Biz: Battle of the Startups

July 9 2012, 3:20 PM

This Friday, 10 startups from Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins will compete in front of a live audience at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the chance to earn a $50,000 investment in their company. The event is being put on by a Colorado initiative called i4c (I forsee), a group that aims to support local startups with an eye for helping solve social and environmental problems. The competition will be modeled after the ABC television show Shark Tank, where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of successful and well-known entrepreneurs, like Mark Cuban.

The startups range from a company that produces software to help farmers conserve and optimize their water use, to a company that creates a marketplace for in-person classes on topics that range from entry-level Spanish to cupcake decorating. 

Jim Deters, a longtime Denver entrepreneur, led the charge to bring the i4c event to Denver. "Our goal is simple," Deters says. "We want to build better businesses that build better communities. The companies we've selected to compete in The Summit all show incredible promise and we are anxious to give them a platform to prove how they can change and impact our way of life."

In addition to a $50,000 investment, three winners will receive office space in Denver.