The Bard Center exposes entrepreneurs to a variety of funding sources in order to help them pursue their business dreams. One of these sources is the Rutt Bridges Venture Capital Fund, which started in 1998 from an endowment gift by Rutt Bridges. This fund was created in order to provide seed capital for start-up companies affiliated with the Bard Center and has funded five companies to date.
The Rutt Bridges Venture Capital Fund is looking for innovative businesses to invest in. The fund is managed by a team of student associates and advisors from the Bard Center Advisory Council. The fund provides initial startup capital and the possibility of up to one additional round of funding for eligible companies. The typical deal uses a convertible debt structure and the fund participates in the ongoing growth of these young ventures.
Companies that seek investment from the fund must meet several criteria and endure a rigorous selection process. The criteria include involvement with the Bard Center or the University of Colorado Denver. Initial investments are expected to be $25,000 and typically cannot be the only source of funding for prospective companies. The fund does not invest in real estate, gambling or other industries deemed incompatible with the mission of the University of Colorado.