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Venture Capital Authority

Summary

The Venture Capital Authority (VCA) supports access to venture capital for Colorado's entrepreneurs and startup businesses. The VCA is a political subdivision of the state and a Special Purpose Authority like the Public Employees' Retirement Association. The VCA is neither an agency of the state nor subject to administrative direction by any agency or department of the state. The VCA is governed by a board of directors that partners with professional fund managers to deploy its capital and OEDIT staff provides administrative support to the VCA.

The VCA is currently a partner in five active funds, and businesses interested in funding should visit the funds' websites for more information:

  • Avesta Colorado Fund invests in Colorado-based seed-stage startups that help address the challenges of climate change, inequality, and deliver both attractive venture returns and measurable impact.
  • Colorado ONE Fund targets early-stage investment into small disruptive companies developing innovative critical technologies in aerospace, defense, and homeland security, with a focus on underserved companies.
  • DEMI Fund is focused on investing in startups and scale-ups owned and/or operated by business leaders of color. The fund is focused on scalable early to mid-stage businesses as well as transitioning succession companies in information technology, advanced manufacturing, food and agribusiness, biosciences, health/beauty/wellness, tourism, and aerospace industries. With funds from the VCA, the fund will focus on investing in early-stage businesses that have the potential to grow in urban enterprise zones
  • FirstMile Venture Fund is focused on founder-driven businesses and seed-stage investments. This fund invests in Colorado technology businesses.
  • Greater Colorado Venture Fund invests in early-stage startups in rural Colorado. This fund's mission is to inspire innovation in places formerly overlooked by established venture capital firms.

All investment decisions are made by the fund managers and not the VCA Board or staff.

Venture Capital Authority Board  Venture Capital Authority Annual Reports

Overview

Investment Application Period: Open

Type: Venture capital

For: Seed and early-stage startups

Amount: Historically, from $50,000 to $3.25 million per investment

The Venture Capital Authority partners with funds that invest in seed and early-stage Colorado businesses. The objective is to support entrepreneurship, economic diversification, and quality jobs.

Your company needs to:

  • be headquartered in and have principal business operations in Colorado
  • commit to staying in Colorado for at least five years after an initial fund investment
  • be seeking first institutional or growth capital funding
  • meet the Small Business Administrations criteria for a small business
  • have strong growth potential

Visit the fund manager websites to apply. If you are interested in pursuing an equity investment, please contact the fund manager directly.

  • Avesta Colorado Fund invests in Colorado-based seed-stage startups that help address the challenges of climate change, inequality, and deliver both attractive venture returns and measurable impact.
  • Colorado ONE Fund targets early-stage investment into small disruptive companies developing innovative critical technologies in aerospace, defense, and homeland security, with a focus on underserved companies.
  • DEMI Fund is focused on investing in startups and scale-ups owned and/or operated by business leaders of color. The fund is focused on scalable early to mid-stage businesses as well as transitioning succession companies in information technology, advanced manufacturing, food and agribusiness, biosciences, health/beauty/wellness, tourism, and aerospace industries. With funds from the VCA, the fund will focus on investing in early-stage businesses that have the potential to grow in urban enterprise zones
  • FirstMile Venture Fund is focused on founder-driven businesses and seed-stage investments. This fund invests in Colorado technology businesses.
  • Greater Colorado Venture Fund invests in early-stage startups in rural Colorado. This fund's mission is to inspire innovation in places formerly overlooked by established venture capital firms.

The Venture Capital Authority is directed by a special purpose board. This board generally meets on a monthly basis. Below are the tentatively scheduled meeting dates for 2024 which are subject to change at the discretion of the board. To see agendas from past years, please visit our VCA Board Archive.

2024 meeting agendas

Dates:Meeting Type:Agendas
February 13Full Board2/13/24 Agenda, (Google Doc)
March 12New Fund CommitteeAgenda
April 3Full Board and Fund UpdatesAgenda
May 14Executive CommitteeAgenda
June 11New Fund CommitteeAgenda
July 9Operations CommitteeAgenda
August 13TBDAgenda
September 4Full Board and Fund UpdatesAgenda
October 8TBDAgenda
November 12Full BoardAgenda
December 10TBDAgenda

The Colorado legislature established the Venture Capital Authority (VCA) funding program in 2004 to fill a gap in private capital markets and provide seed- and early-stage capital to Colorado companies. Initially, the legislature allocated $50 million in premium tax credits, which the VCA sold to insurance companies. The funds have been invested and returned to create an evergreen fund which the VCA continues to target to fill gaps in the VC market in the state.

The VCA had partnered with High Country Ventures on Colorado Fund I and Colorado Fund II. Both of these funds deployed capital throughout the State, with each investing 25% in rural areas of the State and 25% in urban distressed areas. Fund I is now dissolved, and achieved returns that were in the Top Quartile in the U.S. for its vintage year, having provided 9X leverage on invested capital. Colorado Fund II is fully deployed. 

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