Last month, Telluride Venture Network (TVN) held its 8th annual Demo Day, providing investors and the local community an opportunity to watch five companies pitch their startups. In preparation for the event, TVN led founders through an Investment Bootcamp focused on preparing or accelerating a fundraise. The two-week bootcamp culminated with a Demo Day on July 7th, attended by area investors to launch companies into the fundraising process.
Presentations from this year’s bootcamp participants included IONA Tech, a Telluride-based startup that develops, manufactures, and distributes innovative products related to static electricity mitigation and monitoring.
The idea of IONA Tech stemmed from a personal need identified by mechanical engineer and CEO Daan Stevenson. A few years ago, he destroyed numerous circuit boards and damaged sensitive electronics from electrostatic shocks. Dann explained, “Typically, electrostatic charge buildup is avoided by wearing a device that is tethered to the ground. By definition, these devices not only limit mobility but the wearer must remember to re-tether themselves each time they return to the factory floor. We developed a small gadget that you wear on your wrist like a watch and prevents the electrostatic buildup without having to be tethered to anything. When the wristband senses that you’ve picked up some electric charge, it uses tiny ion guns to shoot charged particles into the air and away from your body. And that’s how it protects you from getting shocks.”
After Demo Day, Daan and his business partner Jon Tapson were able to secure a check from an audience member and TVN mentor to close out funding for their $600K Pre-Seed investment round.
Daan and Jon Tapson are excited to enter the next phase of their business. A former professor of electrical engineering, Jon determined that Telluride was an ideal place to base their company and IONA Tech currently operates from an office in Lawson Hill. The founders were attracted to the vibrant entrepreneurial network within the small Telluride community. Jon shared “Our vision is to develop and assemble the product in Telluride, and thereby create some desirable high-tech jobs in the area.” Telluride Venture Network strives to support new, innovative and growing businesses like IONA Tech that share the same vision to diversify our regional economy.