How Colorado Startups In Tech Stack Up Nationally

Posted on July 12, 2019 by BWBacon. Tagged: For Candidates, Featured Companies, Colorado Culture, For Clients

Are you looking to move to Colorado and want to see how deep the water is before you jump in? Or are you already here and just want a better sense of how Colorado startups compare to some of the other big tech players?

Well, you are in luck! We've put together some pretty interesting numbers that are specifically focused on the metrics that matter to startups like valuation, access to funding or investors, and of course cost of living (IE -- How likely is it that am I going to have to eat Cup of Noodles...) If you want to learn more about the tech eco-system of Colorado as a whole, you can check out this post here but this post focuses just on startups here in CO. Let's take a look:

According to Angel List, we have 4,389 startups in Colorado, with over 5,128 investors and an average $4.4 million dollar valuation.

Now, of course, these numbers aren't comprehensive, there are plenty of startups that exist in Colorado that do not have an Angel List profile. In fact, we know that this number is closer to 11,000. But this data does show you something interesting if you look at the numbers compared to other big tech states.

Angel List numbers by each state for comparison:

  • California -- 67,000 Startups / 5,973 Investors / $5 Million average valuation
  • Massachusetts -- 8,058 Startups / 5,282 Investors / $4.5 Million Average Valuation
  • New York -- 28,353 Startups / 7,196 Investors / $4.6 Million Average Valuation
  • Washington -- 4,698 Startups / 5,081 Investors / $4.1 Million Average Valuation

What's the takeaway here? Well, as we see it, it's pretty impressive that Colorado has the highest investor to company ratio, has an average valuation that is in the same range as the other heavy hitters, the only difference is a lower total company count. This makes sense though because Colorado is one of the later bloomers to the tech-startup game out of all these states.

Total Funding of Colorado Startups 2018

According to Crunchbase: On a yearly basis, dollar volume increased from $781 million in 2016 to $1.27 billion in 2017. That dollar volume total went up again in 2018, reaching a historical high of $1.9 billion. This is amazing progress for Colorado and with the influx of major tech players recently we can definitely say with confidence that this trend will continue.

Here are some 2017 national numbers for comparison according to Bloomberg:

  • Los Angeles -- $3.9 Billion
  • Boston -- $5.9 Billion
  • New York -- $13.3 Billion
  • San Francisco -- $19.7 Billion

Top accelerators/incubators for Colorado Startups:

Cost Of Living Compared To San Francisco

I think by this point, we all know that San Francisco is the king of exorbitant cost of living. Things have gotten so bad that there is a company in San Francisco called Starcity that is offering dorm style living for professionals... That's right, no private bath, no private kitchen... For a steal at $1400-$2400. Don't worry, utilities are included, but don't forget your robe, flip flops, and shower caddy.

You know, Starcity (sounds a little too close to "scarcity" for my taste) but it might actually be a bargain be when you look at these cost of living numbers in San Fran:

  • Rent, One Bedroom -- $3,609
  • Cost Of Lunch -- $17
  • Median Home Price -- $1.35 Million

So, how much more is it to live in San Fran compared to some other major tech hubs according to BuiltIn? Take a look:

  • Versus Colorado -- 89% more expensive
  • Versus Austin -- 111% more expensive
  • Versus Boston -- 37% more expensive
  • Versus Chicago -- 75% more expensive
  • Versus Los Angeles -- 42% more expensive
  • Versus New York -- 10% more expensive
  • Versus Seattle -- 32% more expensive

Austin is definitely the clear winner for cost of living, but Colorado is right there. But with that,  the quality of life here for the money you pay is amazing.

Overall, things are looking strong for Colorado startups. We have a great investor pool and the total amount of funding is increasing rapidly and cost of living is great here... Especially considering the access you have to world-class outdoor recreation, food, art, and pretty much anything you can dream of.

We love this state, let us know if we can help you find your place here!


Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!