Published: April 12, 2019

Aspero Medical, a CU Boulder startup founded by Associate Mechanical Engineering Professor Mark Rentschler, is closer to bringing an innovative endoscopy technology to market after participating in a customer discovery program.

The Research-to-Market (R2M) program walks technologists like Rentschler through the process of customer discovery and pushes them to think about how their innovations can be adopted in real markets. Rentschler’s efforts earned him praise from investors, who commended his thorough understanding of the customers he plans to serve. 

r2mRentschler’s journey from lab to commercial venture is a success story that Venture Partners at CU Boulder wants all innovators to achieve. Its inaugural Research-to-Market (R2M) program – in a collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s Energy I-Corps™ and Colorado State University – launches this May. R2M will help any innovating researcher from CU Boulder or a partnering institution, not just those wanting to create a startup, learn how to commercialize their technology.

Throughout the three-week program, teams will conduct interviews with industry experts and gain insight into their target market from experienced mentors and advisors. 

R2M provides an easy entry point into the startup journey by setting participants up to:

  • clarify their paths, reduce risks, and seek funding from the accelerators and investors that make up Colorado’s innovation ecosystem;
  • apply for the Office of Economic Development and International Trader’s (OEDIT) Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) grant; and/or
  • compete for funding in Venture Partners at CU Boulder’s 2019 Lab Venture Challenge.

Too frequently, brilliant innovations make a big splash in the world of academia, but never live up to their potential to create real-world change. Innovators worry that they’re not entrepreneurs, but they’ll learn how to become one through R2M. As Tim Morrisey, founder of CU Boulder startup Artimus Robotics said, “technology without a customer is just an idea.”

Innovators and technologists interested in commercialization, are welcome to apply to R2M before April 20th through the easy online application.  If you have questions about R2M, please visit the website or reach out to