Community Fund Kickoff Opened to a Packed House

By: Jaclyn Freeman, Startup Colorado Executive Director

Startup Colorado kicked off the Startup Colorado Community Fund at a packed house Denver Startup Week event in the Denver law office of Polsinelli.  Brad Feld and Erik Mitisek, Startup Colorado Co-Chairs, announced the inaugural grant recipients—House of Genius and 1 Million Cups.  You can learn more about the recipients in Michael Davidson’s excellent article in Xconomy.

After announcing the grant recipients, the University of Colorado Law School Dean Phil Weiser moderated a panel with Feld, Mitisek, Full Contact CEO Bart Lorang, and Rally Software’s Christine Hudson, all grant committee members and Startup Colorado Advisory Board members.  The panel discussed the core purpose of the fund, which is to build a strong startup community through sustained engagement of the entire entrepreneurial stack in regular activities and events.

As Mitisek, CEO of the Colorado Technology Association and Denver Startup Week Organizer explained, by localizing funding in one place, community leaders no longer need to scrap together funds from several sources to hold a single event. “Asking for small amounts of money to run programs is a tough issue for busy entrepreneurs and hard for large companies to manage. We want this fund to make it easier for all.”

The panel also talked about the underlying values of Startup Colorado, which is that all entrepreneurs are invited to be leaders in spurring activity that catalyzes and supports entrepreneurs.  “We are committed to supporting and trying different experiments, finding out what works over time, and refining our approach as we go,” explained Startup Colorado Co-Chair and Foundry Managing Partner Brad Feld.  “We invite everyone to get engaged and join the network of people working with Startup Colorado.”

Bart Lorang suggested that getting involved with the network is a “doer-ocracy.”  You are accepted, in other words, by getting stuff done.  Christine Hudson added that the community is incredibly accepting and she found herself getting lots of support from Startup Colorado as she worked to develop a New Technology Meetup in Fort Collins.

At the discussion, the panelists invited community leaders across the State to submit their grant proposals to the fund for consideration—as long as they provide a community (and not a private) benefit.  Startup Colorado is now accepting applications for the fourth quarter grant cycle.  To apply, visit

For any questions about the Fund or Startup Colorado, including how you can get involved, please go to or email David Bennett.