We’re excited to announce Elyse Kent has joined Access Venture Partners. Elyse has spent the better part of her career building ecosystems and working with startups in the Colorado tech community. Please welcome Elyse to the Access team! Read more about her journey prior to Access below.

In retrospect, I entered into the Colorado startup industry in the knick of time. A decade ago the entrepreneurial scene in Denver was gaining momentum. Startup resources and weeks emerged and multiplied to the point where one finally had to prioritize working. Fortunately, it was my role at Built In to cultivate a community around this energy, as well as distill the activity and knowledge into helpful resources for founders, employees and new startup hopefuls. 

Working alongside the founders and teams that have collectively grown into some of Denver’s largest employers and exits was a revelation. Unlike the Valley, Colorado’s comparatively short history as a startup nucleus has fostered (relatively) egoless entrepreneurs with a balanced, give-first spirit – a small town collectivity, if you will. This translates into an eagerness to help others succeed, yes, but also provides an opportunity to operate business in a real way – devoid of the distractions and glamour of SV hype. 

During my time at Built In, a founder once told me that ‘Here, I have time to think’. The SF grind and dedication to an ever-increasing level of productivity had created a startup culture without time to let the brain churn and problem-solve. Great ideas emerge from gaps, from letting the mind wander. And great companies are founded when entrepreneurs have the resources to succeed. Between the limitless outdoor possibilities to let the mind wander and a resource-laden network, Colorado has the foundation for entrepreneurs to thrive.

Access to resources is exactly what Access Ventures is doubling down on which is where I come in. By joining Access as Head of Platform, I will be directly supporting our founders and their teams as they maneuver through the often unforeseen obstacles it takes to build a company, as well as continuing to support our fantastic startup community of Colorado.

After years of working for various Denver-based startups, including a Access portfolio company – Cloud Elements – and a few first-employee stints, it is a natural fit joining Access – a team known for being prominent proponents of the Colorado startup community and one that I’ve known from the get-go.

In some cases, our founders are those I’ve known since the beginning and they’re realizing massive growth – Bryan Beyer of Red Canary. Then there are our serial founders – Elliot Turner of Hyperia – who are ushering in a wave of innovative solutions to tackle inefficiencies. Either way, I’m looking forward to working with Colorado founders in helping them prosper.