Rockies Venture Club has noticed a theme this year. All investors are looking for a strong ROI. Sometimes ROI stands for Return on Investment. Sometimes it stands for Return of Impact.

This month we will discuss social and ecological impact companies. Does a high return of impact preclude a high return on investment? Can impact companies do well for investors while they are doing good for the world?

Please Register for Impact Angel Investing

Space will be limited so register early!
Time: Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 5pm to 7:30pm
Location: Cooley Offices: 380 Interlocken Crescent, Broomfield, Suite 900


5:00-5:55 Networking Happy Hour
5:55-6:45 How to make profitable investments in social and environmental impact companies.
6:45-7:30 Four great impact investment pitches including:
Biovantage, Snugg Home, Hydrant Flush and Main Street Power

Angel Investor Forums:
As always, this event will be followed by investor
forums for accredited angel investors. If you have
been curious about learning about angel investing,
these meetings are for you.
Denver Tech Center Thursday 12/13 7:00 am
Boulder Friday 11/14 10:30am



To the right is the breakdown of attendees at the December 2012, Impact Angel Investing event. We are very pleased to bring a great mix of people together each month to get investment deals done.


Guest Post Article by Joni Kripal, Healthcare Consultant and Co-founder of Ji Smart Stuff

This success story about a Colorado company called VetDC shows that funding for lifescience companies can come from angel investors. Further, VetDC dispels a widely-held myth that funding for life science companies can only be found in funds or angel groups dedicated to life science ventures.

VetDC, a private veterinary biotech company, was founded on the principle that companion animals should have greater access to novel, innovative medical treatments. Working closely with Colorado State University‘s world-renowned Animal Cancer Center and Veterinary Teaching Hospital, VetDC “reverse-engineers” promising new human technologies specifically for development in companion animal markets to address serious veterinary medical conditions.

VetDC was launched in 2010 and licensed its first molecule in early 2011 (learn more about the company, their purpose, and their pipeline at  The quest for capital was on!  Steven Roy, President & CEO, described their journey to successfully closing $1.5 million a few weeks ago. It’s a lesson in perseverance and possibilities, so entrepreneurs take heart!

After securing seed funding from CID4in 2011, the team initially went down the venture capital path, believing that the amount of funding needed was beyond the scope of a typical angel raise. They soon learned that it was also smaller than most VC funds preferred. In addition, there were few active life science funds in Colorado, so they needed to concentrate their efforts out of state. Unfortunately, most life science funds are not set up to invest in veterinary opportunities and doing so would require going back to their limited partners for approval to pursue an opportunity like VetDC. A step that few, if any, were willing to take. While meeting with these firms did not ultimately yield the money sought, it provided confirmation that VetDC’s business concept was valid and may ultimately provide a channel of new pipeline prospects from VC portfolio companies. So, there was somewhat of a silver lining associated with taking this path.

Fast forward to the Angel Capital Summit (ACS) last March. Steven considered participation in an angel pitch event a long shot but remained hopeful that he could attract the attention of local investors. And he did! After the ACS, he was on the Rockies Venture Clubradar and made several pitches to RVC investors. Encouraged by RVC’s interest, Steven decided to redirect his efforts toward angel investors. VetDC finally gained major traction when Steve Warnecke, a long time angel investor and entrepreneur who has taken several companies public, joined the cause and assumed the lead angel role. Negotiations ensued, investors were brought into the fold and the $1.5 million round was closed in early November.

Of course, the team at VetDC is energized by the infusion of capital to fund the next steps. They are absolutely delighted that they were able to access the needed capital right here in Colorado. “Keeping it local is a real plus. We look forward to accessing the tremendous expertise our angel investors bring to the table. It’s an exciting time at VetDC!”  says Steven Roy.

VetDC has moved into full execution mode preparing for the manufacturing of VDC-1101 and filing for FDA approval in canine lymphoma. They are now well on their way to making the launch of this life saving therapy a reality for dog lovers across the country. Their goal is to be ready for commercial launch in late 2014.

