The start-up community in Boulder County has been so strong that it is attracting venture capital from across the nation. This region ranked number three in 2012 for amount of venture capital invested per capita. The two regions ahead of Boulder were both in the Silicon Valley being San Francisco and San Jose, California. Looking at the bigger picture, larger cities still make up most of the venture capital however when looking at per capita, Boulder is above the rest. Boulder received more venture capital than any other region in 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.
The Foundry Group came to Boulder in 2008 and have since generated a $225 million venture fund. The company staff has over five decades of experience in venture capital investing and put that money into companies across the US. The Foundry Group uses the money to help company’s start-up and then foster the growth. The group focuses on adding value to the companies without micro managing and running the company themselves. However, they always join the company’s board of directors.
Another investment group focusing on the natural and organic Boulder food and beverage industry is Boulder Brands Inc. The development of the “friend equity” model will provide equity capital and will tap into the already existing Boulder Brands infrastructure to help facilitate growth and promote efficiency among the start up companies.”The investment fund will target early-stage growth companies in the natural and organic food and beverage sectors. These companies will operate independently from Boulder Brands but will benefit from access to its infrastructure, resources and expertise,” the announcement said. Companies that Boulder Brands invest in will still be able to operate separately from the investment company. Boulder Brands is also in the process of moving headquarters to Boulder from new Jersey.
Boulder relies heavily on these investments and the success of many local companies shows that. Seeing as how food and drink make up a large part of the boulder economy these investment groups are an essential part of keeping the economy healthy. A lot of startup companies fail because they don;t have the funds to finance immediate expansion. With the introduction of these new investment companies more entrepreneurs can hopefully get their businesses off the ground and have a larger margin of success.
In earlier posts we discussed how important the food industry is to Boulder’s economy. With the introduction of the Boulder Brands investment company hopefully more small-time food producers can finance their expansions and continue to do business on a larger scale.