It is true! There are many cities in the U.S. with an indisputable reputation for leading business development and economic growth. In fact, well established regions like Silicon Valley have very little competition regarding high-tech innovation and production. But one city really stands out: Denver. It has a well-rounded formula for business success that will truly surprise you. If you have thought about starting a business and considered Denver this is for you.
When you consider the economy, the lifestyle, the workforce, and the business support that is provided by many different resources from both the private sector and the public sector, you will find a land of opportunity in Denver, like no other place. As such, this city provides for a great opportunity to invest. In fact, in 2012, this city took 5th place in Forbes “Best Places for Businesses and Careers” list.
The Mile High City in Colorado is now attracting a large number of startups, investors and entrepreneurs. They are all in search of a premiere hot-spot for their businesses. Actually, Denver has been famous for attracting startups for quite some time now. Some examples of companies that started in the Denver area include Mapquest, Photobucket, Chipotle Mexican Grill, LogRythm, ReadyTalk, TrackVia, Cloudzilla, Forkly and many more. These examples show that this may be the perfect time to invest in this exceptional city. Read further to uncover three important reasons to start your business in Denver.
What makes Denver the perfect place for business, especially in the technology sector? Besides having a growing economy with increasing commercial real estate opportunities, you will find that Denver is very well rounded. For example, the well-educated and energetic workforce is world-class, the cost of living and the quality of life is outstanding, and the local government offers programs that truly bolster business.
In general, the Denver population has easy access to some of the nation’s most attractive outdoor activities. These include hiking, mountain biking, snow skiing and snowboarding, mountain climbing, rafting and more. Also, as a resident, you will find yourself located near some of the nation’s best hospitals and universities. As you can see, Denver is hard to beat when it comes to living a good life.
Although the city’s cost-of-living is slightly above the national average, it is very affordable compared to other prominent cities across America. For example, the cost-of-living in Palo Alto, California, is about 50% greater than the cost-of-living in Denver, Colorado. This has been shown by the U.S. cost-of-living index average, which is generally set at 100 points. That refers to the base cost-of-living in the U.S. To be specific, Palo Alto scores 152.7 points and Denver scores 107 points. And when you consider the great quality of life, Denver is also more attractive. Therefore, Denver-based startups can stretch dollars further, while living that better life, which elevates initial business growth and success.
Colorado’s Governor, Jared Polis, along with Denver’s Mayor, Michael Hancock, have done a great job supporting the economy in Denver, and throughout Colorado. For example, they have started and continued many excellent programs supporting strong business investment. This shows immense support for the state and city’s startup scene.
The programs that were started not only support business, but also, they look to create an innovation network. This network is between the state’s government, higher education, research institutions, industry leaders and entrepreneurs. When you add to this the city’s reputation for such a high quality of life, it can rival just about any city in the world for economic investment. This, of course, can only lead to one conclusion: the creation of new jobs through sustainable business growth.
Denver’s Mayor recognizes the city as a hot-bed for technology startups. As such, the Denver metropolitan area is becoming a new “Silicon Valley” in its own right. This is due to the great innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that is so prominent there. As a tribute to that spirit and the concentration of quality high-tech workers in the area, a new U.S. Trademark and Patent Office was built in 2014.
Because so many new companies are sprouting up in Denver, it is quite easy to find support and mentorship when you build your own business in the Mile High City. Different from what you might think, the entrepreneurial community is more supportive than competitive in Denver. In the long run, this becomes a great asset for those just starting a business. Furthermore, Denver also has a few startup campuses that are specifically designed to mentor new business owners and help them succeed and grow. Definitely, this shows a level of support that you, the entrepreneur, will greatly benefit from when you start your business in Denver. It is extremely hard to compete with such a high level of business-growth reinforcement in any other location.
According to CNBC’s data from 2012, the state of Colorado ranked fourth nationally in the “access to capital” category on the America’s Top States for Business list. Also, a Forbes published research indicates that Denver ranked fourth in the nation in the category of ‘“rising cities for startups“ in 2018. It reported good numbers on early-stage venture capital investments.
Put it this way: the state’s total capital investments for 41 startup companies in 2011 was $290 million USD. And by that year, Colorado had previously shown growth by more than three times the investment made in 2006, supporting 32 startup companies. The specific support comes from state incubators, which are organizations geared toward speeding up the growth and success of startup and early stage companies. That proves a seemingly bright future for new investments that are getting the support from these state incubators.
Around 50 Denver companies are being supported with business incubators each year by the state of Colorado, reaching up to $80 million USD in funds for startups. There are also many incubators created with the resources of various private companies, like the Foundry Group, that has a $225 million USD fund for startups every year. Although these dollar amounts are not as large when compared to other big cities, they are still a remarkable level of investment per capita, nation-wide.
Denver is the nation’s most highly-educated city, with the largest percentage of high school and college graduates compared to the rest of the U.S. One of the main reasons for the highly educated workforce is the institutions that have strongly consolidated within Colorado. As examples of these institutions, we can mention the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Denver. Another advantage provided by these institutions is the benefit of being centrally located in downtown Denver. A well-placed startup can utilize the workforce from these educational institutions needed to jump-start any business.
Denver residents are known for their entrepreneurial spirit and hard-working attitudes. Also, they are very active. As such, residents have access to 139 breweries, 150 ski-areas, 42 state parks, four national parks, six national monuments, 11 national forests, and 42 national wildlife areas. Those assets maintain a vibrant life for the younger population of Denver who are energetic and willing to succeed in any job.
Denver offers a winning combination of inspiring scenery, plenty of entertainment and the opportunity for a work-hard-play-hard lifestyle. If you are an entrepreneur or a well-educated person, this city offers an opportunity for growth, providing one more reason to start your business in Denver.
In one of the latest WalletHub studies on best large cities to start a business, Denver ranked No. 10 on the list. This WalletHub study takes 19 separate factors to define the ranking. These factors include the five-year business survival rate and the office-space affordability figures. The results of these studies come from comparing the 100 largest U.S. cities with three key metrics: business environment, access to resources and business costs on each city. This nationwide study proves that Denver is one of the best cities in the U.S. to get your business off the ground. Starting a business is a challenge, there is great opportunity in the Mile High City to make your entrepreneurial ideas come to life.
As you can clearly see, Denver is a world-class city for launching your startup or relocating your existing business. You will find many great resources for business growth and mentorship there. As such, Denver is a haven for entrepreneurs. It provides both state-sponsored and privately funded incubators and other state programs. Then, there is the exceptional, well-educated workforce that will properly staff your company. This great labor pool will remain powerful due to the high quality resources throughout the area that provide for an active lifestyle. Finally, consider the affordable cost of living Denver offers compared to the national average. It’s clearly time to start your business in Denver today!
If you have questions about commercial real estate options or even just what it might take to launch your business in Colorado, schedule a consultation with Space Selectors today!