Slow Money activities in Colorado are on the upswing in a number of significant ways.
This summer, the 2Forks club of Carbondale crossed $100,000 in capital and made its first loan: $23,500 to Zephyros Farm of Paonia, enabling the purchase of a used refrigerated truck. 2Forks is the first of 13 Slow Money investment clubs around the country to be organized as a nonprofit, receiving its capital as charitable donations and providing funding to small food enterprises in the form of 0% loans. Donations to the club from its 25 members have ranged in size from $150 to $30,000, with loans made by majority vote—one person, one vote.
Slow Money Colorado is hosting its first two-day regional event on September 19-20. Day One is a Master Class, bringing together eight Colorado food entrepreneurs and several dozen area investors and donors, along with a handful of thought leaders from around the country. Day Two is a public Harvest Festival and Dinner at Sustainable Settings Ranch, home of Brook and Rose Le Van, Slow Money founding members. It is our hope that this event can serve as a template for other Slow Money regional events around the country next year.
During the month of October, we will be hosting a Beetcoin campaign, raising funds for the top vote getters from among the food entrepreneurs featured at the regional event. A preview of the Beetcoin campaign, giving thumbnails of the deals and describing the overall campaign, is available here.
Colorado is currently home to four Slow Money investment clubs, which have a total of 70 members. To date the clubs have given loans totaling more than $200,000 to 13 local food businesses. Overall, more than $2.5 million has flowed through Slow Money’s network to 20 deals in Colorado over the past few years.
Slow Money Colorado also convened a first Earthworm Angels dinner in Boulder in April, at which a dozen angel investors met with one food entrepreneur, resulting in one angel investment of $25,000.
And, in case you are wondering, “Slow Money Colorado” is an informal moniker for Boulder-based Slow Money Institute staff committing a significant amount of time to networking, events and related activities, here, in our home territory.