Venture Capital Authority

Venture Capital Authority

In 2004, the State of Colorado passed legislation authorizing the creation of a venture capital program and the Venture Capital Authority (VCA) to oversee the program. The VCA Statute authorized the sale of $50 million in Colorado premium tax credits to initially fund this program through 2014.

The VCA sold the tax credits to insurance companies in exchange for cash as the initial funding. There will be no additional sales of premium tax credits to fund the program. The VCA invested the proceeds from the premium tax credits in Colorado Funds I and II, which are venture capital funds with ‘qualified investments’ made solely in Colorado. The VCA partnered with the Greater Colorado Venture Fund in July of 2018 in a fund focused on investing in rural Colorado.

Per the VCA Statute, the VCA is intended to manage the money as an evergreen fund; meaning, that the distributions will be reinvested in future venture capital funds that meet the requirements of the VCA Statute.

The VCA partners with fund managers who use the VCA’s capital to make investments in “Qualified Businesses” in three designated geographical markets as follows: 50% for a Colorado Statewide Venture Capital Fund (Statewide Funds), 25% for a Colorado Distressed Urban Community Venture Capital Fund (DUC Funds) and 25% for a Colorado Rural Venture Capital Fund (Rural Funds). Qualified businesses must be headquartered in Colorado; meet the Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business; and may not be predominantly engaged in professional services, banking, investing, real estate development, insurance, oil and gas exploration, or direct gambling activities. Investments must be seed or early-stage.

More information about VCA and the Greater Colorado Venture Fund can be found in:


Venture Capital Authority Request for Proposal

The Colorado Venture Capital Authority is currently conducting a request for proposals (RFP) to partner in a new fund. Per Colorado Revised Statute 24-46-203, this Request for Proposal is exempt from the Colorado Procurement Code.

The VCA plans to allocate a minimum of:

  • $23 million in capital to a fund or funds where at least $11 million is expected to be invested statewide
  • at least $12 million is expected to be invested in distressed urban communities

The VCA has an interest in funding businesses that are founded or led by women, minorities, veterans, and other under-served populations.

For the statewide funds, the VCA is not limited to investing in any particular industry sector. The VCA is interested in responses from fund managers with an informed post-COVID strategy and expertise in clean energy, health, and software.

VCA is also open to fund managers with expertise in other industries such as:

  • outdoor recreation
  • natural foods
  • advanced industries including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering, and technology and information

RFP Timeline

The current proposed RFP timeline for selecting one or several fund managers is as follows:

Date in 2020 Milestone
July 3 Publish RFP
July 17 at 11:00
July 22 at 11:00
Bidders Conferences (contact sonya.guram@state.co.us for invitation to an on-line meeting)
Aug 17 RFP Response Deadline
Sep 24 Notification of Finalists
Oct 5 to Oct 16 Finalist Interviews
Oct 30 VCA Selects Fund Manager(s)
Dec 31 Execute the Limited Partner Agreement

Note: The timeline is subject to modification at the VCA’s discretion.

Potential Fund Manager Notice of Interest

Those interested in responding to the request for proposal (RFP) must notify staff of their interest by emailing sonya.guram@state.co.us with the email subject ‘VCA RFP’. In the body of the email include:

  • the potential fund manager’s name including any ‘assumed or doing business as’ names
  • address
  • phone number
  • website address
  • email address
  • any other pertinent contact information

Interested parties will be provided with a secure means to submit application materials.

RFP Application/Requirements

Please review the RFP Requirements for all requirements and submission materials.

RFP Questions and Answers

Potential Fund Managers responding to the RFP that have questions should email sonya.guram@state.co.us  with the email subject “RFP Questions”  for a response. Questions will be generalized and made accessible to all potential fund managers here:

  • Will the VCA participate in a Fund as a co-investor?
    The VCA typically takes a limited partner role in a fund. If a fund manager anticipates investing in businesses that do not meet the VCA’s criteria, the VCA cannot participate in those investments. The VCA would expect a fund manager that anticipates making investments that do not meet the VCAs requirement to establish two funds. One fund that complies with the VCA’s requirements (a sidecar or co-investment vehicle) in which the VCA will participate in each and every investment that the fund makes. The second fund would make investments in businesses in which the VCA cannot invest. Agreements would be established to guide how funds under the same fund manager co-invest.
    See III (I) in the RFP document and C.R.S. 24-46-201
  • What if my fund invests or plans to invest in businesses that do not meet the VCAs criteria; can the VCA still partner?
    The VCA is restricted to investing its capital in a fund that invests in Colorado businesses and at the seed or early stage round (with certain exceptions). A partnership may be formed using a coinvestment or sidecar model. See the answer above.
  • Is the VCA okay with waiting until mid-2021 to deploy capital? Our planned fund will not be closing until that time.
    Yes. The VCA has a capital deployment standard following statutory guidelines. From the date that the VCA becomes a limited partner, it targets deploying 5% of its capital commitment within 3 years, 50% within 5 years, and full deployment at 10 years.
    See IV in the RFP document
  • The statutes state that a business in which the VCA invests must maintain its business in Colorado for at least five years, has this been an issue in the past?
    We have not had issues with this – fund managers and businesses have agreed to these terms. At the time of each investment – initial and follow-on – the fund manager will obtain a commitment from the business to maintain its presence in the state. The fund manager will need to enforce this requirement in its legal agreements with the business.
  • What about the 75 page limitation for RFP responses? Can fund financials be included where they will exceed that page count?
    The VCA board appreciates well crafted and targeted responses to the RFP requirements. They will accept attachments that may put the pages submitted above 75 in number.
    See III (M) of the RFP document
  • How would you like the materials submitted?
    If you’ve given notice that you are interested in submitting application materials, a secure folder has been established for you to upload your materials. Please save and upload each section of the application as a separate document, i.e. each Exhibit should be a separate file.
  • The application requires a D&B number, what’s that?
    This reference if part of our background check. You can easily obtain a D&B or D-U-N-S number from Dun & Bradstreet here:  https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html

 


Meetings

Due to COVID-19 and the need to social distance, all meetings will be held virtually until further notice. There will be no physical presence for these meetings. If you wish to participate, please contact virginia.davis@state.co.us for the meeting credentials.

June 12, 2020: Agenda
June 26, 2020: Agenda
August 13, 2020: Agenda
August 24, 2020: Agenda
September 10, 2020: Agenda
September 15, 2020: Agenda
September 22, 2020: Agenda  
October 16, 2020: Agenda
October 26, 2020: Agenda

Annual Reports

Venture Capital Authority Annual Report 2016
Venture Capital Authority Annual Report 2017
Venture Capital Authority Annual Report 2018
Venture Capital Authority Annual Report 2019

Sonya Guram Deputy Director, Tax Credit Programs sonya.guram@state.co.us
Venture Capital Authority