Carbondale’s Coventure hosts second venture capital pitch night Friday
Six local companies will vie for capital investment in Carbondale on Friday in an event organizers compare to the popular reality-TV entrepreneurial competition “Shark Tank.”
For Missouri Heights-based business Boulder Learning, having the chance to compete for venture capital funding just a few miles away is a relief.
Boulder Learning is taking grant-funded research and building it into education software to assist teachers, having acquired a Front Range-based software developer.
But co-founder and president John Ramo wants Carbondale to be the headquarters.
“It’s great because what we want to do is build our administrative functions out of Carbondale,” Ramo said in an interview.
The second annual Mountain Pitch Summit, organized by nonprofit business incubator and co-working space Coventure, will be different from the inaugural event last year by Coventure’s predecessor, GlenX.
“Last year, the focus was on community businesses, mostly in Carbondale. We wanted to tell a story that we could help local businesses grow,” said Mike Lowe, executive director for Coventure.
The event last spring raised $1.25 million for five local companies: Marble Distilling, The Way Home restaurant, aerospace manufacturer Perin Industries, agri-tourism destination Cedar Ridge Ranch and solar company P4P.
For this year’s event, “we set out to identify six companies that were in industries that could develop into businesses that could be game-changers for local economies,” Lowe said. The businesses are already well on their way to becoming anchor businesses for the region, Lowe said.
The six businesses presenting, most of which are from the Roaring Fork Valley, include AppOmni, which makes a cloud-based security software; Atelier, an augmented reality app for home decoration and interior design; education software creator Boulder Learning; iPhone accessory manufacturer iOmounts; Proximity, a co-working management software system; and P4P, which designs tensile solar panel structures.
Since the first pitch night in April 2018, the business acceleration programs started within GlenX have been rebranded, and dramatically expanded, as Coventure.
Coventure’s goal is to turn Carbondale and the greater Roaring Fork Valley into a hub of business networking, training and investing to build a diverse economic base for the region.
Small-town economies are experiencing three particular challenges, as identified by the Office of Economic Development: Industry diversification, smart growth and talent retention.
Coventure occupies several floors of the Spruce Building in downtown Carbondale, offering co-working space available to anyone to rent by the day, week or month.
The pitch event kicks off at the Third Street Center at 3:30 p.m. Friday with a panel discussion on angel investing and venture capital, followed by dinner and drinks from local restaurants, and a keynote address by Marc Nager of the Greater Colorado Venture Fund, which also is one of the investment groups that will evaluate the pitches.
The other investor groups are Telluride Venture Fund, Four Points Funding and Rockies Venture Club.
The main pitch event with the six presenting companies will start at 7 p.m., followed by a networking afterparty. The event is open to the public, with a $10 suggested donation at the door.
The online reservations for the event are filling up, Lowe said.
“We’re worried that we won’t have enough chairs. I guess that’s a good problem to have,” Lowe said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” as he took the helm of a deeply divided nation and inherited a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.