Above: The founders line up on stage at the conclusion of Catalyze CU Demo Day.
It’s been a big year for CU Engineering entrepreneurship. After starting at CU Boulder in mid-January, I have been focused on creating the most impactful set of integrated resources and opportunities, in and out of the classroom, to support our student and faculty founders and align with our college’s Strategic Vision.
While our engineering community has accomplished a great deal in the past year, we’re still very much in the early innings of a long game to build an engine for entrepreneurship and innovation through every step of the campus experience.
When I take a step back to consider everything that faculty and students have explored over the last year, the overwhelming volume and creativity of ideas is astounding. Throughout 2018, we marveled at startups that are creating new artificial muscles to enable a robotics revolution, using connected devices to increase efficiency for livestock farmers, and fusing sensor data to enable faster detection of wildfires, along with so many more. A jaw-dropping 35 percent of our new freshman class opted in to crazy 8 a.m. info sessions about entrepreneurship during their orientation. Student-designed, built, tested and launched a rocket that went faster than the speed of sound, and we celebrated several student ventures that were acquired by big companies in our own backyard.
While the achievements of our student and faculty innovators are amazing to watch, startup success is only a byproduct of our grander mission: Training engineering students and faculty to be entrepreneurs and innovators in any industry, at any stage, across the entire CU Boulder and Colorado ecosystems. Some may come to explore entrepreneurship for the very first time before deciding to apply that innovator’s mindset and entrepreneurial skills in industry, while others launch ventures from the classroom, hackathon, or research lab.
No matter which way your journey into Engineering + Entrepreneurship goes, we’re always here to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out at Kyle.Judah@Colorado.edu