COLORADO COMMUNITY CAPITAL PBC

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  • 26 May 2015 7:25 AM | Anonymous

    Time and time again entrepreneurs and small business owners get turned down when raising money.  The statistics show that over 95% of bank loan applications and angel investor submissions get rejected.  The tendency is to blame the bank or the angel investor for being bureaucratic or greedy instead of asking the question “Did the business meet the criteria of the capital source?”

    This high failure raise leads to statements that there is “no money out there” when in fact “there is capital everywhere”.  How can there be this radical difference in perspective?

    Maybe people are looking for money in all the wrong places?  This analysis sounds like the lyrics to Johnny Lees’ song Looking for Love

    When talking about love, you often hear people talking about their ‘soul mate’ – that one person on this planet who fate has dictated will be the source of happiness in a relationship.  This analysis recognizes that everyone is different – we are all humans, but we are individuals.  It supports the thinking that there is that one person who is the best match for any other person.  This rationale is the framework for dating and matchmaking services.

    However, when it comes to money, all of this analysis is abandoned.  The focus becomes on the money, not on who is making the decision to invest the money.  Yet, the individual making an investment decision is just as unique as the individual falling in love.

    So, in the hunt for funding, who would be the ‘money mate’ for your business?  Who is the perfect match that will make all your dreams come true?  Time expended in this analysis will shorten the time expended in seeking funding.

    Institutional investors (banks and venture capitalists and finance companies) are engaged in a business where they have to make money on their money.  They have established criteria that they follow when making investment decisions and they will share that with you.  If you don’t meet the criteria, don’t be surprised if you get turned down when you apply.

    Wealthy individuals may or may not have set their criteria for investing.  Ask these individuals for their criteria.  In some cases, it is limited to making money.  In other cases, it is to advance a cause and create a positive impact on their communities.  If you match, then seek funding.  If you don’t match, seek a referral.

    Businesses may invest as matter of strategy.  Does the success of your business advance that strategy?  If so, explore this as a source of funding.

    Customers may now invest through securities crowdfunding.  Their interest in investing is amplified when they care about the products or services that you offer and about your role as a member of your community as a local business.

    Foundations may provide funding through ‘program related investments’ (PRI’s) to those businesses whose mission aligns with their mission.

    Government agencies may provide funding to advance research for the public good or to generate economic growth.

    The interest in investing and the criteria for each investor is different.  Learning this information and using it to find your ‘money mate’ will save a lot of time and heartache.

    The Colorado Capital Congress is presenting a workshop on ‘Building Capital’ on May 28th that will include skill building on matching a business with an optimal investor.  For more information or to register, go to http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/events.

    The Colorado Capital Congress is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to help everyone in Colorado gain access to capital.


  • 11 May 2015 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    As I am designing and developing securities crowdfunding campaigns and also working on a catalog of all the types of funds needed for a Capital Community, I have started creating a list of characteristics that may be useful in framing the promotion of a crowdfunding campaign. 

    There are two sets of characteristics: the perspective of the individual or organization conducting a crowdfunding campaign and the perspective of an investor.  As a form of sales and marketing, the conduct of a crowdfunding campaign must look at an investment from both sides of the capital transaction.

    From the perspective of the crowdfunder, the following characteristics maybe important:

    • Type of capital transaction / security (stock, loan, royalty, hybrid, other, etc.)
    • Amount of capital to be raised (5K to 5MM dollars)
    • Ability of investor to provide funding (pocket change or major life decision)
    • The stage of development of the project or organization being funded (Concept to stable growth)
    • The subject or niche market benefiting from the success of the project or organization being funded
    • The duration of the investment (day trade to 20 years)
    • The geographic area in which the investors are residents (5 block radius to international)
    • The primary motivation of the investors (see next list)
    • The cost and time of regulatory compliance
    • The speed with which funding may be completed  (today to 12 months)

    From the perspective of the investor, the following characteristics maybe important:

    • The reason the project or organization is seeking funding (enable operations, to grow, other)
    • The benefit to the investor (without investing) if the project or organization succeeds
    • The additional benefit to the investor from investing (return on investment)
    • The existing relationship (if any) with the individuals or organizations seeking funding
    • The amount of the investment  (time, money from $1 to 5MM dollars)
    • The liquidity of the investment (day trade to indefinite hold)
    • The perception of membership within a defined crowd (do I know other investors)
    • The management team of the project or organization seeking funding

    These lists of perspectives are incomplete (still growing) and are not prioritized in any sense.  In fact, each investor is likely to give more or less importance or no importance at all to items on the list.

