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Entrepreneurs, investors come together with business in mind at DU

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DENVER — At the Angel Capital Summit, entrepreneurs had the chance to get together with investors for an opportunity to grow their businesses on Wednesday.

At the University of Denver’s Sturm Hall, 26 Colorado companies pitched their products and services to accredited investors.

An investment that could mean life or death for start-up companies with millions of dollars at stake.

Entrepreneurs had just five minutes to pitch their ideas, with long-lasting impacts on their future.

“Everybody here is looking for between $200,000 and $1 million,” said Peter Adams, who works with Rockies Venture Club, the organization that hosts the annual conference.

One entrepreneur of a horse medicine called Laminil asked for $400,000. It’s money that can mean business as usual — or going out of business.

“We are looking to raise $1 million to do our production and marketing, and future clinical studies,” said Jon Weston, CEO of Biocare in Parker.

Investors heard pitches on medical devices like Weston’s for infrared light therapy used to treat traumatic brain injuries.

“It causes you to heal faster,” Weston explained.

Founder Charles Philp hoped for investor support for Sneakz, and his company that produces chocolate milkshakes that pack in a full serving of vegetables.

“We just launched in January. We are expanding rapidly to 150 stores, looking to get into 800 stores by the end of the year,” Philps said.

The companies tried their best to convince investors to part with their hard-earned cash for a piece of their company.

“The issue of how much equity is taken is difficult because about half of companies won’t be successful. They go belly up,” Adams said.

After a high-stake and high-pressure presentation, entrepreneurs answered questions and investors looked for a winning idea.

Three groups of investors will meet on Friday to whittle down the 26 entrepreneurs to five or six that they’ll consider funding. Their final decisions could take weeks.