Magazine Feature / People

Former DU roommates turned entrepreneurs enjoying success

It seems unlikely that Craig Harrison (BSBA ’03) and Ryan Boykin (BA ’02) would become business partners considering their complaints about each other as roommates at the University of Denver.

“Ryan has this over-the-top progressive lifestyle. Who really eats tofu and bean sprouts anyway?” Harrison says. 

Boykin shoots back, “Craig would always wake me up at in the morning when he left for work.” 

But the two have put their living differences aside and now they’re making a living together as entrepreneurs.

In 2005 they co-founded Cherry Creek-based US Capital Investment Management. It’s a venture capital firm with a twist. Most venture capital companies invest in companies early on, but US Capital joins a company’s final fundraising round before it’s acquired or goes public. 

“It makes sense because an investor could target above market returns with significantly less risk than traditional private equity investing,” Harrison says.

They’ve also started two more businesses: a commercial cleaning business called Scout Cleaning and Maintenance andHouseFront, a real estate text message service.

The two met at a lecture series as freshmen, stayed in touch and eventually became friends.

During their junior year, Boykin traveled to South America to study for a year, and Harrison stayed chest deep in business courses while working at several start-up companies. They stayed in touch via e-mail discussing various business ideas.

When Boykin returned, the two roomed together for their senior year — a time they used to brainstorm and talk about what they might do after graduating.  

They say those brainstorming sessions are one of the things they miss most about DU. 

“We miss being around the energy and idea creation that comes from a first-class institution and its students,” Harrison says. 

Their investment advice: “An education at DU,” Harrison says with a laugh. “In all seriousness, we’re biased. We think the space we invest in is very attractive from a risk and reward standpoint.”

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