CHAFFEE COUNTY, COLO. – Buena Vista, Colo.-based DifferentKind, makers of an innovative technology solution to measure and improve patient outcomes in dental offices, announced today that it had been awarded a $250,000 grant funding from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s Advanced Industries Accelerator grant program.
The Early-Stage Capital and Retention grant supports businesses commercializing innovative and disruptive technologies that will be created or manufactured in Colorado. Grants help promote the growth and sustainability of advanced industries across the state by driving innovation and commercialization that move this vital part of the Colorado economy forward.
“We’re incredibly proud to receive this grant. It will help us continue to grow as we seek to help dental professionals, patients, and dental insurers in improving oral health outcomes and experiences,” said DifferentKind CEO and co-founder, Dr. Matt Allen. “As a rural digital health company, we’re excited to continue showing that innovation can happen anywhere, especially with the incredible support of a local ecosystem like ours. We know we can be an exceptional creator of opportunity for Chaffee County and a model for our state’s small communities.”
DifferentKind simultaneously announced an additional $155,000 investment from a network of local angel investors in Chaffee County called Ark_Angels, who join the company’s impressive group of investors led by Greater Colorado Venture Fund. The Ark_Angels group, organized by the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation, invests in promising local companies to support year round job creation and a more diversified economy that is less reliant on tourism.
“Backing great, growing companies like DifferentKind with capital from local investors is central to our efforts to create a thriving year-round economy in Chaffee County,” said Chaffee County EDC executive director, Jake Rishavy. “We congratulate Matt and his team on these two significant new funding sources and commend our local investors for their support. We are eager to continue advocating for the local growth of DifferentKind and other promising startup companies.”
With its new funding, DifferentKind seeks to immediately fill a local software engineer position. The job description can be found here.
Interested local companies seeking similar investment are encouraged to apply to the Central Mountain Ascent Accelerator program by visiting www.drivenbynature.co.
DifferentKind helps dental professionals, patients, and insurers improve oral health outcomes and experiences via innovative software solutions and data insights. Learn more at DifferentKind.com.
About the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation
Founded in 2008, the Chaffee County EDC works on behalf of private sector employers and public sector governments to develop a modern economy that rivals our unsurpassed mountain lifestyle. The EDC focuses on three primary strategies:
- Supporting entrepreneurship to build a year-round economy less dependent on tourism and visitorship.
- Developing a talent pipeline of future workforce by aligning educational institutions with the needs of employers.
- Engaging collaboratively to improve public policy on issues of importance to the business community, including housing, water, broadband, and childcare.
About the Ark_Angels Investor Group
Formed in January, 2022, Ark_Angels is a local investor group based in Chaffee County that meets monthly and invests either collectively or individually in promising local companies to create positive economic opportunities for local residents. The founding twelve investors, who made their first two active investments in 2022, is actively seeking to grow the group to 20 accredited investor members, and encourages interested investors (and companies seeking to pitch for investment) to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About the Advanced Industries Accelerator Program
The Advanced Industries Accelerator Program was created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries by driving innovation, accelerating commercialization, encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to early stage capital and creating a strong infrastructure that increases the state’s capacity to be globally competitive. AIA encompasses five distinct grant programs: Proof of Concept, Early-Stage Capital and Retention, Collaborative Infrastructure, Export Accelerator, and Global Consultant Network.
About Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with partners to create a positive business climate that encourages dynamic economic development and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor Jared Polis, we strive to advance the State’s economy through financial and technical assistance that fosters local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado. OEDIT offers a host of programs and services tailored to support business development at every level including business retention services, business relocation services, and business funding and incentives. Our office includes the Global Business Development division; Colorado Tourism Office; Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office; Colorado Creative Industries; Business Financing & Incentives division; the Colorado Small Business Development Network; Colorado Office of Film, TV & Media; the Minority Business Office; Employee Ownership Office; and Rural Opportunity Office. Learn more at oedit.colorado.gov.