Bonnie Watson and Brian Watson, founders of Alt Space

Meet our Founder Coopetition Spring 2023 Cohort

By Margaret Hedderman

Meet the founders participating in Startup Colorado’s Founder Coopetition, an accelerator program for rural businesses. 

Last week, Startup Colorado relaunched its Founder Coopetition, an accelerator program for early-stage startups in our state’s rural communities. This 4-week program will support founders starting a business in Colorado via a cooperative learning environment with a final competition for three $5,000 micro-grants. The founders will not only participate in a funding assessment and learn about the different funding models available to them, but they will also have the opportunity to pitch to 50 of Startup Colorado’s top partners. 

See who’s participating in our Spring 2023 Founder Coopetition Cohort: 

Alt Space, Brian Watson & Bonnie Watson – Grand Junction, Colorado

Alt Space helps automate member onboarding and management for coworking spaces and flexible offices. Currently raising money to hire key team members, invest in hardware inventory, and marketing, Alt Space is quickly becoming a household name on the Western Slope. 

Bonnie Watson and Brian Watson, founders of Alt Space

Bar-U-Eat, Sam Nelson – Hayden, Colorado

Bar-U-Eat produces simple, sustainable energy bars using whole ingredients. Their packaging is made from renewable materials that can be compostable, making this northern Colorado enterprise the first bar company to receive a BPI certification. They are currently looking for additional funding to support their marketing efforts. 

Sam Nelson, founder of Bar-U-Eat

ChronoCards, Mike Davalantes – Grand Junction, Colorado

A cloud-based platform for GIS teams, ChronoCards enables organizations to track workflows, task management, activity logs, and reporting tools like ArcGIS. ChronoCards already has initial customers and is building its sales team to scale. 

Mike Davalantes, founder of ChronoCards

Dating Tips by Meg, Meg Grett-Pratt – Olathe, Colorado

After suffering years of abuse and stalking, Meg Grett-Pratt launched Dating Tips by Meg to help teens and college students from experiencing the same ordeal. She is currently raising money to redesign her website and find marketing support. 

Meg Grett-Pratt, founder of Dating Tips by Meg

Gipht, Jean Ginzburg – Leadville, Colorado

An e-commerce app that enables customers to send gifts without knowing the recipients mailing address, Gipht allows merchants to process transactions directly on their site and keep customer data in-house. 

Knome, Thayer Hirsh – Frisco, Colorado

Knome is a platform that turns real estate agents into home experts by utilizing real estate data and combining it with natural language AI to provide personalized recommendations to every homeowner. Knome is currently raising a pre-seed round of investment, enabling them to develop their marketing, software development, and business development efforts.

MilkxWhiskey, Ryan Bramwell – Steamboat Springs, Colorado

A direct-to-consumer outdoor gear and technical apparel company for new parents, MilkxWhiskey aims to help families get outdoors. The Steamboat Springs brand has been in development 18 months and will soon launch. They are seeking funding for marketing, as well as product development. 

Ryan Bramwell, founder of MilkxWhiskey

Orion Labs, Sara Jennings – Nunn, Colorado

Orion Labs supports robotics companies via machine learning, tackling a diverse suite of challenges. A recipient of the AI OEDIT grant, Orion Labs is currently looking for matching funds as well as additional investment and potential partners. 

Stay Loci, Nora Gilbertson – Frisco, Colorado

Stay Loci is a mid-term rental website that enables property owners to rent out their furnished homes or apartments to remote workers and digital nomads. This Frisco-based startup is currently seeking funds for a targeted marketing campaign to attract early adopters. 

Nora Gilbertson, founder of Stay Loci

Verra, Paul Spitzer – Durango, Colorado

Verra is a B2B SaaS platform for e-commerce that leverages artificial intelligence to improve metrics such as customer engagement, average order value, and conversion rate. Founder Paul Spitzer is seeking funding to accelerate growth with a focus on product development and sales. 

Paul Spitzer, founder of Verra

Zombeez, Abbey Pikul – Buena Vista, Colorado

A footwear company for healthcare workers, Zombeez has a unique IP niche as the first antimicrobial outsole that reduces the accumulation and spread of germs. Abbey and her co-founder are currently raising money to launch a marketing campaign. 

Abbey Pikul, founder of Zombeez

We will be running an additional three cohorts for Colorado startups in the coming months: 

  • Aug 14th – Sept 8th
  • Oct 23rd – Nov 17th
  • Jan 29th – Feb 23rd