    Any message within a crowdfunding campaign must address the perspective of the investor.  As it appears, since there many perspectives, there must me many messages, each tailored so that the investor candidate receiving the message feels that it is addressed to them.

    Too often, entrepreneurs fail to address the perspectives of the investors.  They either assume that all investors are alike or that their deal is so good that all investors will invest.  This is not true for classical investments based upon seeking a return on investment.  And, it will represent a greater error in thinking with regard to crowdfunding.

    The Colorado Capital Congress is providing briefings on crowdfunding to community organizations and presenting fee workshops on Securities Crowdfunding: Colorado Style.  Check the Events calendar for upcoming briefings.  The next workshop will be held on May 21 at Colorado Lending Source.  For more info or to register, go to http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/events.


  • 07 May 2015 7:47 PM | Anonymous

    On May 12, 2015, a group of enthusiastic and engaged pre- and post-doctoral trainees, the Science Industry Alliance (SIA), will host the first Rocky Mountain Biotechnology Symposium (RMBTS) at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.

     Through oral presentations, booths, panel discussions, workshops, one-on-one conversations, and networking throughout the day, participants will learn more about local bioindustry and biotechnology companies. They will also have the chance to set up new connections and collaborations between industry and academia.

    The entire program runs from 7:30 am to 5 pm.

     Karl Dakin, a Director of the Colorado Capital Congress will make a presentation entitled ‘Capital is Everywhere’ at 9:35 am.

    The event will be held at Education 2, South Building, Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado.

    Registration may be completed at: http://www.ucdenver.edu/faculty_staff/research/postdoctoral/rmbts/Pages/home.aspx


  • 02 May 2015 4:21 PM | Anonymous

    The Colorado Capital Congress is announcing a new program: Leader Training.

    To improve Colorado's capital ecosystem, the Colorado Capital Congress will provide scholarships to community leaders to attend any of its Workshops and learn more about capital.

    Anyone who is a director of a nonprofit organization, an organizer of an entrepreneur, business, innovation or economic development Meetup, or an officer of a civic organization may qualify for this program.

    A limited number of spaces will be available in each Workshop.

    In May, the Colorado Capital Congress will be presenting the following Workshops:

    ·         May 9, Building Capital, DaVinci Institute, Louisville, Colorado

    ·         May 21, Securities Crowdfunding, Colorado Lending Source, Denver, Colorado

    ·         May 28, Building Capital, the GreenHouse, Denver, Colorado

    Anyone who would like a scholarship to a particular Workshop should contact Karl Dakin at karl@coloradocapitalcongress.com.


  • 01 May 2015 8:37 AM | Anonymous

    I sat through a number of entrepreneur pitches recently and was frustrated by the fact that none of the pitches addressed any of the keys to funding:

    • Benefits
    • Value
    • Management

    Without this trifecta, there is no basis for any funding, regardless if the funding is a charitable gift, an impact investment or a classical return on investment (ROI).

    Benefit means that a problem has been solved and as a consequence of this solution that a customer will experience some form of positive change.  If there is no problem to be solved, there can be no benefit.  If there is no solution, there is no benefit.  When a benefit exists, there will be one or more customers.  The potential to solve the problem and benefit a customer is an opportunity.  The opportunity graduates to a product or service when a clear benefit exists.

    Benefit may also be considered a performance or technical test – does it (the product or service) work?

    Benefit is the first key to funding in that it defines the customer, the market and those who care about the customer or who participate in the market.

    Value means that the benefit to the customer exceeds the price charged for the product or service.  Benefit has no value if the customer cannot afford the price charged or the benefit is equal to the price (no positive change).  Once there is a benefit and value, a business opportunity exists.

    Value may also be considered an economic test – can it (the product or service) be sold at a profit?

    Value is the second key to funding in that it indicates possible funding sources:

    • Products and services that cost more than the benefit require charitable giving or government subsidies
    • Products and services that can be sold at cost or for a small profit may qualify for impact investing
    • Products and services that can be sold at high profits may qualify for angel or venture capital investment

    Management means the ability to operate a business resulting in the production of a product or service at a cost below the price and the ability to distribute and sell the product or service.

    Management may also be considered an execution or capability test – can this team perform?

    Management is the third key to funding in that each member of the team has or can develop relationships with different funding sources.  In order to raise capital, a member of management must be able to communicate the benefit and value to a source of capital that matches with that benefit and value.

    The combination of benefit, value and management creates a business.

    Each business is unique.  Raising capital requires matching the three keys of that business with sources of capital (investors, customers, partners, etc.) that care about the specific keys of that business.

    Entrepreneurs seeking to raise capital must have a problem with a solution that is affordable.  In telling their story to obtain capital, they must explain the three keys effectively.

