R.C. “Merc” Mercure Jr., a expertise entrepreneur who helped realized Ball Brothers Compare Corp., which later grew to change into Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., died on Thursday in Boulder on the age of 90, his family has confirmed to BizWest.
A University of Colorado Boulder graduate, physics Ph.D. recipient and revolutionizer of CU’s direction of for commercializing examine, Mercure became once one in all the godfathers of Boulder’s world-class expertise and venture-capital ecosystems, as effectively as civic chief.
Mercure, a father of two daughters and Berthoud native, became once the recipient of a succesful replace of awards as a neighborhood luminary in the industry community and became once inducted in 2002 into the Boulder County Industry Hall of Reputation.
“He understood that Boulder’s energy became once innovation,” Boulder Chamber CEO John Tayer acknowledged of Mercure. “He became once a supporter of unusual entrepreneurs and their verbalize and pattern in our community.”
Ball Brothers Compare Corp., which Mercure co-founded in the mid-1950s, “became once the customary excessive-tech firm in Boulder — the customary startup,” acknowledged Kyle Lefkoff, founder of Boulder Ventures Ltd., which he began alongside his historic boss Mercure. “He invented the situation alternate in Colorado, he invented the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Boulder.”
To boot to Ball Aerospace, Mercure founded a succesful replace of Boulder-based fully corporations, along side Colorado Venture Management, which noticed major successes investing in bioscience and energy-expertise corporations, and CDM Optics Inc., which revolutionized the digital imaging alternate with expertise spun out of CU.
“He became once an ideal applied physicist who had a pure knack for industry,” Lefkoff acknowledged.
In a 2002 interview with BizWest, Mercure acknowledged, “I realized succesful fleet that there beget been a heck of lots smarter physicists than I became once. So I moved in direction of the administration aspect of the industry in preference to the examine aspect.”
Gentle, he step by step saved one foot in the area of academia.
Mercure became once carefully excited by his alma mater, directing CU’s engineering and expertise-switch applications and serving to put the college’s Optoelectronic Computing Systems Center and the University Company for Atmospheric Compare Foundation.
As a community chief, Mercure became once a member of the Boulder Planning Board and co-chairman of the Boulder Housing Authority sooner than being elected to Boulder Metropolis Council.
Mercure, at some level of his tenure on the board in the late 1960s, helped pause alcohol prohibition in Boulder and later grew to change into one in all the customary investors in Liquor Mart.
“There became once a model of controversy about it lend a hand then, but he notion it became once the succesful thing to remain,” Lefkoff acknowledged.
Mercure additionally served on a bunch of firm and group boards, along side goal not too lengthy in the past KMLabs Inc. and mental-health carrier provider Colorado Recovery, whose board chairman David Burgess acknowledged, “We benefited very a lot from his wisdom and his industry sense.”
KMLabs co-founder Henry Kapteyn told BizWest in an email that Mercure became once “genuine a great person, provocative as a tack, but a pleasure to work with and a aim mannequin for myself and hundreds of the others in the optics and ‘deep tech’ entrepreneurial community that he devoted his time to in most up-to-date years.”
He added: “I in actuality regarded up to him and would possibly possibly well budge away out him.”
An avid outdoorsman and a humble family man whose partner, Nancy Mercure, died in 2019, Mercure is survived by two daughters, a son-in-legislation, a grandson and two gargantuan-grandsons.
“He became once a delicate-weight and wise man, and we budge away out him already,” Burgess acknowledged.
Mecure is remembered by his family as a world traveler and lover of Colorado’s backcountry.
Mercure requested that no memorial carrier be held, and his family is honoring that request. Nevertheless, donations can also be made in his title to the CU physics division.
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