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.
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.