Colorado’s Formula for Success in Tech

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Focused Lawmakers and Industry Leaders Coming Together to Discuss Smart Tech Policy

Recent headlines about a certain malfunctioning government website may have given some people the idea that large-scale tech efforts are doomed to fail and that our government can’t help create tech success.  Instead, headlines about the tech industry across the country tell a far different story—the tech industry is diverse, changing by the minute, and thriving.  Nowhere is that truer than in Colorado, where our tech sector is one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy, due in large part to the organized, collaborative efforts and ongoing commitment of our lawmakers and tech leaders.

Colorado Technology Association’s (CTA) upcoming second “Day at the Capitol” is an opportunity for industry leaders and technology professionals to get together with lawmakers to discuss legislative issues and solutions for creating more tech success in Colorado.  About 200 tech leaders attended earlier this year and participated in a direct dialogue with lawmakers; this week’s event promises to be even more productive, as this new tradition of smart collaboration takes hold.

This is a critical time for us all: Exciting innovations are delivering new possibilities, and consumers are driving demand and leading the way forward.  Putting smart regulations in place now will help increase the momentum, delivering continued benefits to consumers and businesses while creating new jobs and bolstering economic growth.

After all, Colorado’s position as a top tech state couldn’t have happened without all the work legislators and industry leaders have done in this space: creating an environment that welcomes private investment in expanding 21st century broadband infrastructure that supports robust connectivity and new and thriving innovations.  As lawmakers embrace a business-and investment-friendly environment, top tech talent, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists have flocked to Colorado, as if spectacular scenery and awesome recreational activities weren’t enticing enough.  These efforts have paid off, as Boulder was recently named the number one city for startups while four other Colorado cities, including Denver and Colorado Springs, topped the 10 metro areas in the country with the highest tech startup density.

Some recognition of our impressive tech-hub status is nice, but that’s not the whole story, of course.  Our state has carefully nurtured and maintained a culture of innovation that encourages entrepreneurship, and various recent successful “startup week” events throughout the state have created buzz among tech talent and leaders.  Additionally, it was most recently reported that venture capitalists invested $136.6 million in Colorado companies in the third quarter of this year, up $22 million from the third quarter last year, with the biggest investments going into tech. Colorado also made the top 10 list of states for the most investment deals in the quarter.

All of these positive developments point to one truth: Colorado’s time is now.  Some lawmakers want to pave the way for these successes by implementing smart regulations that support private investment and innovation that will propel the state to further leadership in tech.  We have a lot of work to do, so let’s support that effort. On November 8th, legislators and innovators will once again convene to celebrate the culture of innovation and tech entrepreneurship in Colorado by working to ensure that it continues.  Our state is a rising star in the national and global tech scene, and smart policies can help that star continue to shine even brighter in the future.

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