Aspero Medical awarded $1M National Science Foundation grant

Boulder, CO – Aspero Medical, a medical device startup company focused on design and development of innovative technology to improve gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures, received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the purpose of further developing the company’s advanced intraoperative endoscopic balloon overtube for use in gastrointestinal (GI) and endoscopy procedures.

Aspero Medical is a graduate company of Innosphere’s incubation and commercialization program and is now a portfolio company of the Innosphere Ventures Fund. “There are significant limitations with current technology used in gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures, but Aspero has developed an alternative that will potentially improve performance of certain procedures, save time for practitioners and patients, and improve patient outcomes,” said Mike Freeman, Innosphere Ventures Fund general partner. “We look forward to continuing to support the company and their ongoing development.”

NSF grant funds will be used to further develop Aspero Medical’s C-TubeTM product line that incorporates their patented PillarTM balloon technology. “This investment allows us to finalize an entirely new approach to enabling complete colonoscopy procedures,” said Mark Rentschler, Aspero Medical CEO. “We are extremely grateful to have received this grant from the National Science Foundation.”

Every year in the U.S., over 51 million gastrointestinal endoscopies are performed, including 19 million colonoscopies. Colonoscopies are performed for a number of reasons, including screening for pre-cancerous growths and to remove diseased tissues. As the rate of colorectal cancer continues to rise, endoscopists are in need of more advanced tools to locate and treat the disease.

Aspero Medical’s C-TubeTM is designed to enable more efficient and effective colonoscopies. The project is led by principal investigator (PI) Mark Rentschler and supported by the growing Aspero Medical team. “We look forward to carrying this project to full commercialization and expanding the options currently available for endoscopic gastrointestinal procedures, including colonoscopy,” said Rentschler.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

“The ever increasing number of patients suffering with colorectal cancer requires that we look to develop innovative diagnostic and treatment options. We look forward to ensuring that the Aspero Medical C-TubeTM is available for all cases where the innovative design can make a difference,” said Dr. Steven Edmundowicz, Chief Medical Officer for Aspero Medical. “It is immensely valuable to have the support of the National Science Foundation to support the development of our novel product for the gastrointestinal endoscopy market.”

About Aspero Medical:
Aspero Medical’s PillarTM micro-texture technology was developed at the University of Colorado. The technology was developed to improve gastrointestinal endoscopy procedure performance and outcomes. Aspero Medical was founded in 2018 by Mark Rentschler, PhD, PE, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Steven Edmundowicz, MD, Professor and Medical Director of the Digestive Health Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, and received initial equity funding through Innosphere Ventures, Fort Collins, Colorado.

About the NSF’s Small Business Programs:
America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.75 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. For more information, visit

About Innosphere Ventures Fund:

Innosphere Ventures Fund is a venture capital fund leading early-stage investments for companies who are driving innovation in the B2B SaaS Software, Cleantech and Medtech sectors. The Fund’s general partners have extensive operator knowledge and industry experience. Our team is small, fully integrated, and impact oriented to produce successful results. We bring more than just capital; we bring differentiated domain knowledge and access to our expert partners from across the globe. Innosphere Ventures Fund has a strong foundation built on its successful first fund and its leading accelerator program which has operated for over two decades.

About Innosphere Ventures:
Innosphere Ventures accelerates the success of science and technology-based startup and emerging companies. Innosphere’s leading incubation and commercialization program focuses on ensuring companies are investor-ready, connecting founders with experienced advisors and early hires, making introductions to corporate partners, exit planning, and accelerating top line revenue growth. Innosphere has been supporting Colorado startups for over 20 years and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a strong mission to create jobs and grow the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.