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Front Range Cities Tops For High-Tech Startups

courtesy of Ball Aerospace

A new report ranks Boulder first in the nation for cities with a high percentage of new high-tech companies.It finds that, relative to other cities, Boulder has more than 6 times the density of new startups – far above the concentration of any other city in the country. 

Reporter Joshua Lindenstein with the Boulder County Business Report says Boulder even managed to beat out Silicon Valley cities for the top spot.

"I don’t think it surprised anybody," Lindenstein says. "I think this ranking is really a testament to everything that’s going on in this town, and all the community that’s here, trying to build up the startups."

It matters because high-tech startups are a key driver of job creation, according to the report, which was released this week by the Kauffman Foundation and technology policy coalition Engine.

"By comparing the high-tech sector with other firms across the economy, we see the job-creating power that growth-oriented technology startups harness, compared with other young businesses," said the report's author Ian Hathaway, who is an economic advisor to Engine. "Observing these trends, it is clear that encouraging the creation of new tech businesses can boost our economy."

The report also finds Fort Collins has 3 times the density of high-tech companies compared to other U.S. cities, putting it in second place overall.

In all, five Front Range cities made the top 10 – including Denver, Colorado Springs and Cheyenne, Wyo.

Top 10 metro areas for high-tech startup density:

  1. Boulder, Colo.
  2. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
  4. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.
  5. Seattle, Wash.
  6. Denver, Colo.
  7. San Francisco, Calif.
  8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Va.-Md.
  9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  10. Cheyenne, Wyo.

Curious about the best places globally for high-tech?
Apparently there’s no place quite like the U.S., which ranked first in a study by Bloomberg Rankings.

Top 5 countries, along with the percentage of its public companies that are high-tech:

  1. United States (22.9)
  2. Netherlands (19.0)
  3. Sweden (18.1)
  4. Germany (16.7)
  5. South Korea (16.2)
As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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