5 Colorado-based programs that’ll accelerate your business

Publication: built in colorado

Going through an accelerator is like going putting your company through college. You struggle, learn new things, have some fun, and hopefully come out the other side prepared to take on the world. But, just like picking the right college is incredibly important, so too is choosing the right accelerator. Luckily, Colorado is filled with fantastic options to shift your company’s growth into overdrive. Here are five:



Techstars is the gold standard and most high profile of Colorado’s accelerator programs. Recently, the accelerator has been busily launching programs for all sorts of industries in cities around the world. Their program is very selective, however, and only around 1 percent of applicants are accepted. In return, companies usually pull in big money, averaging around $1.8 million per company.

Who it’s for: Companies that want to go big. Really big.

Money: Techstars takes between 7 and 10 percent equity in return for $18,000 in seed funding.

Notable Alums: Sphero aka Orbotix, SendGrid, Occipital, and a ton of other successful Colorado-based companies.


Unreasonable Institute

The Unreasonable Institute focuses on getting entrepreneurs what they need to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Not solely focused on revenue, the Unreasonable Institute looks for companies that are addressing problems like poverty, social injustice or lack of education and then tries to make them successful. The organization strives to be open, and even publicly publishes a list of their failures.

Who it’s for: Companies with a social mission.

Money: The Institute charges companies around $10,000 to attend — but that money goes towards program expenses like housing and food. Companies aren’t guaranteed funding through the program, but, on average, from 2010 to 2013, companies raised around $650,000 each.

Notable Alums: MANA Nutrition, Biosense, Lucky Iron Fish, and Koe Koe Tech



Boomtown is a relative newcomer to the Colorado accelerator scene, offering programs for Internet and mobile companies, as well as health companies. Boomtown also operates a connected-devices lab which is sponsored by Comcast Labs.

Who it’s for: While many Boomtown companies have some sort of IoT component, it is by no means a requirement.

Money: Companies are given $20,000 investment for 6 percent equity.

Notable Alums: Parkifi, Kickfurther and Bitsbox



MergeLane focuses on mentoring female-run companies. While they are located in Boulder, the program’s residency requirements are pretty relaxed. Participants are allowed to complete nine of the twelve week program virtually, from anywhere.

Who it’s for: Companies with at least one female serving in an executive role with an equity interest. They tend to favor companies that have raised less than $5 million, but only accept companies with some sort of traction.

Money: Companies receive a $20,000 investment in return for 6 percent equity. In select cases, the program may invest as much as $100,000.

Notable Alums: Havenly



Galvanize isn’t really an accelerator program, but a combination of a seed stage venture capital fund, a coding school, and coworking space. If you aren’t into the idea of going through a traditional accelerator program, but you want to be surrounded by other entrepreneurs and have access to the resources you need to succeed, this is where you go.

Who it’s for: Entrepreneurs who want to work near other entrepreneurs.

Money: Prices start at $349 a month in Boulder and at Galvanize’s Platte Street location. If you’re looking for a deal, the company’s original Golden Triangle location starts at $299 a month.

Notable companies: Revolar, Pana and sovrn Holdings, Inc.



TechRioT is a brand new, free six month accelerator program based out of the Innovation Pavilion. The program takes place both virtually, and through a series of in-person workshops in Denver.

Who it’s for: IoT companies at any stage looking for help assessing market potential, accessing supply chain financing or connecting with anchor customers.

Money: The program is free, and companies are not required to give any equity to participate.

Notable Alums: We’ll let you know next year.

© 2016: TechrIoT - Accelerating IoT Innovation