Editorial by Nicole Gravagna, Director of Operations for the Rockies Venture Club

Maybe it’s the landscape here in Denver. The gorgeous sunsets these last few days have been just the kind if backdrop that the protagonist should ride away into at the end of the day. And until today, I thought all was settled in the land of investors. Then an article like this guestpost on Venture Beat comes across my desk. Is this a new take on the old Cowboys vs Indians?  Crowdfunding vs Angels? Is Ryan Caldbeck (CEO of CircleUp) suggesting that we circle the wagons?

Caldbeck writes that with the new JOBS Act and crowdfunding rules, heads of angel groups will have to make adjustments to stay competitive. His argument seems to lie in the premise that online crowdfunding platforms like his will have such great dealflow that our angels will stop coming to investor meetings, instead choosing to do all their investing online. As one of these “heads of angel groups” I’ll have to beg your pardon.

Angel investing is notoriously inefficient. This part, Caldbeck has correct. Angels are simply high-wealth individuals who want to get involved with startups for a variety of reasons; for the most part, they are not trained investors. The individual nature of angel investing cannot be expressed enough. Sometimes multiple angels pool capital into LLCs to create a little fund for each investment, but generally, angels tend to make decisions to invest on their own accord. Crowdfunding will be no different. Investors will still make their own decisions to fund a company or walk away. No one is going to request a conference call with 99 other potential backers around the world to decide whether they will invest. Similarly, due diligence efforts can only be shared so much before you begin to wonder if you trust your money to someone else’s ability to dig up dirt on a would-be investment. I’ll make the argument that crowdfunding is just as individualized and inefficient as angel investing. Both crowdfunders and angels do their own due diligence and make their own decisions.

Caldbeck’s point that, for angels, getting strong dealflow can be a time consuming nightmare is also well taken. I am personally responsible for creating the eddies of dealflow for the Rockies Venture Club and I’m totally thankful that I have 27 years of local name recognition for my organization to fall back on. If I were to walk into a BDNT meeting, grab the microphone and boast to entrepreneurs that I am now accepting applications for companies to pitch to Nicole (vs pitch to the Rockies Venture Club), it wouldn’t go over so well. Few individuals have the quality dealflow that established angel groups can claim. For angels in towns lacking an angel group, I can see how crowdfunding sites will drastically improve the number of quality investment opportunities. However, in places like New York, Denver, Pasadena, Nashville, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Puget Sound, St. Louis, Las Vegas — I digress.

Is the promise of dealflow really the reason that angels come to angel group meetings? If so, then crowfunding sites may have the silver bullet and nationwide angel groups will soon be landing in the dust like the cowboy with a slow draw. Now, I’ve spent the last year facilitating two meetings per month of the RVC Investor Forum, and I have the sneaking suspicion that dealflow is not the only reason that we find ourselves around the boardroom table.

Why are we really there? Let’s go back to the part about how angels are high-wealth individuals who want to get involved in startups for a variety of reasons. Many of our angels are entrepreneurs who “made it”. Their last company had a great exit and now they want to invest in other startups. These folks are often young (sub retirement age), still starting companies of their own, and want to see what the other side of the negotiation looks like. They are not trained investors.

How does one learn angel investing, anyway? Angels learn to invest through formal or informal mentorship by other angels.

Where does an angel meet other angels? At angel group meetings.

At Rockies Venture Club, we quickly noticed that angels need to meet face to face with other angels so that they can learn what works, what doesn’t work, and how to get through the difficult and awkward parts of being an angel investor with dignity intact. We’ve taken this a step farther and have been creating courses for angels to learn the tricks of this wild avocation. (The next angel course will be Jan 22: Identifying and Designing a Good Deal)

I’ll relate a story to illustrate how an educated angel is invaluable. Recently a company came through our program and when it was time to negotiate terms, we quickly determined that prior funding terms made this deal very unattractive. If we had only neophyte angels in the group, the deal would have languished on our “watch” list until the founders decided to go get big corporate jobs. Fortunately, we had a highly experienced angel who took the deal by the reigns and re-negotiated old terms with the stakeholders. A big percent of zero is a lot less attractive than a smaller percent of a great exit and, after a few months, I’m happy to say that the deal is closed. Our less experienced angels have been learning from our highly experienced angels. The result is that our companies close deals at a rate of 22%. Are crowdfunding sites going to bring backers together to learn from one another as trusted friends and colleagues?

