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DENVER-Following Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s and Gov. Bill Owen’s groundbreaking economic development trip in August, Jim Kirchheimer came up with some “common messages” to help bring jobs and investment capital to the city and Colorado.

Kirchheimer, business development manager with the Downtown Denver Partnership, came up with the plan after meeting with five venture capitalists, three start-up companies, two law firms and one Entrepreneur in Residence. He is sharing some of the highlights of the plan with GlobeSt.com.

+ Venture capitalists can help fund firms that can ultimately lease huge amounts of flex and office space in a metro area.

+ Physical proximity is critical for venture capital firms. They prefer one-hour flights, but they say the two-hour trip to the city from California is acceptable. It’s not unheard of for an investor to sit on as many as 11 boards, all with monthly board meetings, so the time commitment is substantial.

+ Investing in medical device companies is preferable to developing pharmaceuticals, because it can take 12 to 15 year and hundreds of millions of dollars to create a new drug.

+ In order to develop an “entrepreneurial hub,” venture capitalist want ideas, products, technology, an academic presence and involvement and management. It also needs law firms, banks, and accounting firms. Colorado has this but is lacking “deal flow.”

+ Venture capitalists want “angel investors,” which are high-net worth individuals who can provide initial funding for entrepreneurs. The first round of financing often is $5 million.

Finally, personal relationships are of utmost importance.

“As far as the venture capital community is concerned, there is enough investment risk associated with the science and technology; the individual involved needs to be a known factor,” according to Kirchheimer.

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