In an effort to support the launch and growth of new firms and innovation, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) created several programs and incentives to assist companies in their development, one of which is the Colorado Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant.
Over 40 million dollars in grants has been awarded since the beginning of the program in 2013, 20.751 million in 84 awards were granted in FY2016. This amount includes funding in several different programs; Proof of Concept, Early Stage Capital Retention, Infrastructure and Export. 2-3 million will be available for this round. Applications for Proof of Concept and Early Stage Capital Retention are open now and are due by 5:00 PM on 3/1/17.
Only 12 applications have been received for funding from Western Colorado and 1 company funded since inception in 2013.
The program that should be of most interest to companies on the West Slope is the Early Stage Capital Retention program. Grant funding ranges from $50k-$250k and is intended to help fund companies to develop their technologies and increase sales, thus creating jobs and economic growth throughout the state. There are six targeted industries where this funding is available:
· Energy and Natural Resources including Cleantech,
· Infrastructure Engineering, and
According to the state, the economic impact of these industries accounts for nearly 30% of the state’s total wage earnings and nearly 35% of the state’s total exports.
An example of a grantee from the Eastern slope is Graham Equipment from Sterling, Colorado who received $150k. Graham manufacturers and markets wireless electronic control systems for Agriculture applications. Their primary product utilizes a patent pending RF protocol in conjunction with electric motors to offer a wireless control system for precision planting for row-crop seed planters. Their products are sold in the United States and five countries. In 2016, they began collaboration with several foreign planter manufacturers and will debut a planting system sold worldwide by a OEM customer.
An example of a grantee from the Western slope is ProStar Geocorp from Grand Junction, Colorado who received $250k. ProStar offers a ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) solution for the energy industry to improve the management and protection of underground utility infrastructure. ProStar has developed patented processes and software based on open data standards and modern GIS, GPS and cloud/mobile technologies. ProStar’s solutions are designed to improve the entire asset management life-cycle including planning, design, engineering, construction, land services and damage prevention. ProStar cloud and mobile solutions are based on two core products, Transparent Earth® and PointMan®. Transparent Earth is an open standards Geospatial Information System (GIS) which streams data from client enterprise systems and open standard data sources in real-time, providing unprecedented visualization, data analytics and situational awareness to all internal and external stakeholders. PointMan is a mobile app that provides real-time visualization and capture of geo-spatial referenced asset referenced data, including photos, complete electronic forms, field notes and even drawn sketches. Precision Integration provides companies with the necessary services and tools required to integrate business processes and business rules with the ProStar solution. These combined products and services will propel ProStar to an industry leader in years to come.
Technology companies in the advanced industries are scattered throughout rural areas of Colorado. Colorado AI Accelerator Grant is competitive (roughly 10-15% of all applications are funded per cycle), but this is one case where grants are available to grow companies! And companies are provided valuable feedback from industry experts throughout the process, which can assist them in improving applications for subsequent rounds.
If your company has a vetted technology in one of the Advanced Industries and market opportunity appears positive – it is worth a look at this program.
Links to the AI Grant Application Portal: https://oedit.secure.force.com/oedit/
Link to AI Information: http://choosecolorado.com/doing-business/incentives-financing/advanced-industries/
For more information contact:
Katie Woslager, Advanced Industries Senior Grant Manager