Frankly, Ryan Caldbeck, I don’t hear the cowboy showdown music starting after all. When the JOBS Act dust settles and crowdfunding is no longer a media buzzword, angel groups and crowdfunding sites will find there is little competition between them. Crowdfunding sites will have their place in cyberspace and angel groups will still have face to face meetings for those of us who actually like to shake hands.


Article by Griffin Ignelzi, Thrive LoDo

Every day there are more people forming and operating small businesses out of their homes or having to utilize the local coffee shop as a meeting ground. Sound familiar? While this option has proven viable for the startup in the short term it has become abundantly clear that this office situation is not ideal and can lead to your growing business having a tainted image in regards to professionalism and sustainability. The logical step in advancing the home-run or startup business is to get out of the living room and into your own office space; coworking spaces stand superior to their private, financially-heavy, “corporate” office counterpart.

Coworking is rapidly becoming the future standard, especially for small and startup businesses office needs. There are numerous advantages to a coworking environment. The culture that is created in a shared office setting vastly improves your businesses productivity, output, and networking reach. By surrounding yourself in close proximity to likeminded business professionals from varied backgrounds and expertise, one can vastly increase their business’ ability to flourish by taking advantage of collaborative opportunities with neighbors in close proximity.

Share your unique skill set, learn from those surrounding you and lift your business to new heights by taking advantage of the resources and professional community shared offices creates. Shared office spaces are far more affordable and include more services, features and potential for business growth than otherwise offered in generic private offices. Not only will you pay less on rental space when you sign up for a shared work environment, but you place yourself in prime real estate and become centrally located in the heart of your city’s downtown business district – the epicenter for business recognition, growth and success.

As you begin to look around for the different spaces out there, it is good to know about companies like Pivot Desk, a Boulder run group that connects people who are looking for existing spaces with availability. The spaces they promote range from a simple desk to multiple rooms. and websites like are good resources for discovering local office space available today and how much they cost to rent.

Another approach to looking into centers with available office spaces that work for you is to see what local businesses offer services in networking and other offerings that bring you closer to other like-minded entrepreneurs. Groups like Thrive Workplace Solutions are located in the heart of Denver’s (LoDo) Business centers host regular meet and greets, networking opportunities and provide unique and customizable workspaces geared towards the needs of business professionals. Thrive combines modern architectural design, comfort, ambiance, sound masking techniques and customizable individual spaces to provide the optimal environment from which your business will produce the highest caliber results.

More Resources:

Ever since high school we all wanted to be where the cool kids are. Right? Ok, maybe not you hipsters, but follow me anyway.

If you are a clean tech company, inventor, or human idea generator, you now have an invitation to hang with the cool kids. The CleanLaunch Technology Incubator at NREL is offering their space for free. They’ll give you conference rooms, a place to put your laptop (desk) and your rump (chair), internet access, parking, and enough coffee to fuel your ideas. They even have a color printer and if you don’t abuse your limits I bet they won’t charge you much for that either.

Still unsure, you can Tweetstalk CleanLaunch for a while.

Of course they can’t just open the doors to anyone. You really have to be working on clean tech stuff. There’s always fine print, isn’t there? Sorry, dirty tech people. This isn’t for you.

The fine print:

To qualify for the free coworking space at CleanLaunch, the business or entrepreneur must be developing, implementing, or operating an initiative that is addressing energy, environmental, and resource constraints. Examples include enabling technologies, software, and unique business models that are applied to energy, materials, water, food and agriculture, transportation, sustainable living, and resource efficiency.

For more information see the CleanLaunch website.

