Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in southwest Colorado
SWIC is a neutral coordinator, convener and capacity building initiative of the Telluride Foundation, and is supported by many key partners, practicing a bottom up approach to foster economic diversity and sustainability in the rural southwest.
The Southwest Innovation Corridor Innovation Internship Program has officially launched its first round of internships for the spring! We have matched five Fort Lewis College students and recent alumni with five regional innovation based companies to work together over the next 10 weeks. The students are excited to apply their experience, skills, and knowledge in a highly innovative and entrepreneurial environment, and the companies are eager to develop local talent and help grow their businesses. Keep reading to learn more about the SWIC interns, companies, and projects!
Interested in hiring an intern to invest in local talent and take your business to the next level? The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Innovative Industries grant program provides funding and resources for businesses working in an innovative industry in CO to support high level internship experiences.
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.
Seven students and one faculty member from Ft. Lewis College made the trek to Telluride for Startup Weekend Dec. 2-4 and Roofdog, led by FLC Engineering student Airrick Hix won the event! Fifty-one people came from as far away as CA, AZ and Boulder as well as all over the WestSlope for this intensive weekend long exercise in starting a business.