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The first steps of starting a company can be the hardest - especially taking that initial leap to try and make something out of your business idea. That’s why Founder Institute Colorado and Bold Legal launched Elevation Pitch this Spring: a community-driven elevator pitch competition that aimed to inspire and empower dreamers in the Mountain West Region to improve their business ideas, and start putting them into action.

This free competition was open to anyone with a startup idea (or startup with <$10K in funding or revenue), attracting over 300 ttend

This inaugural pitch event series attracted 320+ attendees across the events, and 70+ applications from 4 different U.S. states. 

While there were many great applications, in the end we narrowed the list down to 5 finalists, and one winner was selected by audience vote on the final demo day to receive $2000 cash and mentorship from a long list of supporting partners.

Congratulations to Romi Genosar of Humankind Pharma! Watch the winning pitch:

Humankind Pharma is developing a low cost, stable, prefilled insulin syringe to increase the accessibility of insulin injections to diabetics in resource-constrained communities. Insulin is a life-dependent medication for all diabetics, and yet 100 years after its discovery, it is still not reliably accessible to half of the people worldwide whose lives depend on it. Humandkind Pharma, based out of Broomfield, Colorado, is looking to change that.

Romi Genosar is the founder and CEO of Humankind Pharma and an inventor of its patents. Humankind’s mission is personal for Romi, as her commitment to serving the global diabetes community was prompted by her own type 1 diabetes diagnosis at age 11. Romi is an avid learner and doer: while developing Humankind Pharma, she is also earning her cell biology degree.

I am very honored to be selected from a great group of entrepreneurs – it is very encouraging. I enjoyed the process and the event, and I am looking forward to continuing to grow Humankind with the support of FI’s extensive network.

What's the next step for Humandkind Pharma?

I am looking to raise seed funding of $200,000 to complete critical milestones before a Series A round that would get our first product to FDA approval."

Watch the Keynote presentation by Jon Nordmark (Co-Founder of eBags.com, and CEO of Iterate.AI):

(you can also see his slides here)

Congratulations to the finalists from across the US Mountain West region!

PressPlay Finance (Colorado Springs, CO), Edie Ortiz

  • PressPlay Finance is an app to help people of color understand money basics and build wealth, with a focus on making behavioral changes in personal financial choices.

HomeCheck (Frisco, CO), Thayer Hirsh

  • HomeCheck is an app to help homeowners in ski communities prevent costly home repairs through a subscription service that provides routine inspections, maintenance reminders, and discounted one-click services.

Shipmate (Grand Junction, CO), Daniel Illenberger

  • Shipmate is working to stop package theft for suburban households using long-distance internet connected lockboxes.

Wayfinder (Denver), Anthony Verducci

  • Wayfinder is an app that helps parents raising children with disabilities navigate the healthcare system and access high-quality, affordable healthcare services.

Thank You to Our Pitch Day Judges!

Marc Nager

Marc is a partner at Greater Colorado Venture Fund, Co-Founder of Startup Weekend, and former CEO of UP Global & Chief Community Officer at Techstars.

Diane Bailey

Diane is director of Founder Institute Denver, founder, GetToTraction.com, previous founder of RipTide (acquired), & investor.

Gary Gaessler

Gary is Co-Founder of Cloud Elements & community builder at Nylas

Shea Gerhardt

Shea is Founder & CEO of Buderflys Tech and PurdyLabs.

Peter Adams

Peter is Managing Partner of the Rockies Venture Fund, Executive Director of the Rockies Venture Club, & Executive Board Member of the Angel Capital Association.

Thank You to Our Partners!

Bold Legal

Bold Legal attorneys are entrepreneurs who happen to practice law. A boutique transactional and business law firm, Bold Legal provides counsel on a variety of matters including mergers and acquisitions, securities, venture capital, private equity, credit finance, start-up formations, legal entity governance, employment, equity incentive plans and commercial contracts.

Startup Colorado

Startup Colorado is a statewide grassroots initiative with a mission to bridge the distance for rural entrepreneurs and create a density of resources where they do not exist. 

Greater Colorado Venture Fund

Greater Colorado Venture Fund invests in early stage startups headquartered across the state of Colorado, outside of the Front Range. 

Technical Integrity

Technical Integrity is a small Executive Search and Technical Recruitment firm built on the notion that there is a better way to serve our clients, candidates and community.


Adattivo is a 100% onshore software development firm that builds mobile and web applications. 

West Slope Works

West Slope Works is a community to connect with the people and guidance to advance your career. Their resources include step-by-step tutorials, workshops, and more.


Finmark helps startups create and share financial plans, manage burn rate, and forecast revenue and expenses—without spreadsheets.


ScreenSpace helps you create studio-quality product videos for your startup that rival the top agencies - in a fraction of the cost and time.


BrandShine Creative Services helps impact startups connect with customers, claim their rightful market share, and change the world by fueling them with intelligent brand strategies, memorable visuals, and outstanding websites.

Athena Digital

Athena Digital is designed to help you scale your business with Facebook and IG Advertising, Social Media Marketing, SEO and Google Ad Words. We specialize in sales funnels in eCommerce, Online Courses, and lead generation.


TrueNode helps you scale your big data solutions with Hyperion Node (HN), a distributed-ledger database engine that provides scalable data storage, bandwidth, and processing power.


COVENTURE, based in Carbondale Colorado, is a non-profit organization empowering rural communities to build sustainable businesses and ecosystems.


Publicize is a digital public relations firm helps startups and growing businesses get the exposure they need with fully integrated digital PR and communications services.

Rockies Venture Club

Rockies Venture Club is Colorado's premier venture organization for educating and connecting investors and entrepreneurs.


Nylas is the pioneer and leading provider of productivity infrastructure solutions for modern software.


Buderflys are the next-generation earbuds evolved for how you listen, learn, and grow.


GAN is a highly-curated community of accelerators, partners, and investors, helping startups build businesses & make a meaningful impact, wherever they call home.

*  *  *

Elevation Pitch, by FI Colorado and Bold Legal, is a community-driven elevator pitch competition that aims to inspire and empower dreamers in the Mountain West Region to improve their business ideas, and start putting them into action. Anyone with an idea (or startup with <$10K in funding or revenue) can apply and get access to free resources and workshops to improve their pitch - including free online workshops. Then, the best pitches will have the opportunity to compete in a live online Demo Day where the winner gets cash and other resources to build out their idea.

Learn more at ElevationPitch.com

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