Who are these cool kids anyway? Colorado cleantech economic development stakeholders including NREL, CCIA, EEBC, Calstart, CAMA, Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, and CleanLaunch

Rob Writz is the Director of New Ventures at CleanLaunch. He was recently highlighted in an interview here.

  • Active investments are happening!
  • New private equity investment education courses
  • New Investor Meeting locations and more investors joining RVC every week!
  • Increased benefits for RVC members!


More Success!
We made big changes to RVC in 2012, and the fact is, we aren’t done yet! This year we added the RVC Investor Forum consisting of two Forum Meetings (Boulder and Denver) each month. This single change made all the difference for 22 great RVC companies who have reported investments totaling over $14,000,000 this year alone.

More Investor Meeting Locations!
In 2013 we are happy to announce that we will be adding another Investor Forum Meeting location in Golden starting in January. RVC has partnered with the Golden Economic Development Commission to stimulate deal flow west of Denver. We look forward to a change of scenery, and what pretty scenery it is. The exact location will be announced shortly.

More Education!
Next year you can expect more courses in the RVC Academy. The ever popular Pitch Academy runs every month on the Friday before our pitch event. This course is open to the public and space is limited. A new structure of this course allows for the option of sitting in and observing instead of having to pitch in class. Also, now you can bring the whole team at a discounted rate! Choose your level of participation.

A new Private Equity Prep Course will be available for companies to determine whether they are ready to seek capital. This will be an intensive workshop where each company can identify and address opportunities for improvement. We may end up calling it a Roadmap to Readiness Course.

Investors and entrepreneurs alike will be exited to take the new course Identifying and Designing a Good Investment Deal. Expert instruction by Lauren Ivison from ClearCreak Partners. Are you sure that the deal on the table isn’t laced with bombs and pitfalls? Learn from Lauren who frequently sees deals in arrested development because prior rounds were poorly structured.

Look for more courses in the coming months as we build out our suite of Private Equity Investment Education Courses.



Dear reader,

This is the first of many blogposts in a series that I’m calling the Investor Pitch Deck Series. I will create a post about each general investor pitch slide, why it is important, the common errors, and how to communicate that you have what it takes to achieve your goals for this company. Here at the Rockies Venture Club, we pitch around 100 companies per year to investors. Plus, we teach the Pitch Academy course every month where we see lots of great companies that span the gradient from Newbie (first time pitch) to Pitch Maestro (hundreds of pitches). Trust me when I say we’ve seen it all.


The mantra for this series will be, “Above all, make sense.”

The Market Slide

The purpose of the Market Slide is to show that you have enough people interested to buy your product so that you can ultimately have a scalable and sizable business. An underlying, and equally important purpose of this slide is to convey that you have a plan and are capable of actually capturing those customers. In this case nothing says “capable” like the existence of real paying customers. Barring that (if your product is still in development) you can show evidence of touching your potential customers through direct surveys, polls, and other interactions.

Cringe Factors

Cringe Factor #1 – When a pre-revenue company claims they are in a $X Billion Market, they will capture Y% the first year then Z% the following year.

Why this makes us cringe – Until you have a paying customer, you cannot be sure that you can really sell your product. If you are in revenue and you can track your increase in sales over time, then it stands to reason that your sales trajectory will continue on that track for a while. Prior to gaining paying customers, we are pretty sure you are just making stuff up.

How to do it right – If your company is pre-revenue, discuss the market size, then spend your time talking about how you are going to get out there and touch that market. Use specifics such as, “Last week, we had a phone call with Julie Miller from Borders about putting our product on their shelves. Next week, we have a meeting planned with the floor manager of the local Borders.” Your go-to-market strategy is way more exciting to investors than a bunch of made up numbers.

Cringe Factor #2 – You tell us that your pro forma includes “very conservative estimates”.

Why this makes us cringe – All we hear is, “I made up some numbers, then cut them in half.” Again, the appearance of invented numbers is the culprit.

