Funding Your Business

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges to launching a successful business is raising the capital needed to start or grow your company.

Choosing an investor may have more impact on your life than choosing a spouse so choose wisely. Many investors have written terrific articles on this topic:

If you have additions or corrections, please contact me.

Non-profit and Government Resources, Investment Clubs, and Angel Groups

  • Small Business Association The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grants – The U.S. government will provide non-dilutive funding to businesses developing innovative technologies through their SBIR grant awards.
  • Rocky Mountain Microfinance Institute The Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute (RMMFI) is a non-profit organization serving the needs of Community Entrepreneurs to foster growth within Denver communities. RMMFI’s brand of microfinance combines affordable and accessible business development services and flexible microloans in an effort to support an entrepreneur in creating economic self-sufficiency through business ownership.
  • Rockies Venture Club Since 1985, the RVC has connected entrepreneurs with angel investors, venture capitalists, service professionals, and other business and funding resources. Nicole Gravanga (Director of Operations) and Peter Adams(Executive Director) have revitalized the Rockies Venture Club over the last year. Their group of angel investors has been quite active over the last year.
  • Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association The Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association represents entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and the service providers who support them in the Rocky Mountain Region. In the past 5 years, companies in the region have attracted financing from over 400 institutional venture firms representing over $4 billion in capital under management.
  • High Altitude Investors High Altitude Investors (HAI) is an organization of accredited investors (as defined by the SEC), who seek private investment opportunities, largely in Southern Colorado and the Front Range. Membership provides access to special educational programming, entrepreneur presentation forums and social time to meet other accredited investors.

Virtual Resources

  • Kickstarter – best for creative projects
  • Gust.com – formerly known as AngelSoft, gives you access to more than 40,000 accredited Angel Investors. In 2011, more than 1,000 companies were funded.

Colorado Based Venture Capital Funds

An older list of Venture Capital Firms serving Colorado (including investment range, target industry and total funds managed) can be downloaded from Jefferson County’s website (PDF).

I believe the organizations listed below still have funds to invest. If you have additions or corrections, please contact me.

  • 5280 Partners I – Early stage investment in software applications & business process outsourcing
  • Access Venture Partners – Early stage investment in efficiency technologies, data security & storage, digital media & consumer internet, cloud computing
  • Altira Group – Invests in technology enabling service companies primarily in the oil and gas industry
  • Boulder Ventures – early stage IT and life science companies
  • Centennial Ventures – early and later stage software and technology companies
  • Crawley Ventures – Crawley Ventures is a subsidiary of Crawley Petroleum. They invest in seed, early and expansion stage companies in high tech optics, financial services, software, manufacturing and wireless.
  • Foundry Group – Foundry Group may be the most well known venture firm in Colorado given how involved the managing directors (Brad, Seth, Ryan and Jason) are in the entrepreneurial community. Typical investments are early stage IT, internet and software related and align thematically with their goals.
  • Green Spark Ventures – start-up and early stage companies producing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
  • Grotech Ventures – early stage technology companies
  • High Country Venture – innovative early stage Colorado companies, predominantly life science and IT. High Country Ventures manages the State of Colorado Funds I and II.
  • Meritage Funds – invests elusively in technology based service businesses with recurring revenue which they consider to be growth equity opportunities.
  • Opus Capital – early stage technology companies
  • Sequel Venture Partners – early stage technology businesses with an emphasis on Healthcare, Enterprise IT, Clean Technology and Internet-based services.
  • Vista Ventures – early stage investment in software, digital media and network companies with unique products and services.