Thirteen companies consisting of Colorado State University students and their business partners have been selected to participate in the CSU Venture Accelerator program for 2014. The first portion of the program begins Jan. 23 with Immersion Lab where the companies will work intensely for 16 weeks developing and perfecting their business idea with the ultimate goal of being “investor ready” or “launch ready” by early May.
The companies selected range from a revolutionary respiratory ventilator to solar-powered apparel. All 13 companies will be introduced at a public reception Dec. 11, 5-7 p.m., in the foyer of Rockwell Hall West, 501 W. Laurel St. RSVP online at http://transition.biz.colostate.edu/rsvp/2013venture.aspx
“I was blown away with the quality of the business ideas proposed by all 36 applicants for the program,” said Charisse Bowen, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, which runs the Venture Accelerator Program each year. “Narrowing it down to just 13 was really tough. However, I am confident we have some game-changing businesses in the mix this year.”
The Venture Accelerator provides entrepreneurship training, advising and mentoring for student-run ventures. It is open to all CSU students and their business partners from outside the university, including undergraduates and graduates, from any major.
The mission of the Accelerator program is to be an integral part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem by providing students with real-life experiences, connections to resources and funding opportunities, with the ultimate goal of creating self-sustaining, investment-ready ventures.
While in the Immersion Lab, companies participate in hands-on training focused on launching their new ventures. Companies attend weekly workshops, all taught by experts in the field, which push them through the stages of development necessary for successful launch. Participants work with a mentor and multiple advisors who guide them as they deliver measurable outcomes throughout the four months of the program.
Mentors and advisors needed
“The Venture Accelerator relies heavily on the involvement of experienced business mentors and advisors, and we are actively looking for entrepreneurs and business support service experts who would like to participate in the program and advise these companies,” Bowen added.
Anyone interested in becoming involved in the program as a mentor or advisor can attend the event on Dec. 11 or find out more by visiting biz.colostate.edu/IE/Programs/Pages/getinvolved.aspx
This year’s Immersion Lab will begin on Jan. 23 and continues through May 2. Teams are then eligible to compete alongside other student entrepreneurs for seed capital and mentorship opportunities to take their businesses to the next level.
“This year’s teams will have a unique opportunity to participate in the inaugural Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge Collegiate Pitch Challenge on May 2,” Bowen said. “It is open to students at all colleges and universities in the state of Colorado, and the winner will receive $20,000 in startup funding as well as the opportunity to pitch against other startups in the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge on Memorial Day Weekend in Fort Collins, where $250,000 and a year-long mentorship is on the line.”
For more information about the Venture Accelerator program or the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, go to biz.colostate.edu/IE, or contact Bowen at (970) 491-2737, or email@example.com.