Thursday September 5, 2019 0 comments
DENVER -- The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced grantees for 2019 Collaborative Infrastructure Grants with a total of $1.12 million approved by the grant commission and awarded to companies with industry-wide impact across one or more of Colorado OEDIT's seven designated Advanced Industries.
Rockies Venture Club (RVC) was awarded $470,000 in total grant funding to create new angel investing communities throughout the state, using well-established principles and practices of angel group formation and management to educate and mobilize new angel investors.
RVC, a 501(c)6 non-profit organization, is the longest-running and one of the most active angel investment groups in the U.S., operating actively since 1985. With more than 215 investor members, RVC is a leading syndicate, investing in 20-25 companies annually.
RVC has a history of successful execution by combining education for entrepreneurs and new investors with start-up community events and investor gatherings that ultimately lead to investment. RVC hosts more than 140 events annually, with many in collaboration with other community organizations. such as Colorado OEDIT, Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA), Colorado Smart Cities Alliance and others.
The concept behind the grant is that mobilizing capital is a community effort. RVC said it will be focusing on vertically-oriented communities to help them fulfill their own mission by mobilizing local investors to invest in local companies within their communities of interest whether urban or rural.
These investment verticals range from health and life science to natural food and beverage, RVC said.
RVC’s educational platform includes the recent, Colorado OEDIT sponsored RVC Impact HyperAccelerator program. Eight for-profit social or environmental impact companies received intensive training on many subjects within entrepreneurship and investing, helping to prepare them for Angel investment. Through events like these, RVC said it has built a long-standing relationship with OEDIT, which has been mutually beneficial and RVC hopes will continue to grow for years to come.
“We are fortunate to have an investment partner like RVC to help coordinate and support our AI grants,” said Katie Woslager, senior manager, Advanced Industries.
“Colorado is a nexus of talent in AI verticals and we are proud to invest in and support this key industry.”
RVC said its first area of expansion in Colorado will be in Clean Technology. RVC is partnering with the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA) and the Traxion Venture Network to launch a Cleantech Angel group in October 2019.
“The challenge of raising early-stage capital is a constant frustration for many of our member companies,” said Shelly Curtiss, CCIA executive director.
“By working with Traxion and RVC, we will increase the number of cleantech companies in the Angel investor’s pitch pipeline, while bringing new investors to the table interested in clean technology investment opportunities. Cleantech Angels represents a new opportunity to fund, grow and retain Colorado’s incredible cleantech talent and we’re excited to be involved.”
RVC, CCIA, and Traxion Venture Network will hold the first meeting of the Cleantech Angels powered by RVC on Oct. 17 from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Colorado School of Mines. Details on the meeting can be found at http://www.rockiesventureclub.org/calendar.
RVC said it plans to also expand angel communities with focuses on life sciences, aerospace, and other industries in 2020.
In Colorado alone, there are about 68,000 potential accredited investors, many of whom don’t realize their potential to invest and the significant impact they can have, RVC said.
Fewer than 1,000 of them engage in angel investments. Rockies Venture Club said it aims to change this and the OEDIT project is one large step in the direction the club intends to go.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the State of Colorado to mobilize some of the passive capital that we have here in our community into great Colorado startups that create jobs and foster economic development throughout the state,” said Peter Adams, RVC executive director.
“People send their money to Wall Street through their financial advisors, but there are better investment opportunities here in our own community.”