(Oct. 29) – Speaker Pro Tem Dan Pabon was announced today as a finalist in the annual New Ideas Challenge, a national contest that gives recognition to pro-growth progressive solutions that are being developed and tested by state and local leaders across the country.
Rep. Pabon, D-Denver, is one of 18 finalists. He was chosen for the Colorado Crowdfunding Act, a law passed in the 2015 legislative session to open up the potential pool of investors that startups can approach for funding.
The new law, sponsored by Rep. Pabon and Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, allows any Colorado resident to invest up to $5,000 in a company without the need for accreditation. While companies must inform investors of the risk and provide quarterly reports, they can skip the audit and other expenses typically needed to attract venture capital. The new law helps entrepreneurs raise the initial funding they need to launch and develop their businesses and help grow the local economy.
“Insufficient access to capital is consistently identified as an obstacle to small businesses and startups,” Rep. Pabon said. “Now, Colorado startups have an additional source of venture capital and Colorado investors get an easier way to tap into Colorado’s entrepreneurial culture. I’m grateful for this recognition and hope it spurs other states to implement equity crowdfunding.”
The New Ideas Challenge is conducted by NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), a national network of pro-growth, progressive state and local elected officials working to expand opportunity in the changing economy.
“The finalists of the NewDEAL Ideas Challenge have impressed us with innovative solutions to grow the economy and expand opportunity for all,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, honorary co-chairman of NewDEAL, said in announcing the New Ideas Challenge finalists.
“I’m excited by the fresh thinking demonstrated by NewDEAL leaders through the Ideas Challenge and excited to see their ideas put into action,” said U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the other honorary NewDEAL co-chairman.
The final six winners will be announced Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C.

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