    The Colorado Capital Congress PBC is presenting educational programs on the basics of building capital to assist businesses in Colorado.  The next presentation of the five hour workshop on Building Capital will be held on May 9 at 8 am to 1 pm at the DaVinci Institute, 511 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville, Colorado 80027.  More information about this workshop and registration may be found at: http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/Events


  • 25 Apr 2015 1:45 PM | Anonymous


    Securities Crowdfunding: Colorado Style may become the most popular educational program of the Colorado Capital Congress PBC.  A public benefit corporation, the mission of the Colorado Capital Congress is to improve the capital ecosystem within Colorado.  This goal is being achieved by making both seekers of capital (businesses, nonprofits and community projects) and capital sources (investors, banks, angels and other businesses) smarter in the choices they have in raising and investing capital.

    Securities Crowdfunding: Colorado Style implements the eight step process to raising capital that is taught in the basic course on raising capital – Building Capital – offered by the Colorado Capital Congress. 

    The educational program provides detailed information on the design and implementation of a capital campaign from within the State of Colorado that employs crowdfunding as an approach to raising capital.  It includes a review of existing and new legal crowdfunding laws:

    • Limited Offering (intrastate – Colorado only – available now)
    • Platform (intrastate – Colorado only – available this fall)
    • 506c (multistate – accredited investors only – available now)
    • Reg A+ (multistate- available this summer)

    Critical to the success of a crowdfunding campaign is the development and engagement of a ‘crowd’.  This is most commonly achieved by working with existing customers of the business.  The educational program will include discussion of different ways to leverage a customer base to establish a loyalty program.

    Securities Crowdfunding: Colorado Style is part of a larger educational curriculum on early stage capital – the Seed Capital 2.0 Project (http://www.seedcapital2-0.com).  Additional courses are in planning and development for each participant in the capital industry and for each type of capital raise and form of investment.

    In addition, Securities Crowdfunding: Colorado Style is skills oriented with the desired outcome that the business both obtains the capital it needs and also strengthens its market position:

    1. Knowledge Presentation
    2. Illustration of Knowledge
    3. Exercise in Application of Knowledge
    4. Discussion, Review and Analysis of Knowledge Application
    5. Assessment of Skills Learned




    Completion of the program requires critical thinking.  Immersion in the exercises assures that the participant gains mastery over the topic and is able to realize the value of the program by applying it to their own organization.  The learning cycle is repeated as often as possible within available time.  Typically, one cycle can be completed each hour of a workshop or webinar.

    Securities Crowdfunding: Colorado Style will be of highest value to:

    ·         Entrepreneurs who have or can build a large consumer customer base

    ·         Businesses with growth potential, but not enough potential to meet the high criteria of angel investor groups or venture capitalists

    The educational program is currently offered in a four hour workshop format through Community Partners of the Colorado Capital Congress that now include the DaVinci Institute, Colorado Lending Source, the GreenHouse and TIE Rockies.  http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/events

    The next presentation of Securities Crowdfunding: Colorado Style will be April 30 at 8 am at the GreenHouse, 6565 E. Evans, Denver, CO 80224.  http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/event-1893910  Although early registration has ended, best prices can still be obtained by joining the Colorado Capital Congress as a member and obtaining the member discount.


  • 21 Apr 2015 7:37 AM | Anonymous

    Building Capital is currently the flagship educational program of the Colorado Capital Congress PBC: a public benefit corporation.  Its mission is to improve the capital ecosystem within Colorado.  This goal will be achieved by making both businesses and capital sources smarter in the choices they have in raising and investing capital.

     Building Capital presents an eight step process to raising capital that starts with aligning the capital raise with the mission of business and continues through a planning and development process that results in a capital campaign focused on those sources of capital that are most likely to invest.  Individual steps include:

    1. The role of capital in achieving your business goals
    2. Types of capital sources that meet your needs
    3. Types of capital transactions that meet your needs
    4. Planning your capital campaign
    5. Finding a capital source
    6. Building your story
    7. Making your pitch
    8. Closing a capital transaction

     Critical to the design of the educational program is alignment and timing of the capital raising activities of the business with the investing activities of the investor, the support activities of service providers and the community development activities of civic leaders.  Raising capital is a special form of selling a product or service and requires a deep understanding of the marketplace. 

     Building Capital is part of a larger educational curriculum on early stage capital – the Seed Capital 2.0 Project (http://www.seedcapital2-0.com).  Additional courses are in planning and development for each participant in the capital industry and for each type of capital raise and form of investment.




