Posts Tagged ‘VCIR’

The Entrepreneur’s Foundation and RMVCA Partner Up

At this week’s VCIR Winter the RMVCA will be announcing a partnership with the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado. In case you’re not familiar with the organization, the mission of EFCo is to encourage entrepreneurs and companies to give back to Colorado by endowing their communities with a gift of stock early in the life of their company. The hope is that this gift will serve as both a seed for a philanthropic culture within member companies and, of course, will mature into a cash gift that will help strengthen community organizations (each company specifies the recipient of their gift).

As a founding Trustee of EFCo, I’ve been involved with helping spread the message about the great work of the organization throughout our community and in encouraging participation by local companies (In support of this, Foundry has pledged a portion of our carry to the foundation).

Starting at VCIR, the RMVCA will begin working more actively to help support the Entrepreneur’s Foundation of Colorado mission in our communities by both helping support EFCo fundraising efforts as well as encouraging companies from around the RMVCA region to make a pledge of their stock in support of their local communities (and helping EFCo expand beyond Colorado). Having been involved in both organizations for years, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see them coming together to help each other out.

As part of this partnership, the RMVCA has encouraged VCIR sponsors to make an additional sponsorship donation, 100% of which will go to support the work of the Entrepreneur’s Foundation. This donation will be recognized at the annual VCIR poker tournament. In addition, the poker tournament will feature a buy-back-in option with a suggested donation of $100, again 100% of which will support EFCo. I’m happy to report that some great firms have stepped up to participate in support of this worthy cause at VCIR – KPMGSquare 1 BankHolmes, Roberts and Owens, Silicon Valley Bank, Cooley and Holland and Hart. In addition, the RMVCA itself has also participated in this sponsorship.

I’d encourage you to learn more about what the Entrepreneur’s Foundation is up to. And, as always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me directly.

February 7th, 2011     Categories: Uncategorized     Tags: , , , ,

Venture Capital in the Rockies Winter 2010 Unveils Promising Growth Companies Ahead of Conference

Twenty Companies Ranging From Seed Stage to Mezzanine Will Showcase Next Generation Technologies from Various Industries at the 27th Annual VCIR Winter 2010 Conference

Denver, CO, February 23, 2010 – The Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association today unveiled its final lineup of growth companies at the 27th annual Venture Capital in the Rockies (VCIR) 2010 Winter conference. This year’s conference will highlight twenty promising early-growth companies; all based in the Rocky Mountain region and a majority of which are focused on clean technology, a burgeoning industry in the area.

The VCIR Winter 2010 conference will be held at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek, Colorado, February 23-25, showcasing early-growth companies from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

Along with company presentations and ample networking opportunities, Dan Caruso, CEO of Zayo Group, will give this winter’s keynote address. As an active member of the telecommunications and Internet community, Caruso will address the attendees about the virtues of starting a company in the Rocky Mountains.

The conference will also feature a Technology Showcase, an inaugural demonstration of five very early stage technology companies that is designed to feature the next generation of innovation from the region and further VCIR’s legacy of entrepreneurial mentorship.

“The Venture Capital in the Rockies 2010 Winter conference is a premier event for both promising companies and attendees,” said Seth Levine, chairman of VCIR and a managing partner at the Foundry Group, a Boulder, CO-based venture capital firm. “Over the last 10 years we have seen impressive numbers that show the conference being an initiator in the future success of presenting companies.

That is why the conference has become an annual opportunity to identify great companies from around the Rocky Mountain region,” he continued.

Companies from Colorado represent the majority of presenters and constitute all of the clean technology and new energy companies participating in the conference.

· zettasun manufactures efficient commercial rooftop solar panels using proprietary optical technology to dramatically reduce the cost of solar electricity to be at or below grid costs.

VCIR Launches 20 Promising Companies/Page 2

· Cool Energy is an energy technology company that has developed a 100% clean conversion engine that transforms heat to electrical power for solar-based combined heat and power home applications and for waste heat recovery.

· RavenBrick delivers innovative solar-controlled windows, which reduce energy costs by up to 50 percent.

· BioVantage offers an algae-based, “green” alternative to classical wastewater lagoon aeration significantly reducing costs while helping municipalities to comply with new stringent mandates.

· Eco-Products is the nation’s leading brand of single use food service products made from renewable and recycled resources.

· Ice Energy delivers distributed energy storage and smart grid solutions to leverage higher efficiencies associated with generating and transmitting less expensive off-peak power.

· Pure Energy Solutions is the developer of superior wire-free charging technology and rechargeable battery solutions for consumer electronic devices.

· VanDyne SuperTurbo offers a product that increases horsepower and therefore improves thermal efficiency in vehicles, potentially improving fuel efficiency 36% in gasoline cars and trucks, with no loss of performance.

· Green Garage is a new kind of garage that makes cars gentler on the planet and easier on the wallet. Green Garage aggregates proven, sustainable, energy saving automotive maintenance/repair related products and delivers them through convenient consumer valet and corporate mobile on-site services.

Additional Colorado Representatives

· TruEffect merges the interactivity and reach of the Web, with the precision and effectiveness of direct marketing to deliver increased media performance and unparalleled new insights to global advertisers.

· provides college parents with critical campus information and connects parents with local services near campus, such as restaurants, hotels, and storage facilities.

· TopSchool, Inc. is a leading SaaS provider of Student Lifecycle Management (SLM) solutions for higher education, empowers student-centric institutions to drive growth, reduce costs and meet accountability requirements.