How to do it right – Two words: field research. If you have talked to potential customers and gotten their word that they are willing to pay $10 for your product and that they would buy it 5 times a year, then you have a pretty good idea that the yearly value of a customer is $50. If you talked to 100 people in the right demographic and 6 said they’d be interested, then you expect 6% of your touched market to become a customer. If you’ve done some pre-product-release marketing to determine how many people you are able to reach with your initial marketing campaign, then you know your initial potential customer base. Put all that together and you have validated numbers for your pro forma. What’s better is that you can (and should) do this kind of bottom up market research before your product is available for purchase.

Cringe Factor #3 – You have no market strategy.

Why this makes us cringe – Your product or technology might be able to save the world and if no one knows about it, you’re sunk. (Inventors, this means you.)

How to do it right – Get out there, talk to people, and find out about their relationship with your product (or your type of product if yours isn’t available yet). You might be surprised what you learn. Really listen. Work with your team to build three different go-to-market strategies. Initially just brainstorm. Be silly about it at first. List ALL of the ways you might get the word out about your product. Are you finding that you are listing any organizations, government agencies, or large companies who might be really great strategic partners for you? Are their any groups or companies who might make bulk purchases? Does it make sense to give some of your product away for free to customers as marketing? Does it make sense to give your product to other companies for free or cheap if they can somehow connect you to your customer?

When you are done thinking, planning, rethinking, testing, pricing, and planning some more, you will have a great roadmap to get you into revenue. This is an iterative process and your market strategy will continually evolve. That said, you MUST be able to recite a market strategy when you present to investors. Investors know that nothing sells itself.


Example Slides

The first question I ask an entrepreneur of their product, “What does it do?” The second question I ask is “how does it make money?” The Market Slide is one of the ways that you illustrate how your product makes money. There are countless websites with investor slide examples. Instead of adding my own to the melee, below I address four examples and discuss how they handle the market slide.

This slide from shows thoughtful consideration about the target customer. Identification of the customer is important and is sometimes non-trivial. In some cases you may be thinking of the end user as the customer, but who really pays you for the product?
My favorite part of this slide is that no claims are made to capturing any percentage of this market.

I’m not wild about the rest of the slides in this example since they are too busy for a live pitch presentation, but here they are.




This example slide from Shai Goldman goes a step farther and mentions the “bottoms up” approach. If you can add bottom up research (also called ‘field data’) for any market size numbers you will gain immediate credibility. Bottom up research looks like a well set diamond in your slide deck.

You can find the rest of this deck on slideshare.




What is a discussion of investor pitch slides without an example from Guy Kawasaki, Pitch Guru? His marketing slide includes a mention to sales. I could not have put a finer point on it. Your company’s goal is sales. How are you going to begin and increase sales? What have you already done? Who on your team is driving the sales?






Here is a real-life example from AirBnb’s first pitch deck. This slide simply identifies the size of the target market. They coupled this with another side listing the number of users on two different competitors’ web sites. By pairing the total market with the real user numbers from comparable companies, they show a realistic best case scenario for early market size. Later in the deck, they show a market adoption slide covering the strategic partnerships they will use to touch their targeted customers.



The next installment in the series will be the Traction slide exit strategy slide. The change was inspired by a blogpost by A Smart Bear.

Rockies Venture Club and the Colorado Bio Science Association are teaming up for an exciting night of life science information, interaction, instruction, and investing.

This will be a popular event, so be sure to register early. We have an exceptional lineup of life science companies pitching this month.

Please Register for Colorado Life Sciences Night

Tuesday, November 13th from 5:00-8:00pm

Location: 1700 Lincoln, Denver, Wells Fargo Hershner Room

5:00-5:55pm – Networking Happy Hour
5:55-6:45pm- Transitioning Your Management Team with John Kelley, CEO of Cerescan
6:45-7:30pm – Pitches: Neuro Assessment Systems, Securisyn Medical, KromaTid, Willowcroft Pharm, LLC.

