Published: June 8, 2023 By

CU Boulder researcher Linda Watkins and CU startups Beryl Therapeutics Inc., Modendo Inc. and TissueForm Inc. are among 37 companies and researchers awarded Proof of Concept and Early-Stage Capital Retention grants through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).

The Global Business Development division of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has recently announced that 37 Colorado companies and six researchers were selected as recipients of Proof of Concept and Early-Stage Capital and Retention grants through OEDIT's Advanced Industries Accelerator Program. These grants, which aim to propel innovation, commercialization and foster public-private partnerships, play a vital role in promoting the growth and sustainability of advanced industries in Colorado.

"The advanced industries are a cornerstone of Colorado's economy, and today's announcement further emphasizes their significant contribution to the development of cutting-edge technologies," stated Rama Haris, Advanced Industries Senior Manager at OEDIT. "From addressing women's health issues to enhancing wildfire mitigation and concussion prevention, the recipients of these grants will not only create new high-paying jobs for Coloradans but also enhance the state's renowned quality of life."

The Proof of Concept grant catalyzes Colorado-based research institutions to expedite applied research within advanced industries and collaborate with the private sector to bring innovative products and services to market. The Early-Stage Capital and Retention grant supports businesses commercializing disruptive technologies within advanced industries, focusing on fostering local production and economic growth.

Among the notable recipients is Beryl Therapeutics Inc., from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, which participated in the 2023 Destination Startup©. Destination Startup© is a collaboration led by Venture Partners at CU Boulder that brings together top research universities and federal laboratories across the Intermountain West to showcase the most promising companies from the regional innovation ecosystem.

Another recipient, Modendo Inc., emerged from Rafael Piestun's lab at the CU Boulder College of Engineering & Applied Science. Modendo Inc. completed Venture Partners' Research-to-Market (R2M) customer discovery program (through the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-CorpsTM Hub: West) and secured funding through the Lab Venture Challenge (LVC). LVC is a joint effort between Venture Partners and OEDIT to fund the university's top innovations that address a commercial need and have a clear path to a compelling market and strong scientific support.

TissueForm Inc., a startup from Corey Neu's lab at the CU Boulder College of Engineering & Applied Science, demonstrated exceptional progress through its involvement in multiple programs. TissueForm Inc. participated in Venture Partners’ Starting Blocks and R2M customer discovery programs (through NSF I-Corps Hub: West) and won funding through LVC. The company further engaged in the Ascent Deep-Tech Accelerator and Destination Startup©, solidifying its commitment to growth and development. Jeanne Barthold, CEO of TissueForm, Inc., is also the director of the university's Center for Translational Research, a campus-wide resource for faculty, researchers and staff who are seeking non-dilutive funding, including SBIR/STTR awards, to translate their university inventions into a startup company.

Finally, one of the six researchers awarded grants is Linda Watkins (CU Boulder College of Arts and Sciences), who co-founded ImmunoLogic. The company is set to commercialize the technology recognized by the OEDIT award.

CU Boulder, together with its partners and OEDIT, is dedicated to translating groundbreaking research into new solutions, businesses and partnerships that propel Colorado to the forefront of advanced industries. Keep up with the latest news from Venture Partners by signing up for our mailing list.