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Fund pairs savvy investors with valley’s business talent

The Daily Sentinel

(July 15, 2015)

By Gary Harmon

The managers of the Colorado Impact Fund have $57 million to invest in proven ideas and are traveling the Centennial State in search of entrepreneurs who are hamstrung by a lack of capital and expertise.

Fund managers visited Grand Junction this week in hopes of finding companies that would qualify for investment by the fund. which is looking to make investments of $2 million to $6 million each.

One hard-and-fast requirement — the metropolitan Front Range need not apply.

“We don’t call it the ‘Denver-Boulder Impact Fund’ for a reason,” said Jim Kelley, managing partner of the Colorado Impact Fund.

The Colorado Impact Fund (, an affiliate of Vestar Capital Partners, was established in 2014 to spur economic development in parts of Colorado outside the booming Front Range, said Kelley, who visited Grand Junction with another partner, Federico Peña, the former Denver mayor and U.S. secretary of transportation.

“We’re thrilled with the idea of working with rural Colorado,” said Kristi Pollard, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, who noted that representatives were quickly making contacts across the Grand Valley.

The fund has made two investments after attracting $63 million in eight weeks from Colorado investors and could make two or three more before the end of the year, but has met with more than 100 prospects.

The depth of entrepreneurial talent across the state “has been a real eye-opener to me,” Peña told the editorial board of The Daily Sentinel.

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