Angel Investor Forums:
As always, this event will be followed by investor
forums for accredited angel investors. If you have
been curious about learning about angel investing,
this would be the event for you.
Denver Tech Center Thursday 11/15 7:00 am
Boulder Friday 11/16 10:30am

Peter Adams, RVC Executive Director, taught two courses during Denver Startup Week. He culminated the presentation with the 12 Ps of fundraising preparedness. Is your company ready to raise capital?

Are you prepared to begin raising capital for your company? Use this checklist to determine how ready you really are. Not all companies will have all 12 of these readiness factors, but the more you have, the more ready you are.

Package – Investors are buying a piece of your company. When you present your investment opportunity to investors be sure that you are presenting the whole package, not just the product or technology.

People – The management team is incredibly important. If your company is still small or can’t afford to hire a complete team, be sure to add people to your deal in the form of volunteer advisors. Can you name 10 people who are willing to publicly be affiliated with your company?

Plan – Failing to plan is planning to fail. Of course you won’t follow your business plan exactly and everything will change next week. Write the plan anyway, then keep improving on it.

Proforma – Investors love to see the numbers. It’s better if you can provide validated numbers that reflect a few of the big decisions you are going to make.

Prototype – Can you put your product in an investor’s hand? Better yet, is it a working prototype? Prototypes show you are another step closer to revenue.

Product – Do you have a finished product? Even better.

Promotion Strategy – You may have the best product in the world and if no one knows about it, your company fails. How are you going to get your product into the world? Provide specifics about your strategy such as, “work with Marketing Company X, beginning March 2013”.

Partnerships – No company is an island. Partner with other companies toward a common goal of increasing revenue. A great example is Zappos which partnered with UPS to provide free shipping. Zappos gained customers through their always free shipping gimmick and UPS increased volume of their shipping business. Obviously, Zappos paid UPS, at a bulk discount, to ship.

Paying Customers – Have you convinced anyone to pay you for your product? Even if it’s only two customers, flaunt all sales.

Proof – Proof of concept and proof that your business model is a valid one comes in many ways. The more proof you have that your company can make money, the more likely you can get investors excited about your company.

Pitch Deck – You have to communicate your business to investors in a short period of time. Your message must be clear or you can lose credibility fast. You really do only get one chance to make a first impression.

PPM –  A Private Placement Memorandum is a legal document that includes an engagement letter, term sheet, and everything your company needs to issue stock in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The document details the summary of the offering, financial data, industry overview, management, etc. Companies with a PPM tend to close on their rounds faster than those who don’t.

If you are feeling a little overwhelmed at the extent of preparation that is necessary to raise funding, don’t fret. Fundraising is a process, very few companies have all of these when they begin seeking capital. Often companies set aside a year when they decide that it is appropriate to begin fundraising. They spend some time gathering the information for the proforma and PPM, begin to create a pitch deck, and start spreading the word that they are interested in investment. A great investment takes time to prepare.


Table Of Contents

1820 Club
Colorado’s Angel Group Consortium
Colorado Capital Conference 2012
AppIt Ventures named winner of $50K biz plan award!


1820 Club
Twenty-seven of the most enthusiastic ladies in Colorado came out for the first meeting of the 1820 Club in October. The 1820 Club is a new gathering of ladies who are interested in the investment world either because they want to invest, or because they are seeking investment. The name 1820 club refers to the birth year of Susan B. Anthony, best known for her dedication to Women’s Rights and the suffrage movement, her life stands as a pivotal mark in time leading to the equal rights women enjoy today. In this meeting we talked about our experiences with capital raises and investing from many perspectives. Investors, entrepreneurs, and service professionals were all present as we discussed our roles in the rebuilding of Colorado’s Economic Development. The group is intended to be an insightful meeting for women managing private equity financing from any angle.

Some of the investors present at the meeting were interested to find out that no investment experience is necessary to attend our Denver or Boulder Investor Forums. These meetings are just as much about educating potential investors as they are about presenting potential investments. For legal reasons, we must limit attendance of these meetings to accredited investors. Those who meet the legal qualifications of an accredited investor 1) had an income of $200k ($300k if married) and expect to meet the income requirement in the current year OR 2) have $1,000,000 in assets not including their primary home.

