospital re-admission rates. The digital platform is administered by hospital staff and allows users an easy and interesting way to understand their discharge orders and medications.
The event provides an opportunity for the community to learn more about and become involved with CSU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and the companies being developed there. The Venture Accelerator Showcase is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at http://col.st/YFu12. For questions or more information, email IEinfo@business.colostate.edu.
The CSU Hatchery
Four of the companies pitching at the Showcase will join The CSU Hatchery this year: Afinidata; IgnoreU; Insecticyle; and, Nursly.
Once identified as a top company through the Institute’s Venture Accelerator program, a company becomes eligible for a spot at the CSU Hatchery. The Hatchery is a thriving and mutually beneficial partnership between the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Innosphere, and Galvanize all located Fort Collins.
Start-ups fully incubate under guidance from the Institute for Entrepreneurship. The partnership with Innosphere and Galvanize provides additional support to help companies transition from start-up to profitable business. Hatchery companies also enjoy the benefits and services Innosphere and Galvanize provide for member companies.
CSU’s Venture Accelerator Program
The Venture Accelerator Program provides hands-on entrepreneurship training, advising, and mentoring for student-run ventures. Select entrepreneurs are coached for nine months on developing a viable idea and better positioning it for a successful launch.