Four Colorado cities are among the nation's top 10 metro areas with the highest tech startup density, according to a report released Wednesday by Engine and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Boulder ranked first; Fort Collins-Loveland ranked second; Denver sixth; Colorado Springs ninth; and just across the border, Cheyenne ranked 10th.
"In the case of Boulder, a startup community whose evolution I've observed and participated in closely over the past many years, the cultural and economic transformation has been extraordinary," said Brad Feld, co-founder of Boulder's Foundry Group,who was quoted in the report.
"While there isn't one, definitive blueprint to building a technology industry, this research can hopefully inspire communities and policy makers to work together to ensure that the spread of high-tech entrepreneurship isn't just a trend, but a long-term phenomenon," Feld added.
The report said that though they start lean, new high-tech companies grow rapidly in the early years, adding thousands of jobs along the way.
"In fact, high-tech startup job creation is so robust that it more than makes up for the job destruction from early-stage businesses failures — a key distinction from the private sector as a whole where job losses from early stage failures turns this group into net job destroyers," said the report.
The report noted that high-tech firm "births" were 69 percent higher in 2011 than in 1980.
"This report confirms the dynamism of the U.S. economy. It also underscores the need for policies that enable and support dynamism," said Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation.
"Not all entrepreneurs are the same. In fact, the majority don't even set out to innovate or grow their businesses, and many more never do," said Ian Hathaway, an economic advisor to Engine and author of the report. "By comparing the high-tech sector with other firms across the economy, we see the job-creating power and growth-oriented technology start ups harness, compared with other young businesses."
Engine is a research and policy foundation that educates technology startups and government about the impact of high-tech entrepreneurship.