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Innosphere, CSU announce 2nd annual hardtech accelerator

FORT COLLINS – Innosphere Ventures and Colorado State University have announced their second annual REACH Energy Accelerator program.

Applications are due by Nov. 18, and the sessions will begin in January.

REACH, the Regional Energy Accelerator for Commercializing Hardtech, is an energy-hardtech accelerator that supports founders, entrepreneurs, university faculty and others with a program and resources to commercialize their technically proven prototypes into products and services with global impact. Support throughout the program will include working with startups to become investor ready through technical and business support for market research, sector-specific mentoring, corporate partnerships, techno-economic analysis, prototyping, and carbon life-cycle assessments.

The program is led by Bryan Willson, executive director of CSU’s Energy Institute and a former program director for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy. He also has been a principal investigator for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps. Over the past 20 years, Willson has developed and fine-tuned the CSU/Innosphere model with Innosphere’s CEO, Mike Freeman, who will direct the business-incubation portion of the project.

Participants in REACH receive sector-specific mentoring, as well as technical and business support on becoming investor-ready, market research, corporate partnerships, techno-economic analysis, prototyping and carbon life-cycle assessments.

REACH is a grant-funded program through the Office of Technology Transitions, which serves as the central hub for the tech-transfer activities across the U.S. Department of Energy’s extensive research-and-development enterprise.

The REACH Energy Accelerator is funded by the Department of Energy and the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator and powered by the CSU Energy Institute, Innosphere Ventures, the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory and 20 university partners and referring institutions — organizations that understand R&D-intensive industries and how to address the unique challenges of energy hardtech startups. This funding covers the program fees for 12 months.

“A team of advisors will select 10 to 15 hardtech startup companies from the Rocky Mountain-Great Plains region to join our year-long program,” Mark Gorham, REACH program manager, said in a prepared statement. “Companies in the early stages of development that, when they hit their stride, are going to change the world. REACH is here to get hardtech entrepreneurs, researchers and founders up to speed.”

Applications can be found at

Source: BizWest

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