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.

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:


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

Headquarters: Denver and New York

What it does: Connects interior designers and consumers


Co-founders: Emily Huang and Christine Tan

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


Co-founders: Allie Janoch and Ryan Janoch

Headquarters: Oakland

What it does: Software that simplifies mapmaking


Co-founders: Elisabeth Vezzani and Leslie Lyon

Headquarters: Denver

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


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

Headquarters: Denver

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


Founder: Elisabeth Saucier

Headquarters: Boulder

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

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