Boston Market’s Beck funding family-values firms as Tango

BOULDER — Scott Beck, a co-founder of Golden-based Boston Chicken (now Boston Market), has been hatching a new idea of late: Tango Inc., a very specialized private investment company headquartered in Boulder.

Known as Entertainment Technology Investments (ETI) since its incorporation in 1992, the company is currently in the process of changing its name to Tango.

Tango’s mission is to direct the capital of 14 partners, investing in start-ups and donating to charities. “We work with high-growth, vision-led organizations in both the for-profit and not-for-profit areas,” explained Beck. “We’re an investment company, so we invest to make money, and then on the not-for-profit side, we make contributions to not-for-profit organizations in our community as well as other places in the country.”

Beck, who has been in the investment business for 20 years, began acting as chairman, chief executive officer and a director of Boston Chicken in 1992. In 1996, he founded and became chairman of Einstein Noah Bagel Corp. After resigning from these companies in early 1998, Beck devoted his energies Tango.

Tango’s mission is based on family values, said Beck. “Our overall purpose as a company is to glorify God by serving families,” he said of the company’s philosophy.

Beck stated that the company is currently invested in about 10 companies, including Boulder-based VC firm Sequel Venture Partners and Boulder-based Internet company NetLibrary. On the charitable side, the Irving, Texas-based Boy Scouts of America and Boulder’s Emergency Family Assistance Assoc. have received contributions from Tango.

Tango directly invested in Denver-based in January. This partnership helped lead to the launch of, a joint venture between Columbus, Ohio-based Consolidated Stores (the parent company of Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby retail stores) and also is headquartered in Denver. Eric Gertler,’s director of finance, noted that Beck — who is now a director for — and Tango have had an integral influence on the direction of

“I remember things really changed a lot when he came on board and his people got involved,´ said Gertler, who was director of finance for at the time. “Immediately our sights were raised.”

Beck had no comment on the total amount of money that Tango has either invested or donated.

Beck’s current role with Tango is as a director with the organizations receiving capital from them. “(W)hat we try to do is have a very limited number of investments where we get highly involved in the companies,” he said. “We’re fully engaged.”

Beck will be the speaker at the 1999 Esprit Entrepreneur Awards luncheon, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Raintree Conference Center in Longmont. Tango will be “better-prepared to basically better to present our strategy” after that time, Beck said. For now, the company is maintaining a “low profile,” he added.

“We’ve got a bunch of great people in our organization,´ said Beck. “We’re really excited. As of the next month or so, we’ll be laying the whole thing out.”