Telluride Venture Accelerator: Class of 2016 Announced

Telluride Venture Accelerator: Class of 2016 Announced

Telluride Venture Accelerator selects companies for 2016. Start-up accelerator making significant impact on Telluride region.


Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA), an initiative of the Telluride Foundation, announced today the five winning companies slated to participate in its 2016 accelerator program.

Based in Mountain Village  and in its fourth year, TVA is a mentor-driven business accelerator program focused on innovative high-growth startup companies in the outdoor recreation, travel and tourism, health and wellness, and natural resource management sectors.

Telluride Venture Accelerator’s 2016 winners were selected through an open international competitive process of early-stage, high-growth companies, which featured local, as well as U.S. and international, applicants. This year was another extremely competitive process, with an acceptance rate of approximately 5%.

The 2016 Winners are:

·         Western Rise seeks to create and promote simple, functional, and versatile apparel for mountain life, while inspiring people to reconnect and preserve the natural world around them. Named favorite new brand by Outside in 2015.  The team is looking forward to relocating and setting up shop in Telluride.

·         Wonders Lab is a digital product workshop and boutique agency specializing in content marketing and mobile commerce solutions for travel and outdoor brands. The company also runs “Wonders” – a visual narratives app about travel and outdoor culture. Wonders will be relocating to Telluride from San Francisco and is also a Techstars company.

·         Pickettt is an online real estate marketplace that saves both home-sellers and real-estate agent’s time and money. They match the desired criteria of the consumer with the skills and experience of the agent. The Pickettt platform provides top agents with the ability to connect and win listings without the need to spend countless hours chasing leads.

·         Thrive Pet Health is a Telluride-based manufacturer of holistic pet food and treats utilizing local, ethically raised natural ingredients for its food products. The company uniquely promotes health and wellness in our companion animals.

·         GoFish Cam develops underwater cameras that fasten to your fishing line. The camera works with a mobile app via Wi-Fi which not only allows users to review, edit, and share videos, but also access a mass content library that collects and packages videos, tags, and associated data from the camera that’s unavailable anywhere else. GoFish Cam is not just re-inventing the social aspect of fishing, they are also giving anglers a new perspective on the sport that they’ve never had before.

“TVA’s 2016 cohort looks very strong, and we have high expectations for another great year. We are looking forward to welcoming the companies in early 2016 and are grateful to the Telluride and Mountain Village communities for their support to date.” said Jesse Johnson, co-founder of Telluride Venture Accelerator.

Each company will receive $30,000 in seed funding and relocate to Telluride, where they are provided shared office space and access to over 1,000 hours of mentors’ time. Throughout the program, special attention is given to developing founders as entrepreneurial leaders. After 5 months, companies will have validated their business model and will present to Telluride’s unique investment community – including Demo Day (July 1st) in Telluride and roadshows in Boulder/Denver and San Francisco.  TVA is a member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) and has over 80 world-class mentors.

 To date TVA’s impacts on the region include:

·         Helping to raise $9.78 million for 15 participating companies and 3 “TVA Partner” companies.

·         Since TVA’s start, 7 new, high-growth businesses are calling the Telluride region home, where they are expanding and hiring locally.

·         A locally based venture capital fund, TVA’s activities helped pave the way for the formation of the Telluride Venture Fund. (TVF has now invested in 50% of TVA graduating companies.)

·         The world’s largest law firm, Dentons, has started a dedicated legal tech incubator/accelerator in partnership with TVA based out of the Peaks Hotel in the Mountain Village.

·         Start-up of Small Business Development Center (SBDC) satellite in Montrose, with consultants serving Telluride with free business consulting and affordable business seminars.

·         Recently, several TVA mentors have come together to form “Entrepreneur Meetups” that are helping to build a sense of community amongst local business owners and entrepreneurs.

·         Two Startup Weekends have been held in the Telluride region.

·         Estimated that TVA has generated more than $25 million in local economic activity.

The Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA), a program of the Telluride Foundation (a 501(c)(3) community foundation), invests human and financial capital in innovative enterprises with the aim of building and strengthening the entrepreneurial community in the Telluride region to create a self-sustaining entrepreneurial ecosystem bringing innovation, jobs, ideas and a renewed dynamism to the region.  Along with the Telluride Foundation, TVA is supported by individual donors, foundations, governments and corporate sponsors – notably the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Johnson Family Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration, Colorado Economic Development Commission, Cooley LLP, IBM and Softlayer.  For more information on TVA, visit


The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. As a grant maker, the Foundation awards grants to qualified applicants that serve the people living and working in the Telluride area for the purpose of enhancing the quality of life within the region. For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit

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