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 two active funds, and businesses interested in funding should visit the funds' websites for more information:
- The 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.
- FirstMile Ventures is focused on founder-driven businesses and seed-stage investments. This fund invests in Colorado technology businesses.
All investment decisions are made by the fund managers and not the VCA board or staff.
The VCA is crafting the strategy for a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund focused on supporting investment in underrepresented entrepreneurs and innovators in urban distressed communities. Review the plan and provide your feedback.
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.
- The Greater Colorado Venture Fund invests in early-stage startups in rural Colorado. The fund's mission is to inspire innovation in places formerly overlooked by established venture capital firms.
- FirstMile Ventures is focused on founder driven businesses and seed-stage investments. The VCA partner fund invests in Colorado technology businesses.
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|
|June 21||Sub Committee||Agenda|
|June 22||Sub Committee||Agenda|
|July 19||Sub Committee||Agenda|
|July 29||Sub Committee||Agenda|
|August 10||Sub Committee||Agenda|
|August 12||Full Board||Agenda|
|September 2||Sub Committee||Agenda|
|October 14||Full Board|
|November 10||Full Board|
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.