In July, the innovative food company, focused on sustainable, plant-based protein, announced $4.8 million in venture funding and another $1.3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation and others. The startup, founded by CEO Tyler Huggins (PhDCivEngr’16) and CTO Justin Whiteley (PhDMechEngr’16), has established a new headquarters and an expanded production facility in Boulder.
Formerly called BubbleIQ, the startup announced $2.6 million in seed funding in April 2019 under the leadership of cofounder Fletcher Richman (ElCompEngr’14). The software integrates IT help tickets with messaging systems like Slack and zendesk to modernize workplace customer support and move away from typical email-based help desks. While a student, Richman participated in New Venture Challenge and Catalyze CU, and helped create Spark Boulder, the state’s first student incubator and coworking space, before joining CU Boulder’s TechStars accelerator.
Solid Power aims to create safe, energy-dense, all-solid-state batteries using lithium metal anodes that will revolutionize transportation, industry, aerospace and defense. The spinoff was founded in 2012 by mechanical engineering professors Se-Hee Lee and Conrad Stoldt, who developed the underlying technology in campus research labs. In May, Ford Motor Co. became the latest to invest in the Louisville-based company, following Samsung Venture, Hyundai, BMW Group and more.
Devon Tivona, Pana CEO & CO-Founder
Pana aims to make corporate travel seamless through a combination of smart technology and real humans. Devon Tivona (CompSci’14) announced in May that the company earned more than $10 million in venture funding to scale up the chat-based travel concierge service. Pana originated at CU Boulder in 2014, when Tivona and his team competed as Varsity, a higher-education social network, in CU Boulder’s New Venture Challenge and tied for first place. After further vetting from startup mentors and going through Boulder’s Techstars accelerator, Varsity was scrapped in favor of Native, a travel-assistant app designed to take the hassle out of trip planning. It rebranded to Pana in 2015.
Drovr created the first smart electric fence that can be controlled via cell phone, aiming to prevent livestock overgrazing and associated climate change. In June, cofounder Zoe Welz (EngrPlus’18) was selected from more than 4,000 applicants to pitch at the GIST Catalyst competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the Netherlands. Sharing the stage with Ivanka Trump, U.S. CTO Megan Smith and Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, Welz won in the food and agriculture category.
Building on Boulder’s excellence in networking technology, Stateless aims to reinvent network connectivity to provide greater security, visibility and control. In February, the company announced $11.33 million in funding to expand its operation. Founded in 2016 by Murad Kablan (PhDCompSci’17) and Associate Professor Eric Keller, the startup also participated in Catalyze CU and the New Venture Challenge.