November 2014 Update

Colorado’s economy is booming, and so are many of our leading gazelle companies.  Unemployment in Denver is 3.9% and falling fast; and Colorado’s unemployment rate has fallen in half in 36 months!  For the first time in decades we’re enjoying an economy on an even upswing across multiple industry sectors. It’s our season of thanks for all you do to grow our acceleration ecosystem!

We are very pleased to announce that Dan Caruso, Zayo Group’s Founder and CEO has agreed to serve as Chair of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Steering Committee for 2015.  Zayo epitomizes a Colorado Gazelle, growing from inception over eight years through to a successful IPO one month ago.  Zayo is now Colorado’s 20th most-highly-valued public company – neck-and-neck in value with Arrow Electronics!  Congratulations and thank you, Dan.

I’m also pleased to announce our first cadre of 2015 Blackstone Entrepreneurs.

These individuals are Advisors who have not only had great success as serial entrepreneurs but have also worked successfully with companies on behalf of the network.  They’ve agreed to take a lead role through 2015 for multiple companies for BEN.  We’re delighted to announce that George Heinrichs, Mark Hopkins, and Tom Moore are our inaugural 2015 Blackstone Entrepreneurs for Colorado! 

Please read more about Dan, George, Mark and Tom here.

A number of BEN Companies continue to make great progress.  We could highlight many, but the torrid top-line growth for Love Grown Foods and Artifact Uprising are particularly notable among younger companies in the Network.  At the other end of the spectrum, Accuvant recently announced the purchase of its largest competitor, Fishnet.  Accuvant is now a private $1.5 billion revenue (run-rate) cybersecurity behemoth  -- bootstrapped 14 years ago by four friends in Denver, Colorado. Denver-based Craftsy recently completed a $50 million roundDoor-to-Door Organics announced a $25.5 million round, led by Continental Grain’s Arlon Group.  Congratulations to all!

If you don’t receive our weekly Wish List from Companies in the network please let Hannah know. Additionally:

1.     We are constantly talking to new, prospective Advisors for the network – particularly folks with Natural Foods and Products; Aerospace; and Energy experience.  Please contact if you have suggestions.

2.     We’re finalizing our 2015 calendar.  We hope to have on average one Company Session every three weeks, providing an opportunity to introduce Network Advisors to over 50 new great Colorado Gazelle prospects.  If you’re an official member of the network you can log into the Calendar here. The password to access our events calendar is BENCO2014. If you don’t have access but would like to please contact Hannah.

3.     We have 33 Companies in the Network to-date, and expect to have 36 by year-end.  As companies proceed through Sessions and become official members of the network, we’ll add them here. Know Gazelles?  Contact !

Let’s accelerate in 2015!

JB Holston

BEN ColoradoComment