Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Awards / Honors

OptiEnz Sensors selected as semi-finalist in Cleantech Open Business Accelerator

July 11, 2013

CSU spin-out company will receive 6 months' mentoring, showcasing opportunities and access to capital to help produce sensors that monitor water quality.

OptiEnz Sensors LLC, a spin-out company from Colorado State University, has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Cleantech Open Business Accelerator for 2013. The world's largest cleantech accelerator finds, funds and fosters entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today's most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.

OptiEnz is developing biosensors that allow users to continuously measure the concentration of organic chemicals in water, and the technology can be used in a wide range of applications such as monitoring produced water in the oil and gas industry, particularly for fracking applications. Ken Reardon, a professor in the Cemical and Biological Engineering Department at CSU, is the founder of OptiEnz.

OptiEnz biosensors are placed directly in the water supply, so there is no need for someone to painstakingly remove samples, send them to a laboratory and wait hours or days for results. This allows users to get the information they need rapidly so they can optimize their process and quickly take corrective actions.

"OptiEnz is a great fit for the Cleantech Open, as they already have a prototype for continuous monitoring that is being tested in a variety of settings and the company is focusing on customer trials," said Mike Freeman, Innosphere CEO, where OptiEnz is a client company.

Access to capital

As a Semifinalist in the program, OptiEnz will join a group of formidable companies from across the country in a process that has assisted past participants in raising over $800 million in funding and helped secure valuable relationships with future clients and partners.

"Access to capital is extremely important to OptiEnz, as it is to other early stage companies such as ours," said Steve Witt, OptiEnz CEO. "We're in a growth phase and transitioning our company from the R&D phase to the commercialization phase. The network of investment partners that the Cleantech Open can introduce us to is invaluable."

For the next six months, OptiEnz will receive group training, individual mentoring, access to capital and showcasing opportunities designed to give a major boost to their chances of success. This will provide them with the opportunity to tap into the skills and contacts of some of the world's leading experts in their fields, to develop and perfect their pitch, to build a network, and to work closely with other entrepreneurs with similar aspirations, challenges and resources.