RVC is looking for great companies with venture-class returns to investors. This generally means that the company can return 10x over five to seven years.
The following guidelines are just that - guidelines. If your company doesn't perfectly fit everything described below, but it is still a strong venture capital qualified company, please go ahead and apply and let us decide!
Also, if you see a question that does not apply to you, but is required by the system, feel free to enter N/A into the answer space. However, if your application is incomplete and you entered N/A for your location, your application will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered.
RVC members have expertise in various industries, and our interest level is industry agnostic - meaning that we will consider deals across all industries. However, our applications are structured into three areas including Cleantech, Life Science/Healthcare, and Technology (this is super broad, and can include CPG for example). RVC generally prefers companies with operations in the Rocky Mountain Region, but will consider (and have led and invested in many) compelling deals from outside of Colorado.
RVC also invests in ESG (environmental and social governance (AKA impact) companies. We look for companies that can make a difference while also operating as a for-profit model that can return 10x over five years.
Our deals are primarily equity-based, but convertible debt, revenue sharing, and other concepts will be considered case-by-case. RVC actively syndicates with other angel groups, VCs, and individuals to get deals done. RVC is happy to lead rounds, and our average investment as a group is around $250K per deal, which is often part of funding rounds in the $1M-$2M range.
RVC investors look for opportunities that meet the following criteria:
Deal Stage: The company must be beyond the idea/concept stage. RVC is happy to consider companies that are pre-revenue. Still, the business should have a product ready (prototype, MVP, etc.) and ideally, but not necessarily, a clear strategy to generate revenue within the next 6 months. Applications will be evaluated case-by-case as it is understood that certain industries may not generate revenue before exit.
Exit Potential: The company can reach an Exit (a liquidity event for their investors, not a Founder's exit of the business) within 5 years or longer for some strategies. Companies ideally have an initial Exit Strategy that they view as a roadmap for their business. If companies do not have a strategy in place, RVC will help them develop one, but the group looks for companies aligned in their intention to scale and Exit within a 5-7 year timeframe.
Quality Team: Founders have a clear passion for the problem they are solving and are aligned with venture capital strategy. Experienced teams that have been Venture-backed previously and/or have Exit experience are weighed positively, though RVC also frequently backs unique, first-time founders. RVC's portfolio (over 100 investments) comprises an almost 50/50 split between first-time and experienced founders. Teams with Advisory Boards and/or Boards of Directors lined up are also positives.
Strategy: RVC investors like founders that are strategic thinkers who have a strong strategy in place for Marketing, a Go-to-Market plan, Scaling (Sales & Operations), Competitive Differentiation, Capital Plan, and Exit.
Deal Terms & Capital Plan: Ask and Deal Terms fall in line with standard preferences of RVC and ACA Angel Groups (i.e., companies looking to raise between $500K and $2M for a preferred equity stake with a 12-24 month runway). The group prefers preferred equity rounds but will consider convertible notes when used appropriately. RVC will also consider asks that fall outside these ranges if it’s a compelling deal and the company shows significant traction.
RVC’s Investor Screening Committees meet monthly to review applications for an opportunity to present directly to the broader RVC investor community.
Following monthly screening meetings, 2-10 companies are selected to pitch at an upcoming investor forum or conference, and selected companies must attend a Pitch Academy before presenting at the event. Companies who have been accepted to pitch receive the half-day Pitch Academy workshop at no cost. Other companies pay a small fee to help cover the cost of putting on the program. (Note: you can also attend a Pitch Academy at any time: https://www.rockiesventureclub.org/events)
Immediately after the pitch event, RVC holds an investor-only discussion to determine if there is enough collective interest to move the company into the next steps in the RVC process, which include a Deep Dive and Due Diligence.
If there is some interest, but your company is not selected to move forward after the pitch event, RVC will keep your company in mind for future pitch opportunities and other educational programs such as the HyperAccelerator®. The most common reason for not getting interest the first time you apply is that other companies have more traction and validation of their concept. Companies who continue to build their product or market and come back later with more traction have been successful in raising funding with RVC.
What an Applicant can Obtain
Applications are reviewed monthly, and RVC aims to provide feedback to each applicant, especially if they are not selected to move forward.
RVC also hosts a monthly Pitch Academy where founders can learn about investor psychology, how to position their pitch for success with investors, practice their pitch to a friendly audience and get immediate feedback from RVC pitch coaches. You can sign up for a Pitch Academy without submitting an application, and this can be a great way for you to get to know RVC (and for RVC to get to know you) before “putting your hat into the ring” for consideration.