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TechStars Start-up Week Rewards Eight Rural Entrepreneurs

At the Greater Colorado Pitch Series 2021 event, held at TechStars Start up Week West Slope in Grand Junction, eight startups from the nation’s leading rural startup ecosystem made a pitch for funding from four different capital partners. The Techstars finalists were selected from over 100 applicant companies participating in a range of investment categories. The pitches from the eight finalists were streamed on-line and also presented at the Avalon Theater in Grand Junction on July 16 2021. The five selected awardees were announced live at this event to an enthusiastic audience of primarily Western Slope entrepreneurs representing the innovation and diversity in the Colorado small business and start-up ecosystem.

AGILE Space and Western Rise were both selected as co-winners for the growth-stage debt capital track, receiving over $1 million each from Greenline Ventures. AGILE Space Industries is headquartered in Durango and is a leader in the design, testing, and production of aerospace propulsion systems. Western Rise Apparel is located in Telluride and manufactures performance men’s clothing suitable for travel, work, and play.

Skypeak Technologies from Grand Junction won $250,000 of venture seed funding from the Greater Colorado Venture Fund. Skypeak’s CORA Software as a Service (SaaS) product optimizes content delivery through mobile networks to reduce data usage without compromising the rich content experience.

Konbit from Boulder won $50,000 of venture pre-seed funding from The Fund Rockies. Konbit is a food security public benefit corporation, providing smart farming solutions designed to catalyze community-centered entrepreneurs for local food production in “food deserts” such as Native American lands (Indian Nations)

SheFly Apparel, with headquarters in Gunnison, won $50,000 of debt pre-seed funding from the First Southwest Community Fund. SheFly’s patented technology is used to produce zippered pants that allow women to “Pee-Freely” in the outdoors while maximizing privacy wherever nature calls.

Featured photo: From left to right are Pitch Series finalists Jeff Max from AGILE Space and Kelly Watters from Western Rise, Patrick Vahey from Greenline Ventures; Marc Nager from Greater Colorado Venture Fund and Cat Coughran from Skypeak Technologies; Sanjay Rajan from Konbit and Ari Newman from The Fund; and Georgia Grace Edwards from Shefly Apparel. Photo by Alison Brown.