Published: March 19, 2024

The New Venture Challenge (NVC) and Venture Partners at CU Boulder teamed up to present the NVC Deep Tech competition, awarding $53,000 to groundbreaking new ventures.

At the NVC Deep Tech Competition, new ventures from CU Boulder, founded by students and employees, presented a range of ideas, from wastewater treatment to novel battery technology to dynamic pricing for hotels.

Now in its 17th year, NVC—a signature program of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative—is CU Boulder’s top, cross-campus entrepreneurial program and competition, giving innovators the chance to build a startup with ongoing support and mentorship. In a first, NVC partnered with the Venture Partners at CU Boulder to present the inaugural specialty competition for deep tech discoveries. 

“NVC has historically elevated our best and brightest entrepreneurial minds to new heights here at CU Boulder,” said Joshua Bennett, senior licensing manager at Venture Partners. “Venture Partners helped launch the Deep Tech Competition to entice the genius in our physics, chemistry and engineering labs to spring up, take risks and establish their businesses for the benefit of themselves, the university and the greater Colorado community.”

The 2024 New Venture Challenge culminates at the Boulder Theater on April 17, where $160,000 in prizes will be awarded at the NVC Final Showcase. Learn more and get free tickets at

2024 NVC Deep Tech Competition Finalists and Winners

Mana Battery, Inc. - $50,000 Prize

Presenting Team: Tyler Evans (‘15, College of Engineering and Applied Science), Nicholas Singstock (College of Engineering and Applied Science Chemical and Biological Engineering), Chunmei Ban (College of Engineering and Applied Science Materials Science & Engineering)

Founded by veteran energy storage entrepreneurs and technologists, Mana is building best-in-class, safe, low-cost sodium battery technology at 35-75% of the cost of Li-ion.

Green Steel Environmental - $3,000 Prize

Presenting Team: Jon Teaford and Jon Jonis (Embark Deep Tech Accelerator), Mark Hernandez (College of Engineering and Applied Science Environmental Engineering Program)

Green Steel provides patented and patent pending products for wastewater treatment plants, landfills and dairy farms to clean their renewable natural gas and wastewater in an economical and environmentally positive way. - Finalist

Presenting Team: Dan Zhang (Leeds School of Business), David Li (City University of Hong Kong), Matt Schwartz (Sage Hospitality) is building the world’s most advanced revenue management service for the hotel industry.

Mesa Quantum - Finalist

Presenting Team: Sristy Agrawal and Austin Granmoe (JILA), Juniper Pollock (Physics)

Mesa Quantum is creating a better chip-scale atomic clock with improved long-term stability, lower power consumption, and increased manufacturability.

VitaWave Tech - Finalist

Presenting Team: Nam Bui (‘23, CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science Computer Science, CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing College Department of Electrical Engineering), Robin Deterding (CU Anschutz Pediatrics-Pulmonary Medicine), Jason McGowin (Standford), T. Hingba (University of Michigan), Taluba Aron Hopson (University of Dayton)

VitaWave Tech’s eBP device monitors blood pressure with a cuffless, remote, continuous blood pressure monitor that accurately measures BP comfortably with an earpiece.