By: Michael del Castillo
This Congressman, a serial entrepreneur before he got into politics, supports bitcoin, pot, and gay marriage.
Jared Polis is a unique figure in the Upstart 100 — he’s the only elected politician on the list, and he secured his standing for three reasons.
First, he’s a successful serial entrepreneur in his own right, having sold his family’s Blue Mountain Arts greeting card company for $780 million in 1999 and for founding ProFlowers.com in 1998, a company sold to Liberty Media Corporation in 2006.
Second, and third, Polis became the political face of two of the most cutting edge young industries in the United States: bitcoin and marijuana.
A year ago, after helping to successfully campaign for the legalization of recreational marijuana in his home state of Colorado, he vowed to continue to fight for the end of prohibition on a federal level.
Then, last April, he became the first congressman to purchase bitcoin from the first cryptocurrency vending machine on Capitol Hill. Voters in Colorado’s 2nd district like Polis, an openly gay father of two, as they reelected him to the House for a fourth term last November.
Jared Polis’ vitals:
He is the first openly gay parent in Congress.
He is father to two children.
He also founded Proflowers.com, and was a co-founder of the TechStars startup accelerator with David Cohen, David Brown and Brad Feld.
Michael del Castillo is the technology and innovation reporter at Upstart Business Journal, a member of American City Business Journals. A graduate of Columbia University, his work has appeared in the New Yorker. He is also the cofounder of Literary Manhattan, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting Manhattan’s literary community and creating new ways to appreciate literature.