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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Venture Capital In The Rockies – History

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For the last 23 years, the Venture Capital in the Rockies conference has been the signature fund-raising conference in the Rocky Mountain region.  A full day of presentations from companies looking for venture capital (with the presenters mostly in suits – a rarity in this part of the country) followed by a day of legendary skiing (and – while I don’t ski – this year was phenomenal) makes for a great conference.  320 attended this year – 100 were investors including a number from out of state.

It was fun to look through the list of presenters since 1996 and see the following companies that I’ve been involved in:

1996: Mercury Mail – IPO as Exactis

1998: Email Publishing – acquired by MessageMedia
          Vstream – IPO as Raindance

1999: Service Metrics – acquired by Exodus
          Tellsoft – unsuccessful

2000: Finali – acquired by Convergys
          Service Magic – acquired by IAC

2001: Deuxo – unsuccessful
          Latis – now StillSecure – current portfolio company
          Prosavvy – acquired by eWork

2002: Dante Group – acquired by webMethods
          Npulse (Xaffire) – acquired by Quest
          Wideforce – unsuccessful

2003: F4 Technologies – now Rally Software
          Finali (again) – acquired by Convergys
          Newmerix – current portfolio company

2005: Oxlo – current portfolio company
          Rally (again) – current portfolio company

It was also interesting to see all the companies I haven’t invested in over the years that presented at this conference that have either been successful (oops – missed that one) or unsuccessful (sorry – but I’m glad I didn’t invest.)

Chris Onan from Appian Ventures did an awesome job hosting the conference this year.  He followed a tough act from Chris Wand of Mobius Venture Capital who hosted the preceding two years – and did great.  Maybe they should rename the conference “Venture Capital in the Rockies: By Chris.”

All the local papers have now written up their piece on the conference at this point.  The Boulder Daily Camera had a light weight piece on the conference in general.  The Rocky Mountain News ran two pieces – one that highlighted David Moll – CEO of Webroot (and the article said that he didn’t stay long because he had more important things to do – ouch) and one that announced ITU Ventures new $120 million fund.  The article in the Denver Post was the most substantive, actually highlighting several companies including Collective Intellect, Accucode, and Groople.

Given the lack of actual focus on the companies, I’ll write up a separate post talking about the ones I saw at the conference, offering feedback and (hopefully) constructive advice.

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