Five new Southwest Colorado startups were unveiled this week to investors, and two young companies offered presentations seeking a second round of funding.
The firms were part of the 2019 class of the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs, which held its seventh annual SCAPE Startup Showcase and Investor Social at the Fort Lewis College Ballroom.
SCAPE was created seven years ago with a mission to nurture startup companies in Southwest Colorado that would diversify the tourism- and extractive resources-dependent economy, bring in money from sales of services and products from outside the region, and create high-quality regional jobs.
SCAPE’s 2019 new firms produce everything from apple cider from Southwest Colorado’s heirloom apple trees that predate Prohibition to rugged backcountry trailers that can get avid outdoor recreationalists past the campground mobs and deeper into the woods.
The five new firms in the 2019 class are:
The Eli Monster and Sew Modestly, owned by Stephanie Carton, based in Mancos, which is seeking to bring sewing patterns from big-box, brick-and-mortar stores to digital formats available on its websites. The firm already has found favor in the sewing community with features about it appearing in One Thimble Magazine, Sew News Magazine and websites Sew Fab Pattern Bundle and the Seasoned Housewife blog. The Eli Monster and Sew Modestly is seeking $50,000 in investment capital for marketing and advertising to build inventory and to maintain its websites.EsoTerra Cider, owned by Elizabeth Philbrick and Jared Scott, and based in Dolores, seeks to make craft, premium artisan hard ciders from unique, heirloom apple varieties from orchards in Southwest Colorado that the firm now estimates is a crop worth $6.5 million that is currently dropping to the ground and rotting. EsoTerra Cider is seeking $130,000 in investment capital to fund production facilities, a wholesale distribution network, distribution across state lines, marketing and five tasting rooms in Colorado.
Expedition Outside, owned by Christian Barnes, president, and Christian “Cubby” Caldwell, director of operations, based in Durango, seeks to create a website similar to Airbnb for access to private areas to fish. Expedition Outside will first concentrate on developing a database of private, remote areas for anglers in Southwest Colorado and then expand throughout the state, where anglers are estimated to spend $2.5 billion annually. Eventually, Expedition Outside plans to expand its database to cover the Four Corners states and a good portion of Wyoming. Expedition Outside is seeking $250,000 in investment funding that would be used for attracting landowners to its website, for marketing and for platform development.
Moto Burly, owned by Blaze Davies and Keith Martin, based in the Durango Tech Center, has developed high-clearance trailers with axle-less suspension that allows campers to go deeper into the backcountry and avoid overcrowded camping areas. The firm has three completed models and has one year of field testing in multiple conditions and states. Moto Burly is looking to raise $250,000 in new investor capital. It has commitments for $50,000 of its goal.
Versa Joint, owned by Bryan and Andrea Laurel, based in Bayfield, has a patent for a unique joint that improves water-spray cleaning tools. It looks to first introduce its unique swivel brush that includes a water spray jet as a tool to clean automobiles but is also looking to introduce it in a number of cleaning applications. Versa Joint is seeking to raise $150,000 in new capital through the issuance of preferred, nonvoting stock at $1 a share with a guaranteed $3 buyback.The two firms returning for a second round of funding are:
AGILE Space Propulsion Co., which is designing, developing, testing and manufacturing rocket propulsion thrusters using 3D printing at its facility near the Durango-La Plata County Airport. The firm, owned by Daudi Barnes and Julian Miller, is seeking $5 million in investment capital to increase the pace of development of new thrusters.IMPACT CBS Inc., which is based in Durango, is designing, developing and manufacturing new boat fenders and dock bumpers from modern materials that offer better protection and better aesthetics. The firm, owned by Brian Slaughter and Courtney Gates, is seeking $250,000 in investor capital for business development, increased production and to increase sales email@example.com