(Denver, Colo.) – July 8, 2014 – Tonight, at an event hosted by Governor Hickenlooper and co-founders Jim Kelley and Ryan Heckman at the Governor’s Mansion, the Colorado Impact Fund will officially launch as Colorado’s first privately financed fund of its kind, specifically aimed at assisting local entrepreneurs whose companies contribute to the well-being and health of Colorado communities. A private equity fund dedicated to supporting local companies that generate consistent investment returns in addition to positive community impact, the Colorado Impact Fund includes investors from some of Colorado’s most respected executives, families, foundations and corporations, each of whom is committed to making a difference in the State of Colorado and beyond.
“Colorado is now home to five of the top 20 regions for tech start-up communities,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “This is also a state where we believe our bold capitalistic aspirations can be in harmony with our obligations to our fellow man, and the Colorado Impact Fund exists to do exactly that. The Fund will make capital available to innovative companies that are committed to improving the lives of Coloradans throughout the state.”
The concept of the Colorado Impact Fund emerged from discussions among local leaders about the importance of supporting Colorado businesses that have a positive impact in our communities. This group recognized that in addition to providing quality jobs and economic development, many Colorado companies also provide solutions to some of the social and environmental challenges the State faces. These civic-minded investors expressed interest in earning competitive returns while simultaneously achieving positive community impact. The intersection of these objectives inspired the creation of the Colorado Impact Fund by Jim Kelley, Denver-based managing director and co-founder of Vestar Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm with offices in New York and Denver, and Ryan Heckman, co-founder of Excellere Partners and executive director of Quarterly Forum, a Denver-based leadership organization.
“We believe that the private sector plays an important role in the creation of healthy and thriving communities,” said Kelley. “The goal of the Colorado Impact Fund is to demonstrate that investors don’t have to trade financial returns for positive impact – you can, in fact, have both. This will, in turn, help attract more private capital to fund businesses that improve lives in our community.”
Managed by an affiliate of Vestar Capital Partners, the Colorado Impact Fund will provide growth capital to entrepreneurs who have built compelling business models that drive meaningful returns both socially and financially. Vestar Capital Partners manages the Fund on a pro bono basis, without carried interest, with a goal of giving back to the community. This unique structure aligns the Colorado Impact Fund with the most cost-efficient capital for entrepreneurs, financial returns for investors and the growth and well-being of Colorado.
“Energy and passion are core to who we are, and we seek to partner with entrepreneurs and managers equally dedicated to these values,“ said Ryan Heckman, co-founder and senior advisor to the Colorado Impact Fund. “The foundation of our investment strategy is to leverage our collective experiences, resources and networks to help Colorado entrepreneurs be financially successful while also making a lasting, positive impact on the surrounding community.”
The Colorado Impact Fund will target initial investments of $2 million to $6 million per portfolio company in the following industry sectors and outcomes: community health, natural resource conservation, education and workforce development, and economic development. The Fund seeks to make investments throughout the state.
About Colorado Impact Fund
The Colorado Impact Fund is a private equity fund managed by an affiliate of Vestar Capital Partners, which is dedicated to supporting local Colorado companies that generate consistent investment returns in addition to positive community outcomes. Investors in the Fund include some of Colorado’s most respected executives, families, foundations and corporations, each of whom is committed to making a difference in the State of Colorado and beyond. Targeting investments of $2 million to $6 million in the areas of community health, natural resource conservation, education and workforce development and economic development, the Colorado Impact Fund leverages its collective experiences, resources and networks to help Colorado entrepreneurs create exceptional and lasting companies. For more information visit www.coloradoimpactfund.com.