Exponential Impact didn't have to look far to find technology startups for its latest accelerator program — all but two of the seven companies are from southern Colorado.
The companies, including four from Colorado Springs and one from Pueblo, started the 10-week program Tuesday, offered virtually this year amid the pandemic. The program, in its third year, includes mentors for each company, lessons on business and leadership and technical guidance on product development. The new format will allow the accelerator, which shares space with the National Cybersecurity Center in the Springs, to potentially offer two programs a year, be more flexible with deadlines, expand its mentor network nationwide and add webinar and podcasts to its library of resources, said Natasha Main, Exponential Impact's executive director.
“We are thrilled to welcome these new teams to the program and are confident that the new virtual platform will not only provide the support and resources teams will need to boost their growth, but that it actually allows us to expand what we are able to offer now and in the future” Main said in a news release.
While the format has changed, the makeup of the participants is similar to last year's seven startups, five of which were from Colorado Springs. Main said the nonprofit "placed a greater emphasis on recruiting and retaining local teams for the purpose of leveraging the incredible talent in our growing local ecosystem of emerging business talent."
Exponential Impact also offers a separate six-month program called Amplify for more mature companies; applications for Amplify are due in December. The nonprofit also plans a third 12-month program to start next year, called Ascend, that is designed to ready later-stage startups to raise up at least $5 million in venture capital or grants.
The seven startups in the program that launched Tuesday are:
• Echo, a Colorado Springs company that allows small businesses to communicate their information and brand in a short, concise and easily publishable manner to users and potential customers in a nearby area.
• Goodr, a Colorado Springs firm that helps organizations to receive and distribute ethically sourced goods through donation registries, helping identify ethical items and arrange delivery from a retailer to the organization or directly to the beneficiary.
• F3TCH, a Colorado Springs startup that developed a smartphone application that makes a hotel’s services and amenities available to guests through their mobile device.
• Trof, a Colorado Springs company that developed a mobile application to connect individuals who share similar interests and meet at restaurants, bars, or coffee shops.
• Aftermarket Analytics, a Pueblo firm that helps businesses in the automotive industry improve category management, increase supply chain efficiency and boost profits.
• Skyhook Solar, a Woody Creek startup that makes stationary or mobile solar-powered recharging stations.
• Event Queue, a Chicago company that created a mobile platform with real-time navigation for crowd management, transportation and public safety.