Smart Futures Lab Launch Event

CU Denver’s Smart Futures Lab Launches with Preview Event on May 16 – Promises to be an Innovation Hub in Downtown Denver

May 24, 2023

The Lab supports companies led by women, people of color, and those with disabilities that are developing 5G technology addressing transportation safety, mobility for people with disabilities, climate change and urban planning. Mayor Michael B. Hancock, CU Denver alumnus, is scheduled to attend.

The Smart Futures Lab at the University of Colorado Denver, which houses a new incubator and accelerator program for companies led by women, people of color and those with disabilities, is hosting a launch event on May 16, which includes presentations, tours, and exhibits from entrepreneurs working on developing transformative technology in the smart cities industry.

The Lab is a result of a $2 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant, and the collaboration of CU Denver’s College of Engineering, Design and Computing, Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and Innosphere Ventures

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks are scheduled to provide remarks, and several entrepreneurs that are part of the Lab will exhibit some of their technology. The invitation-only event will be held at the CU Denver Building at 1250 14th St. near Larimer Square.

Attendees include people working in the smart cities industry, including municipality and government leaders, economic development professionals, and the entrepreneur community.

5G Technology

Much of the technology the companies are developing address quality of life issues communities across Colorado face, including transportation safety, mobility for people with disabilities, climate change, water, and urban planning. Several of the companies are also international, which means their impact will be felt around the globe. 

The Lab is an example of the kind of partnership that will be key to developing a downtown Open Innovation District, which is one of CU Denver’s strategic plan goals. These kinds of programs are aimed at accelerating innovative technology that solve problems, drive the economy, and require a creative and diverse workforce. These are areas of strength for the university.

Showcasing Smart Lab Companies

Those attending the Smart Lab launch event will have an opportunity to learn more about some of the 12 companies that are part of the Lab in 2023 including:

Tappy Technology, which has developed an app that aims to help people with disabilities, senior citizens, and veterans. The Austin-based company provides outdoor and indoor navigation and information available for all city and county buildings in Austin as well as linking other services from transportation to restaurants in one app. 

SNOWBOTIX, which is developing a green (sustainable) commercial automated snow removal robot. 

Globewater & Solar Technologies, LLC, is a water and solar energy company designed to supply fresh, clean water and clean power for women, children and their communities. The company’s goal is to develop instant water infrastructure to create resiliency for safe living conditions. 

Caliola Engineering LLCprovides technical solutions and services for secure and resilient communications. The company has experience in Nuclear Command, Control, and Communication (NC3); military satellite communications (SATCOM); modernized High Frequency (HF) communications; and non-traditional cybersecurity architectures among other areas. 

GridMatrix, Inc., a transportation data analytics company that provides cities with a continuous stream of real time, accurate data on vehicular and pedestrian road users, traffic congestion, signalized intersection performance, emissions, and safety. 

Lazarillo Holding Inc., which develops inclusive navigation and digital maps  for businesses to create a better user experience. 

inCitu.AR Inc., whichtakes real estate planning data and creates immersive experiences for all platforms (iOS, Android, web). 

Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo

Many representatives from the Smart Futures Lab will be attending the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo at the Colorado Convention Center, which runs from May 15-18. It is the most comprehensive conference, exposition, and accelerator of smart city innovation in North America. The conference encourages decision-makers to empower smart cities at all stages to adopt smart technology solutions, and amplify city resources for the betterment of cities, communities, and their citizens. This is exactly the kind of work the Smart Futures Lab is looking to support. 

CU Denver’s Director of Partnerships and Innovation Anthony E. Graves is also scheduled to speak during the conference. He will be giving keynote remarks during the Annual Smart 50 Awards program on Monday, May 15. The program honors the 50th most transformative smart projects of the year. 

About the University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado Denver is the state’s premier public urban research university and equity-serving institution. Globally connected and locally invested, CU Denver partners with future-focused learners and communities to design accessible, relevant, transformative educational experiences for every stage of life and career. Across seven schools and colleges in the heart of downtown Denver, our leading faculty inspires and works alongside students to solve complex challenges through boundary-breaking innovation and impactful research, and creative work. As part of the state’s largest university system, CU Denver is a major contributor to the Colorado economy, with 2,000 employees and an annual economic impact of $800 million. For more information, visit

About Colorado Smart Cities Alliance, The Colorado Smart Cities Alliance is the first state-wide alliance of its kind in the nation, bringing together public, private, federal research, and academic sector leaders committed to advancing smarter communities. Through partnership development, education and capacity-building, the Alliance has facilitated some of the most innovative government technology projects in the state.

About Innosphere Ventures Innosphere’s non-profit accelerator program has a strong mission to grow the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem by supporting the success of science and technology companies with an exclusive commercialization program for high-tech startups and specialized laboratory facilities. To learn more, please visit