After attending Colorado Technology Association’s annual summit, it’s no surprise that Colorado, over the last few years, has created a name for itself within the tech industry. Not only have big name brands like Arrow Electronics, Google and IBM expanded into the Boulder/Denver communities, but startups and investor groups are spreading like wildfire throughout the state in cities like Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Telluride and more.
Andrea Young, CEO, Colorado Technology Association, opened the summit expanding on the diversity and representation Colorado has from all four corners of the state. “Our members are committed to maintaining the momentum to have a stronger Colorado. Our tech ecosystem is vibrant, emerging, innovative and collaborative; making us the tech hub between coasts.”
With a laundry list of attributes that make Colorado an alternative to Silicon Valley for emerging entrepreneurs, speakers took the stage at the Colorado Technology Summit sharing insights around running a successful business within an emerging tech hub. Here are a couple reasons as to why Colorado was their pick.
- The Denver Office of Economic Development has made important and intentional investments in infrastructure spanning from the transit system to the central business district in order to accommodate the growth of innovative businesses and attract a highly educated workforce.
- With access to wildlife, mountains, skiing and other recreational activities, Colorado promotes a work/life balance. Being an attractive place where smart young people can play – before, in the middle, and at the end – of their workday.
- The governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, is a champion for innovation and supports the state’s IT initiatives that position Colorado as a leader. From the Colorado Education Initiative, strengthening STEM education and training in schools, to his highlighted work in cybersecurity; the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) works to empower the State of Colorado and impact the lives of all Coloradans to create a safer, happier and healthier state.
Long before the wild wild tech (west) became a spot on the map, SpotX’s roots sprouted from an entrepreneurial effort by our CEO, Mike Shehan and co-founder, CFO, COO, Steve Swoboda. In 2001, they decided to take a chance on Colorado and founded Booyah agencies, a search pay-per-click firm still based in Denver and in 2007, they spun off of Booyah, and started SpotX.
Now, almost ten years later, Mike Shehan has been nominated for ‘CEO of the Year’ by the Colorado Technology Association and in 2015 SpotX was the recipient of the ‘Company of the Year’ APEX award. Since 2001, Colorado Technology Association has hosted the APEX Awards bringing together the community and celebrating the exceptional people, companies and accomplishments of the year.
All in all, whether you believe it or not, Colorado is home to some legacy companies and is at the forefront of fostering growing tech communities. Together these businesses have built an ecosystem of entrepreneurs that simmer in the vitality of Colorado, making an undeniable impression on the rest of the nation.