Startup Summer 2023



The 2023 Startup Summer Program concluded with 35 students on nine different teams pitching their companies to 130 attendees (both in-person and virtual) and a panel of seasoned entrepreneurial leaders acting as judges. The evening competition included a total of $15,000 in awarded prize money made possible by our special Startup Summer supporters. The two highest-placing teams featured Medbot, a startup focused on using AI to automate the medical billing process, and KombuCharge, a company developing a healthy kombucha energy drink.

Student participants from seven different schools across the nation assembled weekly in Boulder over the summer to learn about entrepreneurship and to develop their professional skills. The cohort was superintended by Managing Directors Bea Salazar and Sebastien Lasseur with the support of Silicon Flatirons Director of Student Programs, Sara Schnittgrund. The program tapped into its deep network and brought in 36 leaders from across the emerging company community who generously offered their time and expertise to lead weekly sessions and mentor teams.

It was incredible to see how the students grew over the course of this year’s program:

“The people we got to meet and network with have been amazing. It’s great to be able to be in a space where individuals who are further along in their careers can provide guidance and wisdom to us. Being able to talk though the startup process in general was extremely helpful as well. Everyone being so open to helping us succeed and connect was amazing. Having individual feedback on our pitch was also extremely helpful.”

“I loved coming weekly and learning about the startup world. Especially hearing things from so many different people, it made me realize how much support and resources are really out there.”

“I loved the collaboration with other students that were highly engaged and ready to put in the work to make a startup come to life. I also loved networking with guest speakers and even bringing some of them on as mentors to aid my team in finding success.”

This year the program was blessed with generous donors who provided stipends that allowed participating students to work in unpaid internships at local nonprofits or in government agencies. A total of $22,000 supported 6 students working at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center, Energize Colorado, Endeavor Colorado, Greenhouse Scholars, and USTTI Communications.


And the Award Goes To:

1st/2nd Place Tie

Creator of a healthy kombucha energy drink infused with caffeine.
An Artificial Intelligence solution to automate the medical billing process.
Asher Gannett-MathewsMeghana Vasanth Shettigar
Alam BusharaAlexis Bernthal
Arez KhidrAnant Gupta
Branden Lupi
David Ustyan

3rd Place

Tulip and Twig
A two-sided marketplace to allow parents to purchase or rent mid- to high-end children’s clothing for ages 2–8.
Rhiannon Martin
Jasey Chanders
Alma Venta

4th Place

Lito Rentals
Developer of a pay-for-use locker system in apartment buildings to allow tenants to rent expensive household appliances.
Lucas Malone
Alexander Abariotes
Markee Jackson
Andrew Wiley

    5th–9th Place Tie (in alphabetical order)

    Meal kits focused on serving authentic food for underserved cultures.
    An Artificial Intelligence solution that spells the end for the traditional resume, connecting companies with qualified individuals through an AI interviewing and filtering system.
    A digital portal to connect buyers and sellers of recyclable materials.
    Vanshita GosainJaphia LongRhys Phelps
    Ayten BarnesAnnikka TurmalaWilliam Allen
    Samir DherarAshland WhitefieldWill Anderson
    Calissa McNuttCamden Dempsey
    Tvishi YendamuriThomas Wagner
    An online app that connects small business owners and university students with financial tools and resources and leverages the power of AI.
    An online educational resource that uses immersive visual aids and VR to provide individualized education for students.
    Emmeline NettlesIsabella Brakhage
    Sriyans PattanaikBryce Henderson
    Vedant ShahJonathan Wies
    Quentin Wingard

    2023 Sponsors

    A very special thank you to our weekly speakers and mentors, supporters, community members, alumni, and of course, our generous sponsors, for making this year’s program possible.

    Libby Cook

    Dale and Pat Hatfield

    Krista Marks

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