Myths busted: VCs and angels tell all on Colorado startups

A haven for skiers, mountain bikers and microbrews.

That’s how people outside the state often perceive Colorado—and the people who live and work here. But is the state’s work hard/play hard culture masking its place as a breeding ground for serious entrepreneurial talent?

MacKinnon Photography | Flickr via Creative Commons


A haven for skiers, mountain bikers and microbrews.

That’s how people outside the state often perceive Colorado—and the people who live and work here. But is the state’s work hard/play hard culture masking its place as a breeding ground for some serious entrepreneurial talent?

Tekhne did a little digging to confirm—or bust—some of these myths by asking VCs and angel investors what they really think about Colorado’s entrepreneurial scene.

Investors from areas as far reaching as Boston and Salt Lake City to Silicon Valley spiritedly responded to our very unofficial, unconventional survey. The results were wide-ranging, with some myth busting—and a few surprises.

Here’s a quick summary:

Myth #1: Colorado entrepreneurs would rather drink microbrews than hatch business plans.

Reality: Some investors from outside the state said they don’t know enough about Colorado’s entrepreneurial space to evaluate it. Others replied enthusiastically, saying, “Colorado’s got some serious talent,” or, “Colorado startups are right on the cusp of breaking out.” Some said the state’s “work hard/play hard startup culture is healthy.” None of the investors we surveyed, however, said they thought that Colorado-based startups play more than they work (one myth busted!).

Myth #2: Investors get their news about Colorado’s entrepreneurial scene from what they read in newspapers.

Reality: Nearly all the VCs and angels we polled said they rely on blogs, like Feld Thoughts, TechStars and TechCrunch, as their top source of information about Colorado-based startups. The findings suggest that blogs have eclipsed traditional media, such as Bloomberg News, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal as primary investment news resources. Word-of-mouth among fellow investors still plays a big role for some, however.

Myth #3: Colorado is no Silicon Valley.

Reality: How does Colorado stack up in VC and angel investors’ portfolios, compared to other locations, like Silicon Valley, New York or Boston? Well, Colorado startups are definitely on the map. Some investors said they’re “intrigued, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.” Others, meanwhile, said they’re “actively looking for more deals here.” Those investors who have made a few investments here said, “so far, so good.”

The findings suggest that investors are starting to take a closer look at some of the real entrepreneurial talent in the state—proving that Colorado’s not just for bikers, boarders and ski bums after all.

Do you think Colorado is the next spot for investment nirvana? Drop us a note to let us know your thoughts.

[note color="#C3DAE3"]This story was originally posted on Feb. 29, 2012.[/note]