Startup Mecca: Why Denver is the hottest place for startups in the country right now

Startup Mecca: Why Denver is the hottest place for startups in the country right now

PoliticsMarch 18, 2015

Sure, legalized marijuana has ignited the ripe bowl of economic prosperity, but there’s more to the Colorado start-up craze than simple stoner euphoria. Denver’s a hotbed for new business and enterprising college grads, making it the perfect place to launch your pizza-taco invention. Here’s why.

Only New York, San Francisco and Miami had more startups in that year. As an entrepreneurial-led ecosystem, Denver offers the perfect network to build strategic partnerships, raise funding and generate a strong brand, making it the ultimate destination for nascent laborers fully equipped with art history degrees and refined craft-beer palates. We’ll keep our talents away from South Beach, thank you very much.

Colorado Innovation Network

Hickenlooper might know what he’s doing after all. The Gov (a beer-epreneur himself) founded Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) in 2011 as a catalyst for business innovation. It works to build a network between business, higher education, research institutions, entrepreneurs and policy makers to develop a more innovative business ecosystem. In layman’s terms, the government is looking out for job growth — something Washington could spend more time doing.

Incentives, Baby!

Want to start a company? You should. The government will pay you to do it, and when the government gives you money, take the damn money. Through tax credits and investment incentives, your hangover spa could be financed beyond your wildest drunken dreams. Even more mind blowing: set up shop in a specific area of Denver and you could qualify for program financing of up to 50% of costs. Show us the money, Hickenlooper!

Talent Mecca

College-educated nomads are flocking to Colorado in mass and it’s fostering the perfect environment for start-ups and job creation. Colorado ranks second within the United States for influx of the migrating young, educated and highly horny. Don’t believe us? Attend a Denver Nuggets basketball game to see the melting pot that is Denver. And with 38.8% of the population holding a degree, Denver ranks first in employees with higher education.

Venture Capital

Hold onto your sick new Grenade shredder cap, because we’re about to blow your raccoon- eyed mind. Colorado raked in $795 million in venture capital funding in 2014, up 71% year over year. What does that mean for you? Jobs are a comin’. And they are a comin’ fast. Or even better, that pocket-sized juicer invention you’ve mapped out on the bar napkin might actually get the funding it deserves. Either way, when money flows to a state, it’s a sign you won’t have to move back home with mom and dad.