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These 8 Women-Led Businesses Are Going to Startup School

Boulder-based startup accelerator MergeLane welcomes its first class of women-led businesses.

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In the February issue, we profile MergeLane, a new Boulder-based accelerator that focuses on helping female-led startups navigate early business hurdles. (The program isn’t some type of affirmative action; rather, co-founders Sue Heilbronner and Elizabeth Kraus point to academic research that suggests gender-balanced businesses perform better.)

We weren’t able to include the companies who will participate in MergeLane’s inaugural 12-week program (which starts today) in the magazine story because they had yet to be revealed. That changed last week.

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These eight companies beat out hundreds of applicants and will each receive $20,000 of seed capital and guidance from more than 100 mentors and advisors (MergeLane, in turn, gets 6 percent equity in each startup). Will any of the companies—four of which are based in Colorado—be the next Airbnb or SendGrid? Take a look—and leave us your thoughts below:

Havenly

Co-founders: Lee Mayer, Emily Motayed, and Jessie Dixon

Headquarters: Denver and New York

What it does: Connects interior designers and consumers


Idaciti

Co-founders: Emily Huang and Christine Tan

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Headquarters: Las Vegas

What it does: Financial-data platform for users to create “stories” about companies and trends


Intelligent Eyes

Co-founders: Debbie Taylor and Mark Leffers

Headquarters: Berkeley, California, and Boulder

What it does: A software platform that allows businesses to collect and display info from different systems in one place

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Mapistry

Co-founders: Allie Janoch and Ryan Janoch

Headquarters: Oakland

What it does: Software that simplifies mapmaking


Sugarwish

Co-founders: Elisabeth Vezzani and Leslie Lyon

Headquarters: Denver

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What it does: Gift buyers purchase a candy box and recipients get to pick what goes it in


TomboyX

Co-founders: Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez

Headquarters: Seattle

What it does: Makes and sells menswear-inspired clothing and accessories for women


The QuickZip Sheet Company

Co-founders: Elizabeth Sopher and Caroline Portis

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Headquarters: Denver

What it does: Sells easy-change, zip-on fitted sheets for cribs, bunk beds, beds of the elderly, and more


ZaZa

Founder: Elisabeth Saucier

Headquarters: Boulder

What it does: Makes nut-based treats that are gluten-free, soy-free, paleo, vegan, and non-GMO certified

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(For more on MergeLane, check out the February issue of 5280)

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