     In addition, Building Capital is skills oriented with the desired outcome that a business may frame out its capital campaign with key decisions made on who would be an optimal investor and how to tell the story of the business to obtain the needed resources:

    1.  Knowledge Presentation
    2. Illustration of Knowledge
    3. Exercise in Application of Knowledge
    4. Discussion, Review and Analysis of Knowledge Application
    5. Assessment of Skills Learned





     Completion of the program requires critical thinking.  Immersion in the exercises assures that the participant gains mastery over the topic and is able to realize the value of the program by applying it to their own organization.  The learning cycle is repeated as often as possible within available time.  Typically, one cycle can be completed each hour of a workshop or webinar.

     Attendees of the workshop have commented, “I recently attended Karl's workshop on Building Capital. For a novice in business like me, it was enlightening. Karl developed a logical sequence of identifying your key capital needs, and then provided a suite of alternatives and how to match them to your specific company goals. All of these terms that were confusing to me are now clear. Karl's seminar is highly recommended.”  Julio Zimbron, Assistant Research Professor, Colorado State University

     I just attended Karl's Business Capital workshop and it was worth every penny! I took away ideas that I'm already putting to use. I'm glad I took the workshop before I started my latest business adventure. Karl's ideas are going to make this startup easier, faster, and financially solid. Thank you Karl!”  Steve Elliott, Consultant, Lean Processing

    Building Capital will be of highest value to:

    • Entrepreneurs who have never raised capital before
    • Entrepreneurs who are exploring new ways to raise capital
    • Entrepreneurs who are currently raising capital and want to speed up their campaigns

    The educational program is currently offered in a four hour workshop format through Community Partners of the Colorado Capital Congress that now include the DaVinci Institute, Colorado Lending Source, the GreenHouse and TIE Rockies.  http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/events

    The next presentation of Building Capital will be April 23 at 8 am at Colorado Lending Source, 1441 18th Street, Denver, CO 80202.  http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/event-1878717

    Although early registration has ended, best prices can still be obtained by joining the Colorado Capital Congress as a member and obtaining the member discount.


  • 19 Apr 2015 4:52 PM | Anonymous


    A key to surviving and succeeding as an entrepreneur is to have fallbacks – secondary strategies to employ when the primary strategy fails to achieve the desired result.  This is particularly true when raising capital.  An entrepreneur who walks away from a pitch with no money is normal.  Statistics on bank applications and angel presentations show that over 95% of the time the pitch will fail.  The entrepreneur must pick themselves up and dust themselves off and go pitch again.

    The single most common reason that an entrepreneur fails to obtain capital when making a pitch is that they are pitching to the wrong capital source.  The deal that the entrepreneur has to offer does not match the criteria of the investor. 

    As an example, many entrepreneurs will apply to pitch at the local angel capital club.  Many of these clubs have set high thresholds for desired increases in growth and value.  They are seeking the top performers of all startup businesses.  A common criterion is 10x in 5 years (the business must grow 10 times within five years and achieve an average annual rate of growth of 200% per year).  However, less than 1% of all businesses will ever meet this criterion.  Therefore, failure to raise capital from this source is almost guaranteed.

    There are many options or fallbacks to this situation:

    • Improve the business (and then try again if the criteria is truly attainable)
      • add to the management team
      • reducing any risks of failure
      • achieve a key milestone
      • Pivot to a different market
    • Identify other investors who have lower investment criteria
      • Investors who are strategically aligned with the business (stakeholders)
      • Impact investors (social goal is greater than financial goal)
      • Government agencies or programs seeking to achieve economic growth
    • Restructure the offering
      • Offer a greater percentage ownership of the business
      • Offer a royalty (top line revenue) instead of profits (bottom line)
      • Barter with products or services
      • Apply for a grant
    • Seek out the resources directly that would have been purchased with money raised
      • Buy needed equipment on credit
      • Offer employees stock incentive options
      • Trade out a building lease for stock

    The number and type of options are limited only by the creativity of the entrepreneur.  Success is best achieved with a well thought out capital campaign that has identified all of the prospective investors who may benefit from the success of the business.  This list is then prioritized based upon who has the current greatest need to obtain this benefit that also has the desired amount and type of capital.

    The Colorado Capital Congress is now presenting briefings and workshops on the basics of raising capital and different types of capital raises.  Any business organization in the State of Colorado may receive a free Briefing for one of its meetings, conferences or special events.  Contact Karl Dakin, a Director of the Colorado Capital Congress at karl@coloradocapitalcongress.com.  For information and to register for a workshop, go to http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/events.