For ladies who do not meet these requirements, please feel free to attend the 1820 Club meetings throughout the year and/or volunteer with the Rockies Venture Club to get more involved.

Colorado’s Angel Group Consortium

Reaching angel investors in Colorado just got a whole lot easier! Thank you, Elizabeth Kraus (Co-Founder of Impact Angel Group) for making some noise and getting all of the Angel Communities together at the Colorado Capital Conference. Between organizing face-to-face meetings and a regularly scheduled phone call, Kraus is making sure that those who manage Angel Communities in Colorado are paddling together toward a common goal. What does this mean for the entrepreneurial community and the state of Colorado? It means that entrepreneurs have quadrupled their exposure when they approach the managed angel communities in our state. This results in less fundraising time which means a more efficient capital raise. It means that we just got one step closer to making a startup seed round raise an easy experience.

The Rockies Venture Club, High Altitude Investors, Impact Angel Group, Boulder Angels, Colorado Angel Investors, and Unreasonable Angels, are different organizations that help connect entrepreneurs with investors in Colorado. Historically, it has been a challenge to raise more that $1,000,000 in Colorado in a single round. At Rockies Venture Club, we encourage companies to tap their home states to complete a round over $1 Million. Now that Kraus is doing the legwork to connect all of the different angel groups in the state, it should be easier for entrepreneurs to reach or surpass that $1 Million mark.

Should all of the angel groups in the state consolidate into one big angel group? We don’t think so. Angel investing is traditionally a local endeavor. With High Altitude Investors located in Colorado Springs, Rockies Venture Club in Denver and Boulder, and other groups in Fort Collins, Angel Investors have opportunities to invest locally. A regular, facilitated meeting between the groups makes sense more than complete dissolution of the boundaries. One thing is for certain, Kraus is doing our whole state a service by volunteering her time to make sure that deals pass freely between the angel groups in different regions.

Colorado Capital Conference 2012
The Colorado Capital Conference was a great success! One of the pitching companies, SwiftPage, has already closed their round. Congratulations, SwiftPage! We are seeing immediate interest in many of the other companies including those who won the Venture Bucks awards. First place went to BioFeedz, a company with a biofeedback technology platform that could be used for anything from PTSD therapy to biocontrolled videogames. Second place went to Cloud9Express; third place went to urHUB; Swiftpage and Metabiomics get an honorable mention.

Governor John Hickenlooper gave our keynote address and mentioned his own experience as an entrepreneur in 1958 starting the Wynkoop brewery. He pitched his company to Rockies Venture Club way back when RVC was a new organization. He said the room was polite to him but they didn’t jump on board and finance the now historic brewery. We’d like to think that we’d be more interested if he came to us now. Including his initial pitch in 1985 and the keynote address at the Colorado Capital Conference 2012, John Hickenlooper has spoken to RVC three times. We appreciate his support and look forward to continuing working with the state of Colorado to develop small businesses locally.

AppIt Ventures named winner of $50K biz plan award!

The City of Denver raised a $50,000 cash award from private donors, and gathered amazing resources to bestow on one deserving company. As part of Denver Startup Week, Paul Washington, head of Denver’s Office of Economic Development, announced that AppIt Ventures is this year’s winner. Denver is devoted to accelerating economic development though their JumpStart initiative. Through a three pronged approach focusing on 1) business development, 2) investing and lending, and 3) workforce development, the city is devoting funds and effort into supporting small and large businesses with the things they need most. The city’s efforts will develop solutions for strategic partnerships, working capital, and well-trained employees which will drive businesses in Denver for years to come.

AppIt Ventures is a Denver company that designs and builds Apps to specification. They also have client services to help companies launch their new app as a product or business. This company is a smart choice for Denver to support. They have a great business model combining software development with client services. By mixing technology and consulting, AppIt should be able to weather any upsets in the technology sector by leaning on their consulting or vs versa. Further, because the company creates Apps and teaches their clients how to develop their business, AppIt Ventures is essentially a tech business creation machine. This company is one to watch.