2019 Esprit Venture Challenge

The 2019 Esprit Venture Challenge semifinalists have been announced!

Check out the eight Boulder startups advancing to the semifinal competition on October 21 below.

The Esprit Venture Challenge live pitch competition, where three finalists will compete for a grand prize of $10,000, will take place at the Boulder Chamber's Esprit Entrepreneur event on November 14. Click below to register.

Boogaloo Beds by Better Sleep Designs

The Pitch

83% of children with autism have daily sleep issues and over 50% have escaped from safe environments, have seizures, or self harm issues. The root of these challenges is sensory sensitivity. Many people with autism are unable to process stimuli. Sleep is constantly disrupted by stimuli from siblings, neighbors, or household activity.

To help with these issues, we’ve created a smart bed that enables a person to completely control their sensory environment. Our long term vision is to use predictive analytics to correlate changes in medication, environment, diet or therapy with a person's physiological data.

Click here to learn more about Boogaloo Beds by Better Sleep Designs, LLC.

Huck Adventures

The Pitch

For outdoor recreationists, Huck is an app-based community that uses AI to make it safer and easier for users to connect worldwide and enjoy the outdoor activities they love. Different from Facebook, Meetup, Tinder, and Airbnb, Huck offers solutions specific to outdoor recreationists for over 200 sports by matching users with similar interests, training, gear, location and availability. Huck allows users to create their own profile, post blogs, find events/meetups worldwide, and chat and connect with other outdoor recreationists. Huck will be the first platform to match users based on skill, availability, gear, location and personality type.

Huck also offers a back-end solution to outdoor recreation brands, including live analytics for R&D and targeted advertising.

Click here to read more about Huck Adventures.


The Pitch

JUGG smart water bottles are IoT water bottles that feature technology for filtering water, hydration tracking, hydration notifications, and lifestyle adaptation. In addition to the JUGG bottles, the JUGG mobile application connects to the smart models for hydration tracking and other essential health and wellness features. Each JUGG bottle is customizable with add-ons and swappable accessories for user personalization.

Through marketing and branding, JUGG strives to raise awareness about areas suffering from contaminated water and that are impacted by climate change. JUGG created a program called hydro share, where users can see their friends' hydration statuses and in addition, as people drink water, water will be donated to areas in need. With hydro share, we hope to improve access to clean water, clean water solutions, and renewable energy practices.

Click here to read more about JUGG.

RoGo Fire, LLC

The Pitch

On today's large wild land fires, there is a lack of current and consistent communication technology to support deployed firefighting personnel - resulting in communications inaccuracies, no communication at all and limited time-sensitive updates. This is primarily due to the tools they use, including antiquated VHF radios, paper maps and compasses.

RoGo Fire is developing an advanced satellite communication solution including devices and software designed to enable wildland firefighters to communicate and access data in remote areas where cellular service is unreliable or not available. Our mission is to deliver a communication system that will reduce line of duty deaths, firefighting expense and property damage, as well as improve firefighter situational awareness by ensuring a productive deployment of emergency responders and a more effective hazard response execution utilizing state of the art communications technology.

Read more about RoGo Fire here.

Salt of the Earth, LLC

The Pitch

In a city that prioritizes a care for health and wellness, Salt of the Earth is Boulder’s only dry salt halotherapy spa. Salt of the Earth is located in the North Boulder Art District neighborhood providing two communal salt cave rooms and an individual booth.  Halotherapy, or dry salt therapy, is a holistic treatment that addresses respiratory and skin issues while providing restorative relaxation.

The space has been thoughtfully designed by offering a room specifically for meetings to the whole family and our main salt room with views of the foothills of North Boulder. The "Beach Room" is for caregivers or parents with infants and children to safely play while receiving halotherapy. To contribute further, we donate 100% of all gratuities from Salt of the Earth back to local 501c3 non-profit organizations that benefit the local community.

Read more about Salt of the Earth here.


The Pitch

We directly address the number one concern of cyclists: safety. Our bike light is the world’s most visible bike light and we are dedicated to making the world more bike friendly. As cyclists ourselves, we know that feeling when drivers can be careless or distracted. We know what it’s like to be just not seen.

