Zone 5 Ventures was created in the Fall of 2019 to invest in startups at the intersection of sports, technology, and health and wellness. At its inception, Zone 5 Ventures announced that it would maintain a presence in both Silicon Valley and Boulder, Colorado.
An office in Silicon Valley is hardly a surprise. While other innovation hubs in the United States have recently risen in prominence, Silicon Valley remains an incredibly robust and unrivaled tech startup and VC ecosystem. Zone 5 Ventures has other reasons to maintain a presence there: its sole limited partner, Specialized, is headquartered in the Bay Area and has deep connections to the Silicon Valley tech scene.
But why Boulder?
According to Joey Tiller, a Managing Partner of Zone 5 Ventures, the decision to locate in Boulder is all about passion and innovation. “We need to be where the founders are. Founders with brilliant ideas, ground-breaking technologies and passion to transform the experience for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts,” he said. “So where are you going to find those entrepreneurs? You are going to find them in startup hubs that are both tech hotspots and conducive to an active lifestyle. Boulder and Northern California, perhaps like no other places, fit that description perfectly.”
Tiller also drew parallels from Specialized’s early days. “Not long after Mike Sinyard founded Specialized in the early 1970’s, mountain biking exploded in Marin County. Soon Specialized was selling Stumpjumper mountain bikes to all those ‘crazy kids’ throwing themselves down Mount Tam. That’s what Zone 5 Ventures is looking for… we want to partner with the next generation of startup founders that, like Mike, are combining their creativity and innovation with their passion for sports technology and active lifestyles.”
The decision to adopt Boulder as its second home is part of a broader, long-term commitment to the mountain region startup ecosystem. One of Zone 5 Ventures’ first investments was in a Boulder-based endurance sports media company. Additionally, Zone 5 Cloud — a partner company that provides a one-of-a-kind sports tech cloud platform — also established one of its offices in Boulder. Chris Yu, co-founder and CEO of Zone 5 Cloud, said that “Boulder, with its deep tech talent pool and innovative mindset, is a perfect location to deliver a platform that enables sports tech companies and entrepreneurs to deliver digital products to market faster and at a lower cost.”
To learn more about Zone 5 Ventures and its financially-driven, founder-focused fund, visit www.zone5ventures.com