The student and faculty teams in CU Boulder accelerator program Catalyze CU have been incubating transformative companies for the past seven weeks. Get a front-row-seat to hear them pitch their ideas to the community and potential investors on from 6-8:30 p.m. July 27 in the Canyon Theater and Gallery in the Boulder Public Library’s north building. Doors open at 6 p.m.
We invite the vibrant entrepreneurial scene in Boulder to attend. Purchased tickets will translate to a Catalyze token, which can then be "invested" in a company of your choice after the pitch competition. All proceeds go to the teams. RSVP at www.CatalyzeCU.com.
Read on for one team’s story of how Catalyze helped them succeed as entrepreneurs.
Before Catalyze, we had a book that had been two weeks away from launch for about three months and, in addition to making the finishing touches (again), we were plugging through a business plan, experimenting with different strategies for social media and community outreach, and recruiting interns. Here we are two months later, and we’ve published the book, had a wonderful and productive experience with our interns, and refined every aspect of our business. We can barely even list all of the things that we didn’t know when the program started!
One of the first things we realized when we started the program was the inconsistency of our messaging, from our different social media accounts to the design of our book and our website, our mission statement, and how we spoke about the company when discussing it with people. Being immersed over the summer allowed us to dive deeply into our identity and goals as a company and understand the context in which we are working. This has had a ripple effect on the rest of our operations, streamlining our ability to prioritize and identify key milestones.
Having a deep community of supportive mentors, program coordinators, and the other companies in the cohort with diverse interests and skillsets has helped us form identities as members of a diverse ecosystem of local entrepreneurs. The program staff and mentors have always been available for advice and feedback, and are supportive while also offering very helpful critique. The wide support system and accountability structures have kept us balanced and focused even when faced with the inevitable challenges of running a startup, from resolving team conflict to working on tight deadlines and facing serious questions about the efficacy of the product.
Now that we’re at the end of the program, we feel more confident as a young company and also individually as founders entering the next stages of our personal development. We are excited to scale our company through sales of our first product and advance our mission of inspiring kids with a love of learning and creative problem-solving. Our next step is to focus intensely on sales, refine our website, and begin development of future projects. In addition to the Catalyze CU Demo Day at 6 p.m. July 27, we’re excited to be at House of Genius in September!
Catalyze CU Boulder plans to accept applications for next year’s session in March 2018. The program is open to CU students, faculty, and staff interested in taking their business ideas to the next level.
Myra Makes inspires future generations with a love of learning and creative problem solving. Its founders are Eliot Kersgaard (engineering physics), Ted Thayer (engineering physics) and Braeden Miguel (environmental studies).