When it comes to quality of life and cost of living, Denver has found a favorable balance. Its appeal among Millennials has resulted in tens of thousands moving to the city in past few years alone. Entrepreneurs arrive to utilize Denver’s significantly lower costs and the affable, approachable nature of Denverites. For investors, the appeal lies in the fact that the valuations of startups are not as inflated as they would otherwise be in Silicon Valley, and the fact that there has been an increasing number of startup exits in recent years. Aside from the city’s enviable natural landscapes, its central location (a flight radius of 2 hours yields half the American population) makes day trips possible to a wider market than elsewhere in the country. The proximity to Boulder, a startup hub in its own right, allows Denver to take advantage of startups that are scaling out of its smaller neighbor. However, regional angel syndicates are a missing component, and Series B funding has been cited as being difficult to attain, resulting in companies scaling out of the Denver area for fundraising purposes. Additionally, while there is a major corporate presence, this has not necessarily translated into more support for the local community.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
Acquired for $1.2B by
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
Jim is a cofounder and is the CEO of Galvanize, a network of campuses for innovators and entrepreneurs with a presence in Denver, Boulder, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, and Phoenix. The campuses offer tech-focused events, workspace, and education opportunities.
Chris cofounded Galvanize in 2012 and serves as its CFO. He is the former President and Chairman of the Rockies Venture Club.
As the COO of Galvanize, Ben and his team at Galvanize help build and support the tech community in Denver. He’s committed to creating a home for developers, data scientists, and entrepreneurs. He's also involved in Denver Startup Week, an entrepreneurial event in Denver and the largest free startup event in the U.S.
Bart is the cofounder and CEO of CMS platform FullContact and the Managing Director of v1.vc, a $5 million seed stage fund. He also serves on the Board of the Colorado Technology Association, Rapt Media, and is on the Advisory Board of Education Funding Partners.
Elizabeth Kraus is an entrepreneur and angel investor, and founder of the Impact Angel Group, a group of investors dedicated to making a difference and realizing a return. She also serves as the founder of MergeLane, an accelerator that discovers and invests in women-led startups.
The fiberoptics company Zayo is one of the area's most visible success stories, after going public for $5 billion in 2014. As the cofounder and CEO, Dan continues to remain active in the community as an angel investor and mentor. He is on the Entrepreneurship Initiative Advisory Board of Silicon Flatirons, a center for law, technology, and entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado,and is a board member at StartUp Colorado.
Dave Carlson is the founder and Managing Director of eonCapital, an early stage venture firm. He is actively involved as an advisor to numerous eonCapital portfolio companies and serves as a Techstars mentor.
Erik is a serial entrepreneur, building consumer real estate, luxury, and software companies. He is a mentor at the Founders Institute, the Chairman of Builtin Denver, and a Co-Chair for Startup Colorado. As the CEO of the Colorado Technology Association (CTA), he works locally and nationally to ensure Colorado’s technology voice is heard.
Peter Adams serves as the Managing Director for the Rockies Venture Fund (RVF), a VC supporting high growth, early-stage companies. The fund makes equity in companies in technology, healthcare and consumer goods companies.
Reilly is responsible for the investment arm of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), a network of the world's most respected accelerators and organizations in support of the startup industry.
Shortly after being founded, both Techstars and The Foundry begin to look to Denver for deal flow. Despite being based in Boulder, both organizations have been instrumental in the development of the Denver ecosystem.2007
Between 2000 and 2012, the population of recent college graduates grew 47%. This outpaces all but 3 cities, and is much higher than the national average.2012
With campuses in Denver, Boulder, San Francisco, and many other cities across the country, Galvanize offers tech-focused events, workspace, and education opportunities. In Denver, it has become the de facto hub for the startup community.2012
Beginning on January 1, 2014, Colorado residents were able to legally purchase recreational cannabis. Individuals began moving to the state to take advantage of the possible business opportunities that this can afford to them, and as a result there have been many startups that cater to the cannabis industry, but from a tech angle.January, 2014
The Advanced Industries Accelerator Act is one in a series of startup-friendly legislation passed by the state government as a way to support advanced industries in their various phases of growth.June, 2014
The success of the fiber optics company Zayo has had positive reverberations throughout the Denver and Boulder communities. The company's founder and CEO, Dan Caruso, is an angel investor, mentor, and evangelist in the community.October, 2014
Oracle acquires 450-person startup Datalogix for $1.2 billion. Seen as a major win for the community, the company still maintains offices in Westminister, in addition to San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City.December, 2014
In a sign of the maturity of the ecosystem, co-working space WeWork has opened its first office in Denver, with plans to expand. General Assembly, an education platform with classes online and offline, has also moved into Denver.2015
Datavail raises one of the largest Series D rounds in Colorado, at $47 million, to expand its database servicing operations. The company has been growing rapidly and hiring from within the community.December, 2015