Boulder (Boulder County) and Fort Collins are once again flexing their high-tech muscles, earning top 10 mention on NerdWallet’s list of America’s Most Innovative Tech Hubs.
Boulder earned a No. 2 ranking behind San Jose, Calif., and Fort Collins came in at No. 6. Two other Colorado metros were ranked in the top 25: Denver came in at No. 14 and Colorado Springs at No. 25.
“If startups beget startups, Boulder area residents should expect to see even more growth in innovation,” NerdWallet reports. ”Boulder came through with the highest density of startups in our study — six times the national average.”
Recognizing Boulder’s TechStars, a startup incubator similar to Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator, NerdWallet says, “Boulder still has a ways to go before reaching the venture capital funding levels of startups in Silicon Valley, but it ended 2014 with a strong $963.75 in funding for every 1,000 residents, the third highest in the country.”
Of Fort Collins, NerdWallet says the city, with its 30,000-student-strong Colorado State University campus, beats San Jose and San Francisco in terms of tech-startup density, with three times the national average, or a score of 3.0 (San Jose and San Francisco’s scores were 2.60 and 2.40, respectively).
“This area also wages a mighty battle (like nearly all startup-centric areas) to retain engineering talent locally and eagerly takes on the fight against the lure of Silicon Valley,” NerdWallet reports.
NerdWallet says that Silicon Valley in California is “by far the leader” in its survey, with a high number of patents per capita and venture capital funding figures, and the West dominates with only two East Coast metros – Burlington, Vermont, and Boston, Massachusetts – pushing their way into the top 10. Universities also are key for every high performer on the list, closely linking higher education and innovation.
In building its list, NerdWallet considered the number of patents per 1,000 residents; financial support for innovation via venture capital funding; and the economies of agglomeration (or the benefits when companies, like startups, cluster together, as the higher the density of startups, the more innovators can benefit from common labor pools and idea sharing).
Here’s a look at NerdWallet’s top 10 list of America’s Most Innovative Tech Hubs:
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