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University of Colorado Boulder Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative Partners with Higginbotham to Bring Insurance Education for Life Science Tech Startups

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BOULDER, CO (Feb. 14, 2022) — Higginbotham, one of the largest independent insurance and financial services firms in the nation, has signed on as Silver Partner with the University of Colorado Boulder Innovation & Entrepreneurship initiative, which offers hands-on experiences to help cultivate the workforce of the future. The partnership engages Brian Toglia, Higginbotham’s life science practice leader, to provide insurance insights and advice to faculty, students and mentors in CU Boulder’s ecosystem, the majority of whom are involved in life science tech startups.

Higginbotham’s sponsorship will help support the initiative’s academic courses, co-curricular workshops, mentorship experiences, a campus venture competition called New Venture Challenge (NVC), a summer startup accelerator program, job fairs and physical maker spaces. Medmarc, an insurer of life sciences companies, is co-sponsoring with Higginbotham to support CU Boulder’s Destination Startup event February 16-17, where researchers and faculty prepare for fundraising and commercialization of their technology.

NVC is the largest and longest-running venture program of its kind, ranked 13th nationally and connecting the campus with the Boulder community to develop and fund promising entrepreneurial ideas. Since 2009, more than 700 teams have participated in NVC. Student and faculty ventures competing in NVC have gone on to raise capital, be acquired by corporate partners and reach sustainable revenue and substantial local employment.

The university’s research commercialization effort, Venture Partners at CU Boulder, helps translate research breakthroughs to commercial successes. Last year, Venture Partners formed 20 new deep tech startups and completed more than 60 license and options agreements. The total startup portfolio raised more than $2 billion in capital in the same period.

“University of Colorado is proud to partner with Higginbotham, an insurance company that values support for relationships with new founders in the life sciences and breakthrough technologies,” said Eric Horner, CU Boulder Research and Innovation assistant dean. “Our collaboration will enable new education opportunities for students and faculty in entrepreneurship.”

Stephen Miller, CU Boulder director of Venture Development, added, “Venture Partners and CU Boulder are thrilled to welcome the expertise and experience of Higginbotham to help support the commercialization of the most innovative technologies in the country, many of which will be featured at Destination Startup in February 2022. The addition of Higginbotham and its partner Medmarc, one of the nation’s premier life sciences insurers, will be of great value to all of the startups in our broad and growing ecosystem.”

Toglia said, “Higginbotham is very excited about this new partnership with CU Boulder. We have been committed to the Colorado life science ecosystem for several years now. The relationship with CU Boulder was a natural progression based on the institution’s commitment to fostering groundbreaking innovation and entrepreneurship in the life science space.”

Higginbotham COO of Business Insurance Chris Rooker said, “We are truly honored to support future entrepreneurs and faculty as they enhance their knowledge. Those with the entrepreneurial spirit will certainly be leaders in the discovery of new ways of thinking and applying those ideals to generations to come.”

About Research & Innovation Office at University of Colorado Boulder
The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) at the University of Colorado Boulder is focused on creating global impact by cultivating and supporting collaboration, transformation and leadership. At the heart of this focus are the diverse contributions of a wide range of world-class experts, working together to accelerate ideas throughout the entire innovation lifecycle. Visit  for more information.

About Venture Partners at the University of Colorado Boulder
Venture Partners at CU Boulder translates breakthrough research into economic and societal impact. We achieve record-breaking results by equipping researchers to commercialize lab discoveries. Visit for more information.

About Higginbotham
Employee owned and customer inspired, Higginbotham is a single source solution for insurance, financial and HR services. The firm was established in 1948 and ranks by revenue as the nation’s 20th largest independent insurance firm. Serving thousands of businesses and individuals through locations across 13 states, Higginbotham’s approach to finding insurance, employee benefit and risk management solutions is more individual and less institutional. By understanding customer priorities, eliminating inefficiencies and committing to transparency, Higginbotham is a place that leads with values so value leads. Visit for more information.

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