· Clementine Arts markets the first full line of natural art supplies for children.  All of the products are made in the USA and are naturally non-toxic, while functioning on par or better than traditional art supplies.

Consumer, Information Technology, Medical, and Imaging Technologies also Represented

· iMemories provides a single Web destination for consumers to digitize, preserve and store their full length home videos and photos online, regardless of the original media format, and share them across multiple consumer platforms, ranging from televisions and mobile phones to popular social networks and blogs.

· Mangia allows sports fans to order food and merchandise (and eventually tickets) using a mobile phone and have it delivered right to a stadium or arena seat.

· DICOM grid is a healthcare information technology that helps hospitals, imaging facilities and physicians manage and distribute radiology health records to meet the needs of the rapidly evolving healthcare industry.

VCIR Launches 20 Promising Companies/Page 3

· Infopia is a leader in SaaS (Software as a Service) eCommerce platform solutions—giving retailers the tools they need to sell effectively online and helping merchants grow their business faster and more effectively than any other technology provider.

· CradlePoint engineers and manufactures wireless 3G/4G broadband routers and software platforms that facilitate secure Internet access via 3G/4G wireless (cellular) broadband networks.

· Firerock Technology develops, licenses, and sells proprietary hardware and software that improve the performance, security, and reliability of Information Technology systems.

The three-day conference is about both new companies and new ideas, as well as giving attendees a chance to network with over 300 investors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and service professionals.

About VCIR

Venture Capital in the Rockies (VCIR) is the region’s oldest and best attended venture capital conference and will hold its 27th annual VCIR Winter edition in Beaver Creek, Colorado in 2010. Along with the annual VCIR Fall conference, the two VCIR conferences encompass the premier venture investing conferences in the Rocky Mountain region and among the most respected venture conferences in the country. Creating a dynamic marketplace for ideas and investment, both editions of VCIR invite over companies seeking investment to present to panels of venture investors, as well as an audience of other entrepreneurs, CEOs and professionals servicing the venture community. More information can be found at

February 23rd, 2010     Categories: Conferences     Tags: ,

We don’t charge companies to present at VCIR

There’s been an extremely lively debate online over the last few months about the practice of charging entrepreneurs to present to VCs. You can see my post on that subject here, one from my partner Jason Mendelson over on peHUB here, Jason Calicanis’ very popular post on the subject here (and a quick search on Google will pick up dozens more). At issue is the question of whether it’s reasonable to charge entrepreneurs to get in front of potential investors. I’m clearly on the side of not charging entrepreneurs to pitch to investor groups – reputable events of this nature can attract sponsor dollars and/or the angel investors involved should be footing the (relatively small) bill.

While the original discussion around this topic was specific to angel groups, the more recent conversation has included other forums where investors and companies come together such as conferences (like the one that Jason talks about in his post). To be completely clear, I don’t object to charging companies that attend these conferences the same registration fee as other paying attendees and I completely support the ability of conference organizers to make money by putting on a quality event through sponsorship dollars and attendee revenue. The practice I object to is charging only the presenting companies and/or charging them a multiple of what other attendees are charged.

I know that you can successfully operate a conference in this fashion because for the last 27 years the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association and KPMG have been running the Venture Capital in the Rockies conference that brings together companies headquartered in the Rocky Mountain Region with investors from across the country (and the world). I’ve had the pleasure of being the conference chair for the last two years – an experience that was eye-opening (running a successful conference is hard work!) but reinforced my view that one can successfully put on an event that both supports entrepreneurs and makes money. And while, as I state above, I think it’s fair game to charge presenting entrepreneurs who attend conferences the standard registration fee, in the case of VCIR we don’t charge our presenters anything at all. In fact we also allow them to bring additional executives from their companies for a deeply discounted rate from the standard conference fee (we actually lose money on these attendees as well). For 2010 this is not only true for the 20 main-track presenting companies but also true of the 5 “Technology Showcase” companies that are giving shorter, DEOM-style quick pitches at the front end of the conference (the Tech Showcase is something new that I’ve put into this year’s program).

We do this because it’s the right thing to do and because it helps us attract the best possible group of presenting companies from across our region, which in turn helps us attract quality investors, which in turn allows us to support the event through sponsors and attendance fees. I know that we have a quality product from the large number of sponsors, the number of returning attendees and the number of non-presenting companies who attend for the quality program and networking. The conference turns a profit (even this year in a difficult economy) and our presenters have been very successful attracting investment after their participation – all without charging our presenting companies.

February 22nd, 2010     Categories: Conferences     Tags: , ,

VCIR Success – by the numbers

This is a cross post from the VCIR blog. We recently put together an analysis of companies that have presented at VCIR over the last 10 years. And the numbers are pretty impressive – reinforcing why the conference is such a great opportunity to see great companies from around the rocky mountain region. For more information on the conference itself, including how to register, visit the VCIR Winter website.

VCIR By the Numbers:

Presenting companies: 212

Companies who raised additional funding after their VCIR appearance: 127

Total funding raised by these companies (only includes amounts raised after their VCIR presentations): $2.5 Billion

Presenting companies acquired: 29

Total acquisition value (includes announced values for 19 of the 29 transactions): $4.4 Billion

The clear take-away, of course, is that VCIR is an event that showcases outstanding companies from around the Rocky Mountain region. Hope to see you there.

February 5th, 2010     Categories: Venture Capital     Tags: ,