Week in review: Sphero updates, Healthgrades’ acquisition, and — the “Internet of the Road”?

by April Bohnert
January 10, 2019
Sphero Specdrums Colorado tech news
Photo via Sphero website.

Sphero launches Specdrums, donates $110,000 to DonorsChoose.org

Boulder-based edtech company Sphero made big waves this week, both for the launch of its latest product Specdrums and for a $110,000 donation to the nonprofit organization DonorsChoose.org. Sphero acquired the Kickstarter-funded music startup Specdrums in June 2018 and wasted no time bringing the now Sphero-branded product to market. The new toy, which will begin shipping on January 15, features app-enabled rings that allow users to turn colors into sounds and music — turning the entire world into your instrument. On the heels of the product release, Sphero also announced its contribution to DonorChoose, an organization which helps teachers raise money from individuals for public school classroom projects. The donation will be used to match grants to teachers requesting Sphero products and activities for their classrooms. [Read more.]

 

Healthgrades Colorado tech news
Photo via Healthgrades.

Healthgrades acquires Birmingham-based Influence Health

Tuesday at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Denver-based healthtech company Healthgrades announced its acquisition of Birmingham, Ala.-based Influence Health, whose consumer experience platform that helps healthcare organizations connect with and acquire new patients. The deal expands Healthgrades web services offerings particularly, integrating web, social and search optimization solutions into its recently launched CRM platform. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. [Read more.]

 

Boom Supersonic Colorado tech news
Photo via Boom.

Boom Supersonic lands $100M Series B to bring supersonic air travel to the masses

The future of high-speed commercial air travel caught a tailwind on Friday with the announcement of Denver-based Boom Supersonic’s super-sized Series B. The startup, whose Mach-2.2 airliner Overture would be the world’s first economically viable supersonic jet, closed a $100 million investment led by Emerson Collective with participation from Y Combinator Continuity, Caffeinated Capital and SV Angel, as well as founders and early investors of big names like Google, Airbnb, Stripe and Dropbox. The funding enables Boom to accelerate the development of its aircraft and continue its work building out a one-third-scale manned prototype set to make its maiden voyage later this year. [Read more.]
 

CDOT Internet of the Road Colorado tech news
Photo via SHuttetstock.

CDOT announces plans for ‘Internet of the Road’

The Colorado Department of Transportation unveiled its plans to implement new IoT technology along I-25. V2X — or Vehicle to Everything — allows cars to communicate with signs and traffic signals to improve safety and enable drivers to be alerted to hazards or road conditions. According to CDOT, the technology could prevent accidents by up to 80 percent and could boost traffic efficiency as autonomous vehicles begin to take control on the road. The first milestone will be the 18-mile stretch of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock. Eventually the “Internet of the Road” technology will span 500 miles throughout the state — essentially from Wyoming to Pueblo along I-25, and along I-70 from Utah to the Kansas border. [Read more.]

 

Techstars Sustainability Accelerator Colorado tech news
Photo via social media.

Techstars and The Nature Conservancy open up applications for second accelerator program

On Monday, Techstars and The Nature Conservancy opened up applications to join the second Techstars Sustainability Accelerator program. The two organizations came together in 2017 and launched the program’s inaugural cohort in July of last year, aiming to address some of the biggest issues threatening the environment with the help of cutting-edge (and commercially viable) technology.

“What continues to be so unique about the Techstars Sustainability Accelerator is that by partnering with The Nature Conservancy, the program is able to use the same technologies that have disrupted other industries like finance, healthcare, mobility and energy to help make leaps and bounds forward when it comes to sustainability, which is without question at the height of importance and urgency in today’s changing climate,” said Brad Feld, co-founder of Techstars, in a statement.

Applications for the 2019 cohort close on April 7, and the program will kick off on July 29. [Read more.]

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