One of the key factors that makes Boulder such an innovative and active place for startups is the work that the University of Colorado does to foster those connections. From pitch nights, to hackathons, to funding opportunities, there is a reason that Forbes named CU one of the Most Entrepreneurial Universities in the Nation and Reuters listed it among the Most Innovative Universities in the World.

For entrepreneurs, the university walks the walk, and a big driver of that is its center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E). Patents Integrated is honored to be an I&E partner for 2021.

This is a big deal for us. Patents Integrated exists to help hardware founders and startups not only protect their IP but better understand how it can turn into an asset for their long-term success. Without a strong IP strategy in place, even early-stage founders run the risk of their hard work stolen by a competitor or patented by someone else. That’s a fact. And, at the same time, there is so much more than IP can do to help a young company scale and succeed that is too often overlooked.

Several of our current clients have come out of I&E programs at CU or have ties to CU programs, including graduates from the engineering, business, and science departments (Go Buffs!).

As Foundry Group’s Brad Feld (another Boulder local) always says, “give before you get.” As an organization, we are committed to giving back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that helped us get started and grow by getting our hands dirty and serving as a resource for the young founders in CU’s I&E program. We’re here to answer their IP questions, provide guidance whenever we can and pass on what we’ve learned along the way. It’s just the right thing to do, and we couldn’t be happier to be getting involved this year.

So, what does I&E do?

Well, it “connects, elevates and grows CU Boulder’s vast innovation and entrepreneurial resources to inspire and turn ideas to impact.” And it does that through a year-round schedule of events, including:

Destination Startup: A collaboration among leading research universities and federal laboratories across the Rocky Mountain region, Destination Startup is a showcase of the best companies from our innovation ecosystem. Seven schools from the region participate, including the University of Colorado, and since it started in 2019 companies showcased at the event have raised almost $30 million in grants, angel and venture capital. Learn more

New Venture Challenge: For 13 years, the New Venture Challenge has been CU Boulder’s premier, cross-campus entrepreneurial program & competition, giving aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to build a startup through outstanding support and mentorship. Participants represent majors and departments from across the university, working with their mentors throughout the year to refine their ideas and eventually pitch for funding. It’s a great program and it’s going on now. Learn more

Catalyze CU: Catalyze CU is a summer-long startup accelerator designed for CU students, faculty and staff that combines world class mentorship, funding, and dedicated co-working space to help the most promising ventures from across campus reach escape velocity. The whole idea is to level up each founding team’s startup skill set to help them move from idea, to impact, to prototype, to production. Learn more 

I&E Campus Kickoff: Held every fall, Kickoff naturally starts off the school year by sharing what innovation and entrepreneurship at CU Boulder can mean for new students. This year, they’re hosting University of Colorado student and alumni entrepreneurs like Chris White, founder/CEO of the outrageous clothing company Shinesty, and Sandi Mays, founder/EVP of Zayo Group. Learn more

Lab Venture Challenge: Through the Lab Venture Challenge, Venture Partners at CU Boulder funds the university’s top innovations addressing a commercial need, with a clear path to a compelling market and strong scientific support.  It’s a chance for CU founders to showcase their innovations to local investors, refine their commercial strategies and compete for up to $125,000 in seed funding. Learn more

We help hardware startups, like those coming out of CU I&E, make sense of their IP and assemble patent strategies that scale. Contact us today to get started.