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February 11, 2024 | Tom Ballard

CU Boulder graduates first 10 companies in new initiative designed to speed commercialization

The inaugural cohort of Embark Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) came together after more than 100 entrepreneurs initially applied.

The Embark program at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is a new initiative that pairs seasoned entrepreneurs with university technologies to bring those breakthroughs to market in response to societal needs.

After working for six months as part of the inaugural cohort of Embark Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs), 13 entrepreneurs took the stage to present 10 groundbreaking innovations during the first-ever Embark Showcase. The entrepreneurs shared progress on start-ups spanning diverse sectors like biotechnology, quantum science, advanced materials, and aerospace.

The program came together as more than 100 entrepreneurs initially applied to the Embark Deep Tech Startup Creator, which is the newest program by Venture Partners at CU Boulder (the university’s commercialization arm). Applicants completed an intensive, two-month program, including guidance on founding a company based on deep tech from a university lab, customer discovery, business development, types of funding, and more. Venture Partners also worked with the applicants to make winning matches between inventors and business minds.

After exploring a portfolio of 50 CU Boulder technologies, applicants pitched commercialization plans to land a six-month EIR spot, including a part-time salary for founding Chief Executive Officers and up to $100,000 for technology development. Embark is made possible by grants from CU Boulder and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

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