Telluride Venture Accelerator: 2018 Cohort Update

The Telluride Foundation‘s Telluride Venture Accelerator initiative prepares for 2018 cohort. Fifty percent of finalists are woman, way outdoing the national stats.

Marc Nager, VP Innovation & director TVA at the Telluride Foundation

Across America, only 17% of new start-up companies are founded by women. However, right here in Telluride the future looks bright for female entrepreneurs.

The Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA), an initiative of the Telluride Foundation, has successfully graduated 26 companies in its 5 years of existence and 50% of the finalists for the 2018 program are women.

TVA’s 2018 cohort will be announced in early January.

TVA is a 17-week, mentor-driven program helping founders build world-class startup ventures. The program kicks off March 12 and culminates in Telluride on July 2 with TVA’s signature Demo Day event at the Palm Theater.

Since the Great Recession, business formation across the US has been at record lows. In a recent report by the Economic Innovation Group, key findings show a growing concern that the US is becoming fundamentally less dynamic, leading to an economy that is not resilient at its foundation. Entrepreneurs create economic growth in their communities by forming new businesses, a deceptively straight forward claim that is underpinned by tremendous complexity. In remote and rural areas, entrepreneurship can provide more than just new businesses and jobs; it can provide the ability for individuals to play a large role in building community; it can provide hope in a community that may have felt completely dependent on one single large industry; it can provide a strong path for investment in areas that could otherwise be dormant; it can provide reasons for youth to remain in a community, versus fleeing for jobs in urban centers. Colorado is home to a mature and thriving network of entrepreneurs. While Colorado has examples of entrepreneurship across the state, the epicenter of activity, not surprisingly, tends to exist in the Denver/Boulder/Ft Collins/Colorado Springs corridor.

The Telluride Venture Accelerator was founded to help build a local entrepreneurial support system to spur new startup companies and bolster a new dynamism in our community.

This year, TVA received over 100 applications from around the world and will be accepting up to 6 companies. With a few new updates to the program, including a hybrid model and flexible capital, TVA has been able to attract not only later-stage businesses, but also a more diverse applicant pool.

The 26 companies that have graduated from the program span many different industries including artificial intelligence, versatile mountain apparel, natural food, and body products for pets and humans, as well as robotics kits for kids and teenagers.

A few recent alumni updates include:

TVA 2014 alumni company, Life Dojo, an employee health and well-being program, entered into a strategic partnership with Inspirus (of the Sodexo group) to offer its innovative approach and extensive services within the company’s growing engagement platform.

Side by Side, a TVA 2016 alumni, which makes holistic, natural food, treats, supplements and more for dogs just opened a shop in Telluride. Marney Prince, founder and Telluride local, will be available by appointment for consultations with your pet and can customize a diet for your furry companion. Early in the New Year, the company launches its national test in Chicago.

TVA 2017 alumni company, Frank.ai, entered into a partnership with WeWork (co-working giant) to offer Frank.ai’s effective, easy-to-use online advertising tool to its rapidly growing base of 100,000+ members.

TVA plans to expand its efforts in 2018 to create programs for earlier stage businesses, as well as initiatives tailored for companies that are rapidly growing with plans to scale operations to larger markets.

To learn more about TVA and to stay up to date please visit www.tellurideva.com or email info@tellurideva.com.

More about the Telluride Foundation:

The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents and workforce of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical public community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprise. The Foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values, including promoting inclusion and maximizing benefit to all. Our work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations.

Pease visit www.telluridefoundation.org.

 

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