Colorado State University Research Foundation


Fort Collins, CO


Build to Scale Program

Venture Challenge


Project Name

Lab to Life - Building CleanTech and Sustainability Startups around CSU Research


Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match




This collaboration between Colorado State University (CSU) and the Colorado State Research Foundation (CSURF) intends to build sustainable, growth-oriented startups from CSU research. The Lab-to-Life (L2L) program was established in early 2022 to de-risk and improve outcomes of high-potential CSU startups by providing an executive team and staff for 24 months to manage key build and launch decisions. This approach will support commercialization of research-based technologies by providing a team to lead and help carry the load, rather than training the inventor to do it all themselves, which is a reason many innovations fail to make it to market.

L2L leverages the skills of experienced startup executives and Executives-in-Training (EITs) to transform intellectual property into startups over the two-year period. L2L is unique in that it targets top faculty inventors who are unable or unwilling to make the significant time commitment required to become CEO and run a company. Instead, L2L deploys its own personnel to transform research discoveries into fundable startups with 24 months of hands-on incubation, transitioning lab-based ideas into funded, independent operations with hired management teams. L2L seeks to supplement, not compete with, existing entrepreneurship programs.