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Venture Capitalists Unveil Winning Idea

The Daily Sentinel

(July, 16 2015)

Representatives of a Denver-based venture capital fund are making the rounds, telling communities and business-development entities around the state they have millions to invest in promising Colorado companies — especially those located outside the Denver-Boulder corridor.

The $63 million Colorado Impact Fund is managed at no cost by the Denver office of Vestar Capital Partners, Inc., to boost entrepreneurial activity and encourage economic growth in Colorado communities, primarily those struggling to create jobs.

But this is no philanthropic endeavor. The goal is to make money applying the same stringent criteria as any other private equity firm. The brain trust behind the fund wants to prove that investors don’t have to sacrifice healthy returns to have a positive impact on target communities.

This is a great idea and the investment team is taking the right approach. Access to capital is critical for second-stage businesses (a step beyond startups) to grow into the kinds of companies that can create jobs, export products and grow the tax base.

Representatives of the fund have met with civic and business leaders in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Durango, Telluride and Montrose. On Tuesday, they met with The Sentinel’s editorial board to explain the fund’s genesis and guiding principles.

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