An accelerator for research teams building deep tech startups coming out of the University of Colorado campuses in Boulder, Colorado Springs and Denver.

Deep tech startups, or new companies based on technological innovation in science or engineering, face unique challenges because of their disruptive nature, intensive research and development, and significant capital requirements. Ascent understands the needs and pathways for deep tech startups to find early success.

Leveraging ecosystem experts, a robust mentor network and Venture Partners staff, early-stage companies will accelerate their viability and traction over four months. Teams will work toward milestones focused on company formation, paths to market, entrepreneurial finance and fundraising, ultimately preparing them for a final pitch to a community of investors, entrepreneurs and industry experts at the Ascent Investor Showcase. Read about the 2022 and 2023 cohorts.

Apply to join the accelerator

Program dates

Held virtually, Jan.-May

Time commitment


We expect this program to take 3-5 hours a week of your time.

  • At least one team member is expected to attend every session
  • Weekly check-ins with your Ascent mentor
  • Monthly completion of in-program deliverables


  • Teams are working to commercialize technologies based on engineering innovation or scientific discoveries
  • Teams have submitted an invention disclosure to Venture Partners
  • Teams have completed significant customer discovery in their target market, ideally through Venture Partners' I-Corps™ Hub: West programs.

How to apply

Applications for the 2024 accelerator are now open. The deadline has been extended to Dec. 15.

Apply Now

Attend the Ascent Investor Showcase

The Ascent Investor Showcase will bring together researchers, investors and community supporters to highlight innovative startups spinning out of Colorado laboratories. Attendees will have a chance to see five-minute pitches from each startup, followed by a virtual, interactive Q&A.

Event Details

Information about the 2024 showcase will be posted soon. Sign up for updates