By Renee Cohen
Denver seems to be a city that is highly attractive to technology companies and that has been the case for quite some time. However, more and more companies have established a presence in The Mile High City, and in the Denver Tech Center specifically, in the past few years. Why is that? What is it that Denver and the DTC have to offer that these companies find attractive? The answer is a lot.
At the top of the list, especially for start-ups, are things like the tech ecosystem and access to venture capital. Denver has a thriving tech ecosystem with business-friendly resources and a growing tech labor force. These companies can access these resources and tap into the highly educated and diverse talent pool to help their companies thrive in environments built on a collaborative culture. The tax incentives also help boost Denver’s attractiveness to these companies.
Next on the list is the infrastructure. Denver has an excellent transportation infrastructure with easy access to light rail, buses, and bike trails which all make commuting easier. There is a focus on transportation-oriented developments which are mixed-use commercial and residential neighborhoods located along the light rail to also ease the reliance on cars. Furthermore, the access to airports including Denver International Airport and Centennial Airport – one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country – located adjacent to the DTC makes corporate travel quick and easy.
According to James Eberhard, CEO and Founder of Fluid Truck, "The local government has been committed to investing in transforming the city into a tech hub, and it shows. There's an entire ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs, and the business scene also feels more diverse because tech isn't the only booming industry. In fact, Colorado is the sixth state in the country with the highest concentration of creatives, giving startups and major companies access to a diverse talent pool. A 2019 PowderKeg survey found that 80% of tech founders in the Denver area felt there was sufficient access to talent."
Additionally, low cost of living, quality of life, and cultural similarities, top the list. Denver tends to be less expensive than other tech-centric cities including San Francisco and cities in Silicon Valley. Housing is cheaper in Denver than in these cities, and buying power goes farther, although our currently hamstrung inventory is pushing home prices up and causing some to question the cost of living here.
Even if the cost of living has given some people pause recently, the quality of life is undoubtedly attractive to employees. The access to the outdoors, the emphasis on work-life balance and on health and wellness are all things that employees seek out, and they want to work for companies that value these things too. The educated workforce in Denver values their quality of life, and tech companies tend to recognize the correlation between healthy well-balanced employees and their productivity, which tends to translate into a more robust bottom line for everyone involved.
As many tech companies decide whether to move south to Texas or stay west in Colorado, companies such as Palantir, one of the latest tech firms to leave Silicon Valley for a new headquarters in Denver, cited the Denver area as a better cultural fit. As you can see in the diagram below, several tech startups from the Bay Area now have a presence in Colorado.
So there you have it. The tech-ecosystem, venture capital, business-friendly resources and the collaborative culture, the highly educated and diverse talent pool, the infrastructure and access to public transportation and airports, and the lower cost of living and emphasis on quality of life all contribute to why tech companies, in particular, find Denver and the DTC such a great place to be.
Next time we’ll talk about how the Denver/Tech Companies love affair is impacting the Denver real estate market specifically. Until then, for more information about tech in Denver or the Denver real estate market visit my website ReneeSellsColorado.com.