From the desk of Elaine Schoch...
The Colorado business community is the birth place to several well-known consumer products (Crocs) as well as a number of natural food companies (Wild Oats, Izze, Celestial Seasoning) but the area I find to be most fascinating is the tech industry – did you think I was going to say something else?
While you have your big guys like Qwest and Level 3 you have a large number of innovative tech start-ups that are redefining their industry or creating a new category. However, these groups need funding to get their bright ideas off the ground. In Q3, 21 Colorado companies raised a total $196 million in venture capital funding, roughly equal to the amount raised a year ago, according to the quarterly MoneyTree report. No doubt the economic downturn will affect VC funding and the entrepreneurial environment Colorado is known for; it is just a question of how much. And that’s what I’m hoping to find out on Friday (tomorrow) at the Angel Capital Summit in Denver.
The Angel Capital Summit has been redesigned this year to specifically focus on the need to help entrepreneurs understand how the changing times can actually help them succeed. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and several other thought-leaders will be there to discuss the future of entrepreneurism in Colorado. Additionally, 40 entrepreneurs will present their businesses to hundreds of investors over the course of the day (including our client, TruEffect!). These entrepreneurs are nominated and judged by a collaboration of dozens of the leading professional organizations that serve entrepreneurs and early-stage investors. Here is a quick breakdown of who will be speaking but check out the full agenda for more details.
- The keynote address will be given by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, he will discuss “The Importance of Capital: Personal Experiences with Risk and Reward” and share his view for the future of entrepreneurism in Colorado.
- The lunch keynote address will be given by Anita Burke, one of the top thought-leaders in energy economics and markets, talking about "evolutionary risk management" - what changes are necessary in investing strategies and business models? Why does this favor early-stage entrepreneurs?
- A Town Hall Meeting, "Disrupting the Recession", with thought-leaders discussing Colorado's entrepreneurial response to the credit crisis, election, energy issues, and sustainability.
If you’re planning on being there let me know or follow me on Twitter as I’ll be there “tweeting it up”. (I'm an official Tweeter and Blogger along with a few other folks.) If you haven’t made plans you can still register it’s $159 (includes lunch) or you can hit the Town Hall Meeting, which is only $25 and sounds like a great discussion.
The companies that are presenting include:
18 Principles, Inc, 3D at Depth, Affinity Telecom, Inc, Alaskan Hardgear, Allegro Multimedia dba Music Wizard Group, ApopLogic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., AppVenture, Atrato, Inc., Aubice LLC, AWhere Inc., BOCS, Cadeka Microcircuits, Center For Innovation, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Chata Biosystems, Inc., CTM Software Corporation, Del Norte Brewing, DEMAND1, FacetoFace Health, flaik Inc, Fluonic, Inc., Frontline Aerospace, Inc., GroGreen Inc, iVation LLC, JuJu Central, LLC, Lingoport, Inc., Magic Portrait, Munch Away, LLC., NanoPrint Technologies, Progressive Health Center, PROJECT C.U.R.E., Shrewd Foods, Inc., Spatial Networking, Tissue Genetics Inc., Toghers Inc., TruEffect, Inc., Two Moms in the Raw, VanDyne SuperTurbo, Inc, VarVee, LLC, VitruMed Inc., Web2Storage, WhiteDove Herbals, Inc., Xpressplay, LLC, and Zerista.