Places like New York, Seattle, and the obvious Silicon Valley and San Francisco, are all bursting with startups. Each has numerous accelerator programs, incubators, and attract new graduates. So why would you choose to start your startup in Colorado?
According to Built In Colorado’s annual report, this last year 95 Colorado companies raised $638M in funding, and 59 exited for a total of $2.7B. Those are some impressive numbers. The average valuation for a company in the US is $4.6M. What’s more, the Kauffman Index ranks Colorado 4th for startup activity, behind Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota. Yes, you read that right. New York is ranked 11th, California 14th, and Washington 38th. While patches of these states seem to produce killer startups, as an overall environment they do not provide the same community as Colorado.
On the side of the entrepreneur, there are also financial benefits to living in Colorado. Living in Colorado is generally less than in those other areas. Denver is 29% cheaper than both New York and San Francisco. It is 4% cheaper than Seattle, and 31% less expensive than Palo Alto (stats calculated by expatistan). This is good for the entrepreneur and startup team. With living costs less expensive, and space in general less expensive, it is easier to get a startup out of a garage. That doesn’t mean everywhere in Colorado is inexpensive.
Obvious one here – more than 300 days of sunshine makes seasonal depression less likely and activity more likely. Coloradans like being active and involved, making the startups fast paced and exciting. Mountains are available for days off, so are ball games (foot-, base-, soccer) and downtown areas. Colorado is all about comfort and fun.
Resources for Startups
RVC has numerous workshops to help startups learn the essentials. There are workshops for the complicated tasks of valuation, due diligence, how to pitch, and exit strategy, and there are more workshops that you can take a look at here. The monthly Mastermind is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to get together and learn from each other. These sessions also help entrepreneurs learn how to think like an investor.
There are other resources too. Our partners at Thrive provide a community workspace that is extraordinarily welcoming to startups. With a mobile area and private offices, there are a variety of ways to interact with other startups. That doesn’t mean you have to, but it’s an option and a great way to make strategic partnerships.
Galvanize has four Colorado locations and specializes in providing more than just a coworking space. Galvanize is designed with the needs of the entrepreneur in mind, offering aid when needed and giving access to events and workshops throughout the year.
The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, Colorado SBDC, EnConnect, TechRiot, the Colorado BioScience Association, the Clean Tech Open, TiE Rockies, Colorado OEDIT, CSU Ventures and Rocky Mountain Innosphere also provide amazing services to startups. Read more about the services they provide here.
Colorado is Great
With a great Kauffman Index score, a low cost of living and tons of resources for entrepreneurs, it is the ideal environment for any startup.