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2014 Venture Accelerator companies announced by College of Business

December 11, 2013

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 16-week Immersion Lab begins Jan. 23. During this time, companies will work intensely developing and perfecting their business idea with the ultimate goal of being “investor ready” or “launch ready” by early May.

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 companies selected range from a revolutionary respiratory ventilator to solar-powered apparel and come from a vast number of backgrounds -- see the complete list below. All 13 companies were introduced at a public reception Dec. 11.

“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.”

Self-sustaining, investment-ready

The mission of the Accelerator program is to be an integral part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem by providing students with real-life experiences, connection to resources and funding opportunities, with the ultimate goal of creating self-sustaining, investment-ready ventures.

The second stage of the program, the Start-Up Spring Board, provides students the same resources as the Immersion lab but allows students to work at a more independent level on their venture. During this time, teams are 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 

2014 Venture Accelerator Participants

Convenient Nutrition Solutions
Founders:           Dylan Fader         Undergraduate Major: Business Management
                           Ken Klein             Undergraduate Major: Business Management

Founders:           Trang Tran            GSSE MBA Candidate
                           Tanmay Talang     GSSE MBA Candidate

Odin Tactical LLC
Founder:             Joseph Kuepper       Undergraduate Major: Civil Engineering

CDP Ventures DBA HomeProTeK
Founder:             Christopher Polk       Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering

Helios Outdoor Technologies
Founder:             Peter Jans         Graduate Program: Apparel and Merchandising

Turf Toes
Founders:           Braxton Norwood           Undergraduate Major: Communications
                           Tanner Eley         UCCS Undergraduate: Business Management

Founders:            Sam Morgan                 Undergraduate Major: Geology
                            Paul Morgan                CU Boulder Undergraduate:
                                                                Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Automatic Drink Maker
Founders:           Liam Gallagher        Undergraduate Major: Electrical Engineering
                           Zachary Zasada       Undergraduate Major: Electrical Engineering
                           Ben Akers                Undergraduate Major: Business/

Grow Your Message
Founders:           Scott Fulbright          Graduate Program: PhD Cell and
                                                             Molecular Biology
                            Steven Albers          Graduate Program: PhD Cell and
                                                            Molecular Biology

Fort Collins Pedi Cab
Founders:           Andrew Victoria    Undergraduate Major: Business Management
                           Kevin Kruglet        Undergraduate Major: Finance and Economics

Founders:           Donald Batchen    Undergraduate Major: Communication Studies
                           Andrew Schaeffer  Undergraduate Major: Sociology/Business

CSU Confessions
Founders:           Kendra Groves            Undergraduate Major: Computer 
                                                                Information Systems
                           Cassandra Peterson    Undergraduate Major: Marketing

Tactical Care
Founder:             William Rasmussen     Undergraduate Major: Ecological
                                                                Sustainability and Water
                                                                Resource Management

Watch a video of all the 2014 Venture Accelerator companies here.