Investors invited to venture capital event

An Aug. 22 event at The Broadmoor will link investors with information on how they can invest in fast-growing and new companies in Colorado Springs.

Business investors and community leaders are invited to attend what’s billed as the “All-Star Investment Event,” which follows the High Altitude Investors Forum. The forum runs from 4-5 p.m., and the investment event from 5-7 p.m.

Seven venture capital firms will educate Colorado Springs investors, entrepreneurs and community leaders about venture capital and its role in supporting start-up and fast-growing companies, said Mary Fox, administrator of High Altitude Investors and operations director of the Colorado Springs Technology Incubator.

Six investors from outside Colorado Springs will discuss the latest trends in investments, how venture capital firms make investment decisions and what type of investments have been most successful.

Venture capital is typically a professionally managed fund to which start-up and fast-growing companies can apply for financing.

“The sad fact is that there is very little venture capital that is accessible to Colorado Springs’ start-up companies.”

– Bill Miller, PV Ventures

Community leaders and others interested in investing in Colorado Springs companies are welcome to attend. Fox requests an online RSVP as soon as possible (send to mary.fox@cstionline.org), because space is limited.

Mel Carter, a principal at Customized Fund Investment Group of Credit Suisse Asset Management, personally invited the investment firms.

In addition to Carter, others attending are: David Cremin, founder and managing partner of DFJ Frontier; Kirk Holland, managing director of Access Venture Partners; Bill McAleer, founder and managing director of Voyager Capital; David Odom, principal of Arsenal Venture Partners; Gregory Smith, executive director of Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA); and Colorado Springs resident Bill Miller, founder and managing partner of PV Ventures.

“The sad fact is that there is very little venture capital that is accessible to Colorado Springs’ start-up companies,” said Miller.

Miller called his fund “very small,” at $3.6 million. The goal of his firm is to make six investments with six firms, he said.

“We think we’ll do good in providing good jobs here,” Miller said of his firm’s investments.

The average amount of venture capital with each of the firms invited to Thursday’s event is more than $100 million, said Miller, who added that he would like to build more venture capital in Colorado Springs.

Four of the funds have an average of $200 million, and “they have all expressed willingness to invest in Colorado Springs companies,” Miller said.

“Angel” capital is money that comes from wealthy individuals willing to invest in start-up companies on their own. Often the “angels” form clubs; one such club is High Altitude Investors, a Colorado Springs-based organization of accredited investors.

Event organizers include High Altitude Investors and Colorado PERA’s Mile High Fund. The PERA fund has $50 million that “they hope to invest in Colorado early-stage companies, along with venture capital companies,” Miller said.

The Colorado Mile High fund is a growth-capital fund, money invested after a company has been established.

“We wanted to bring these funds here to make them familiar with the community, and hopefully make them more interested in the companies here,” Miller said.