In an effort to boost local economy and a place in the innovation industry, Colorado has launched a VC fund. Companies within the state will receive financial support to grow a community of entrepreneurship.
Local government has shown itself to be an effective partner in efforts to grow regional startup entrepreneurship or other economic efforts, with projects in San Francisco and Las Vegas in the practice’s history. Now Colorado will join that growing list thanks to the state’s governor John Hickenlooper, who announced a partnership with local CEOs and tech companies to create a $150 million VC fund. The goal of the partnership is to form this fund by the summer as a consortium of tech CEOs, each of whom would enter approximately $10 million into the project. Investments will be made in early and late stage startups and companies that are local and related to the technology industry.
Governor Hickenlooper: “We don’t need more patents, we need more entrepreneurs.”
The announcement was made at the Venture Capital in the Rockies winter conference in Beaver Creek, CO which took place March 5-7, 2013 and highlighted regional companies. The fund is primarily targeted at growing local entrepreneurship within the state by fostering financial support for outstanding new organizations. The approach places the focus on individuals with new ideas, rather than the innovations themselves. A business founder himself, Hickenlooper remarked on the project, “We don’t need more patents, we need more entrepreneurs.” Now a politician, Hickenlooper got his start as a local economy stimulator early in his professional career by opening a brew pub in the 1980’s.
Several states have created VC funds to support local growth in tech and science
Other state-run venture capital funds have also taken hold in several states, as TechCrunch reports. Maryland has a seed and early stage equity fund with annual allocations from the state legislature that invests in tech and life science companies. Vermont’s Early Stage Venture Capital Fund was initially capitalized with $5 million and partnered with the Vermont Economic Development Authority. The Georgia Senate approved a local bioscience and tech VC fund in March 2013 that aims to raise $100 million in the next 5 years, overseen by a governor-appointed member board.