    The Colorado Capital Congress will present a workshop on Building Capital: An 8 Step Process to Raising Capital this Thursday, April 23, from 8 am to 1 pm at Colorado Lending Source at 1441 18th Street, Suite 100, Denver, Colorado 80202.  http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/event-1878717

    The Colorado Capital Congress will also present a workshop on Securities Crowdfunding Colorado Style on Thursday, April 30, from 8 am to 1 pm at the GreenHouse at 6565 E. Evans, Denver, Colorado 80224.  http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/event-1893910


  • 14 Apr 2015 7:00 AM | Anonymous


    Governor Hickenlooper signs into law HB 15 -1246 authorizing securities crowdfunding in Colorado that opens up investing in local businesses to the 97% of Colorado residents who are not accredited investors.

    DENVER, CO—April 13, 2015—Access to capital for Colorado businesses was greatly improved by passage and signing of a new law that authorizes sale of securities through crowdfunding within Colorado.  HB 15 -1246 – Concerning the Authorization of Crowdfunding of Intrastate Securities - was introduced into the Colorado Legislature by Representatives Pete Lee and Dan Pabon earlier this year.  Today, it became law with the signature of Governor Hickenlooper.

    In summary, the bill provides for licensure of a new participant in the Colorado capital industry – an intermediary – who may create a website or Internet platform – where securities (stock, debt instruments or royalties) of Colorado businesses may be sold to Colorado residents.  The business selling its securities may raise up to $2 million with submission of audited financials or up to $1 million dollars without audited financials.  The business may publicly promote the fact that they are raising capital.  In addition, an unlimited number of non-accredited investors may buy securities from the business (without this legislation, a limit of 35 non-accredited investors may participate in any single sale of securities).  However, non-accredited investors have a dollar limit of $5,000 that they may invest in any single offering.

    The action to authorize securities crowdfunding within the State was necessitated by the inability of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to develop regulations for a federal crowdfunding law, the JOBS Act, which was successfully championed by Senator Michal Bennet.

    Securities crowdfunding promises to be very important to small business seeking capital.  97% of adult Colorado residents do not meet the income or wealth criteria to be ‘accredited investors’.  These individuals now have more options to invest in local businesses and support the local economy.  It is anticipated that businesses will use the law to build customer loyalty programs by allowing them to invest where they buy products and services.

    The Colorado Capital Congress is working to make Colorado businesses aware of this new option for raising capital and learning how to conduct a crowdfunding campaign.  It will soon begin conducting its own crowdfunding campaign as a public demonstration.  In addition, it is presenting educational workshops on how to raise money through crowdfunding.  http://www.coloradocapitalcongress.com/events

    The Colorado Capital Congress PBC is a social enterprise structured as a public benefit corporation in Colorado.  As an activist and advocate, it offers membership services in the conduct of educational programs, mentoring, networking, research, capital industry surveys, public demonstration projects, expansion of existing capital sources, establishment of new funds and programs and community support.  Operations will support business, entrepreneur, innovation, civic, charitable and economic development organizations across the State of Colorado.


  • 12 Apr 2015 7:35 PM | Anonymous

    Tomorrow, April 13, Governor Hickenlooper will sign into law a bill, HB 15-1246, that authorizes securities (debt, stock or royalties) crowdfunding in Colorado (intra-state – sales limited between Colorado businesses and residents).  Working through an Internet service provider, a business will be able to raise up to $2 million. 

    So, who will be the big winners from crowdfunding?  And, who will be the big losers, if any? 

    Securities crowdfunding overcomes the primary limitations of private offerings – it allows the business to tell everyone and not just those in their personal networks.  This improves the probability of finding a match with the right investor.  In addition, it allows selling to an unlimited number of non-accredited investors and not just the top 3% of wage earners and millionaires.  This allows the business to lower the price per share making the investment affordable to almost everybody. 

    The big winners will be those businesses (making up over 95% of all businesses) who will never meet the investment criteria of venture capitalists and those angel investors who are seeking a return of ten times their investment within five years.

    The big winners will be those businesses who will never raise enough money to afford the services of broker/dealers who are burdened with regulations built for large businesses.

    The big winners will be those businesses who are risk takers and innovators who can make the world a better place.

    The big winners will be social enterprises who can attract capital from those impacted by the social problems they seek to solve.

    Bigger winners will be those businesses who use crowdfunding to build a loyal customer base.

    Bigger winners will be those customers who have a chance to buy a piece of their favorite local businesses and assure the continued supply of the products and services they prefer.

    The biggest winners will be all of us who believe in free markets.

    In the short run, crowdfunding will move money away from Wall Street and into Main Street.  However, over time, the improved funding to small businesses will not only improve the economy as a whole, but it will foster those innovative businesses that will grow to become the next blue chip stocks.

    Congratulations to Colorado!




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