That’s why we invented the ShineOn Dual Beam. The first light that illuminates your body as well as the road ahead. By lighting up the rider’s torso, a cyclist can be seen seconds sooner than with a traditional bike light due to the 250 times greater surface area. Our light works not only through more visible area, but also through biomotion, which is the human brain’s receptivity to organic movement. It’s the mechanism where we instinctively notice a cat in the bushes, or a bird in the sky, or most importantly, a human cyclist out of a sea of distracting points of light.

Read more about ShineOn here.

Stride Tech Medical, Inc.

The Pitch

We’re Stride Tech, and we’re here to make walkers sexy. Walkers, while widely used, have seen little disruption since their conception in the late sixties. We aim to address the growing senior walker market through innovative technology and relentless customer satisfaction. Each year, over one million seniors purchase a wheeled walker or rollator, hoping to increase their mobility. However, in comparison to other mobility devices, seniors who use a walker are seven times more likely to be injured from a fall. This is due in part to many preventable, addressable problems within the senior walker space.

Our product is a walker attachment that integrates the physical therapy interventions of correct walker use and the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) to build predictive models of fall risk. Users, loved ones, and caregivers may more easily train correct walker use, record usage, and integrate preventative therapy measures into everyday activities. Ultimately, Stride Tech seniors walk with increased safety, decreased fall risk, and feel younger while doing it.

Read more about Stride Tech here.


A shocking 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and many can't afford an unexpected expense of $400. Many could save more, yet they give into temptation and engage in $1 trillion in impulse spending. Solving the savings crisis isn't easy, since merely educating people about the issue isn't enough.

xBuzz solves this problem. Even if we aren't actually spending addicts, many of us are tempted by sales to walk into our favorite store and buy things we don't need. Imagine if, instead, you had a virtual assistant that could nudge you before you purchased on impulse? The app has a nudge feature that is programmed to nudge the user by category. Categories include salons, bars, restaurants, retail shops, grocery stores and others. If coffee shops are your category, the app will nudge you while in a coffee shop, suggesting you save money. Once nudged, you can select the dollar amount you wish to save, and the amount is immediately transferred to your savings account, where you save for your goals.

Read more about xBuzz here.

About the 2019 Esprit Venture Challenge

Boulder is a hotbed for entrepreneurs, winning top ratings for its inviting environment, top-tier research and education institutions, and diversity of businesses that attract highly educated, creative and collaborative individuals who are willing to take risks — people we call "Boulderpreneurs." The Boulder Chamber's Esprit Venture Challenge showcases the next generation of risk-taking "Boulderpreneurs" that the unique Boulder ecosystem fosters.

The Esprit Venture Challenge is a community-oriented startup competition with a twist. Everyone gets a say in who wins through online and in-person voting. You help drive Boulder's innovation by participating in selecting the most promising startups for a top prize of $10,000. The selected finalists will compete in a final-round pitch competition at the Boulder Chamber's signature Esprit Entrepreneur event on November 14th at Embassy Suites in Boulder. Register to attend now!

Important 2019 Esprit Venture Challenge Competition Dates:

  • Esprit Venture Challenge Opens for Applications: July 11, 2019
  • Applications Close: 5:00 p.m. September 17, 2019
  • Online Voting Period: 12:00 p.m. September 23, 2019 - 3:00 p.m. September 30, 2019
  • Semi-Finalists Announced: October 3, 2019
  • Semi-Finalist Competition: October 21, 2019
  • Final Esprit Venture Challenge Competition: November 14, 2019

2018 Esprit Entrepreneur

Past Esprit Venture Challenge Winners:

2018 - Eyeflite

2017 - Khala Cloths

2016 - Qualify

2015 - Surya Conversions

2014 - Lawbooth (previously Congo)

Presenting Sponsor:


Dragon Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor

Unicorn Sponsors:


Venture Sponsors:

Colorado Business Bank, Part of BOK Financial

Zayo Group LLC

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