On Deck Capital -- a firm that provides affordable loans to small businesses -- announced on Monday that it has opened a new Western regional office in Denver. The office opened this week with 16 employees, but the company plans to expand that number to over 200 professionals across sales, operations and technology functions. Here are the details.
* Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock were on hand for the inaugural ceremony on Monday, where On Deck launched its Colorado: Let's Grow Together competition.
* The competition is intended to foster growth among Colorado small business, On Deck explained. Small businesses owners from around the state can apply on On Deck's Facebook page by explaining how an extra $10,000 would help their business grow. The winner will receive $10,000; second place will get $5,000; and the third place winner will receive a counseling session from the On Deck staff.
* On Deck was launched in 2007 and uses data aggregation and electronic payment technology to evaluate the financial health of small and medium-sized businesses, the company explained.
* According to On Deck, small businesses are able to obtain loans at a fraction of the time and effort required through traditional models, as the company focuses on an overall business performance rather than the owner's personal credit history.
*On Deck is financed by venture capital firms including SAP Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, Village Ventures and Institutional Venture Partners, the company reported.
* On Deck stated that it chose Denver for its new office because it has the nation's third-highest concentration of high-tech workers, it ranks high among large metro areas for banking and finance employment concentration and has about 145,000 students enrolled in four-year educational programs throughout the state.
* Denver is the highest-ranked large U.S. metro areas for population gain in the 25-34 age group.
* "Denver is proud to welcome On Deck to the Mile High City. This announcement clearly reaffirms Denver's position as a leading city nationally and internationally for business expansion and success," Hancock said. "On Deck's move into Denver further enhances our strong financial services sector while providing additional tools to spur small business growth throughout our city, region and state."
* Hickenlooper added that the company has already boosted many small businesses in the state with capital and that companies like On Deck "are a powerful engine" for the state's economy.
* According to the Denver Post , On Deck ranked 302 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies with a three-year growth rate of 1,233 percent. Its 2011 revenue was $19.5 million.