Exponential Impact boosts tech startups in new center

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Exponential Impact’s second accelerator cohort kicks off with seven startups on board June 12 — the same day the XI Venture Center celebrates its official opening.

The startups — chosen from Colorado Springs, Denver and Colombia — will work in XI’s new 9,000-square-foot collaborative space, in the same sprawling North Nevada Avenue facility occupied by the National Cybersecurity Center.

XI, a nonprofit tech accelerator which focuses on blockchain, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, selected this year’s cohort from 12 startups that attended the four-day XI Launch Camp retreat in the Colorado Rockies in April.

The 2019 cohort includes education technology company Brainitz (Colorado Springs); cybersecurity workforce development social enterprise Spark Mindset (Colorado Springs); SafeTalpa, which focuses on cyber-threat prevention for cloud providers (Colombia); cyberpunk-themed cryptocurrency trading game Cache (Colorado Springs); Carbos, a decentralized carbon marketplace (Denver); RootLo, an app for digital nomads (Colorado Springs); and MedRec, which focuses on innovative technologies for medical business management (Colorado Springs).  

Over 14 weeks, XI’s accelerator program provides mentoring, seed funding and holistic leadership development for the startups, and XI Program Director Ethan Lavin said the XI Venture Center will change the way the cohort works.

“It’s nice having a physical space, having a home base where teams can really grow and thrive — really building that startup ecosystem,” he said. “We’re … showing how much you can support entrepreneurs and this program’s really going to be a testament how we’ve grown from our humble beginnings.

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“Our reach to mentors in the community is increasing … so it’ll be great to work with these teams, building off last year’s success and taking it to new horizons this year.

Lavin described the startups as “incredibly impressive” noting the 2019 cohort includes “a cross section of businesses and personal backgrounds from all over — from those still in college or just out of college, all the way to people in their 50s and 60s.

“The one thing we really noticed is how well all the teams get along, despite all these different backgrounds,” he said. “It was amazing to see them bond. We all noticed, ‘Wow, these teams get along well, they fit well, they’re already bouncing ideas off of each other’ — we didn’t even have to force that. It’s a very collaborative bunch.”

Locals and business leaders can meet the teams and experience the new XI Venture Center at the 2019 XI Accelerator Kickoff Party on Wednesday, June 12, 5-8 p.m., at 3650 N. Nevada Ave. Tickets are $10 at eventbrite.com/e/exponential-impact-kickoff-party-tickets-61324111067.

Learn more about XI’s 2019 startups in the June 7 edition of the Business Journal.