Colorado established the Venture Capital Authority fund to make seed- and early-stage capital investments in businesses. The legislature allocated $50 million in premium tax credits, which the fund sold to insurance companies.
The Venture Capital Authority supports access to venture capital for Colorado's entrepreneurs and startup businesses. The program is directed by the Venture Capital Authority board, which partners with professional fund managers to deploy capital.
The currently active fund is the Greater Colorado Venture Fund (GVCF), which invests in early-stage startups in rural Colorado. The fund's mission is to inspire innovation in places formerly overlooked by venture funds. Investments range from $100,000 to $300,000 per company. All investment decisions are made by the fund manager. Interested businesses should connect with the Greater Colorado Venture Fund.
The Greater Colorado Venture fund invests in founders who are dedicated to building their business from their chosen rural communities in Colorado.
Your company needs to:
- be headquartered or have significant operations in rural Colorado (outside of the front range urban corridor)
- have at least two full-time employees based in rural Colorado
- commit to staying in Colorado for at least five years
- be seeking first institutional or growth capital funding
- serve customers well beyond your company's locality or be raising funds to scale
- serve customers beyond your company's locality
The Venture Capital Authority is directed by a special purpose board. This board generally meets on a bimonthly basis. Below are the tentatively scheduled meeting dates for 2021 which are subject to change at the discretion of the board.
2021 meeting agendas
|January 22||Operations Subcommittee||Agenda|
|February 11||Full Board||Agenda|
|April 8||Full Board||Agenda|
|June 10||Full Board||Agenda|
|August 12||Full Board|
|October 14||Full Board|
|November 10||Full Board|
In 2004, Colorado established the Venture Capital Authority fund to make seed- and early-stage capital investments in businesses. The legislature allocated $50 million in premium tax credits, which the fund sold to insurance companies.
High Country Venture
The Venture Capital Authority (VCA) selected High Country Venture, LLC to manage the funds. High Country Venture established Colorado Fund I and Colorado Fund II, each with approximately $25 million.
Neither fund currently makes investments. Fund I is closed, and Fund II is fully deployed as of December 2018. The investments generally ranged from $250,000 to $3.375 million.
High Country Venture is independently operated and generally makes funding decisions. State review ensured that businesses met minimum specified requirements before receiving funding.
The Greater Colorado Venture Fund
The VCA was intended to manage the money as an evergreen fund, meaning that the distributions received from Colorado Funds I and II are to be reinvested in future venture capital funds that meet the requirements of the VCA statute.
In 2018, the VCA invested proceeds from Colorado Funds I and II into a third fund, the Greater Colorado Venture Fund. The Greater Colorado Venture Fund invests in early-stage startups headquartered in rural Colorado outside of the front range.