$60.2M from ’90s Startups Make Boulder’s Jared Polis 7th Richest Congressman

8/20/13Follow @MichaelXBD

Jared Polis, former tech entrepreneur, Techstars co-founder, longtime figure in Colorado’s tech scene, and now Boulder’s representative in Congress, is the seventh wealthiest lawmaker in Washington, according to rankings released today by the Hill, a print and online publication that covers politics and government.

The Democratic Congressman’s personal wealth is an estimated $60.2 million, according to the report. Polis’s fortune is the result of two online retail sites he helped launch before beginning his political career about a decade ago. He was elected to Congress in 2008.

In the mid 1990s, Polis helped create the website for Blue Mountain Arts, the Boulder-based greeting cards company owned by his family. Excite@Home purchased the site in 1999 for a combination of $350 million in cash and what was then $430 million worth of stock.

Polis also helped launch ProFlowers, which became Provide Commerce. Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LMCA) bought the company for $477 million in 2006.

According to the Hill, Polis reported having a blind trust worth at least $25 million and has investments in software and Internet companies. Polis was one of a few former tech entrepreneurs to rank in the top ten, alongside lawmakers who inherited or married into their wealth.

The Hill uses mandatory financial disclosure filings to come up with a “conservative estimate” of a federal legislator’s minimum net worth. California Congressman Darrell Issa, a Republican who represents San Diego, topped the list with a net worth of at least $355 million. His money comes from cofounding Directed Electronics, the company that sells the Viper car security system, and subsequent investments.

 

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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