Monday 20 May, 2013
USA Today recently called Denver one of the top ten cities for tech start-ups in the United States. Why? Because there’s so much going on. The Rocky Mountain Front Range may not be ‘the next Silicon Valley,’ but there’s an enormous amount of activity per capita. Popular tech start-ups like Photobucket and Mapquest have put Colorado on the map as a place for high tech innovation. Denver’s pro-business government and reputation for technology are other factors that make it a great place to start a tech company.
Denver isn’t the next Silicon Valley, but it very well be the next Boulder. The nearby college town has become a magnet for start-ups with its burgeoning venture capital scene and surplus of high tech workers. Denver business leaders and entrepreneurs would like to see the same thing happen here and they’re making their plays straight out of Boulder’s playbook.
One way business leaders are emulating Boulder is by creating organizations and associations to help businesspeople network. One of these organizations is the Denver-based Colorado Technology Association (CTA). The CTA is all about networking and businesses learning from each other. It offers free membership for start-ups that don’t have funding yet in order to help them get what they need to get on their feet.
Denver Startup Week Starts up in a Big Way
2012 saw the first ever Denver Startup Week, an event whose purpose is to showcase and connect young tech companies. Here too businesses have a chance to mingle, pick brains, and learn from each other. The first Denver Startup Week saw more participation than planners expected and 2013 is sure to be even bigger. In 2013, it’s being done in association with the CTA.
New Grants to Help Businesses Get Started
The first bill introduced in 2013 was House Bill 1001, a bipartisan-supported piece of legislation that would provide funding for tech start-ups in Colorado. The bill, which will probably pass, identifies the high tech sector as one of its most important industries. It would make funds available for eligible businesses for up to ten years. The idea is to make up for the lack of venture capital in Colorado.
A relatively new project called Galvanize offers a number of services for start-ups. Galvanize is a co-working space (also referred to as a campus) that offers various kinds of help. It opened in 2012 and is continually expanding its roster of companies. One way it helps start-ups is by connecting them with sources for the funding they need.
Economic forecasts say that in the near futures, start-ups will drive as much as half of Denver’s economy. City and state government, organizations and business leaders are doing all they can to encourage start-ups to get going. All of this makes Denver a great place for a start-up to call home.