By Beth Potter, Reporter with Boulder County Business Report
DENVER - Colorado
startups are facing a paradox - entrepreneurs are flocking to the state, while
potential investors and venture capital firms are mystifyingly staying away.
That was the
verdict of a panel of three area venture capital firm managers who discussed
the state of their industry Friday at the Colorado Technology Association
"The state of
venture capital in Colorado sucks," said Seth Levine, manager at the
, a Boulder-based venture capital firm. "The state of the
startup market has never been more robust."
About 93 percent of
the money invested in Colorado startups and tech firms comes from outside the
state, Levine said, a much higher proportion than in years past.
As the state,
especially Boulder, has become known as a great place to launch companies,
venture capital firms based on the coasts still seem reluctant "to open
outposts" in Colorado, Levine said.
Chris Marks of the
, a private investment company based in Boulder, also was a member
of the venture capital panel.
Earlier in the day,
two Boulder startups unveiled demonstrations of their products.
Go Spot Check is a
Boulder TechStars 2011 graduate. It is trying to develop applications that let
brands verify that retailers are properly displaying merchandise on store
shelves. The company relies on crowdsourcing to enable consumers to do the
verifying while they are shopping.
Go Spot Check
unveiled the app shoppers can use to verify items are being displayed
correctly. Users will receive money from brands for completing mission. The
apps will be available on the Apple App Store in two weeks, Go Spot Check
founder Matt Talbot said.
demonstrated the app store his company, Openspace, is developing. Openspace
allows users to buy apps that work across platforms such as computers, tablets
or smartphones. Users only would have to buy an app once but would be able to
use it on all their devices.
Openspace will make
the app buying experience easier by allowing consumers to buy from curated
channels that are tailored to users' interests, Reich said.
Reich is founder of
the Boulder Denver New Tech Meetup and OneRiot Inc.
- Michael Davidson