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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Boulder Innovation Venture Report is a product of an initiative launched by the Boulder Economic Council of the Boulder Chamber in 2017. The Boulder Innovation Venture leveraged research data and cross-industry connections to capture metrics and stories describing local innovation that we can use to elevate Boulder’s status as a leading innovation community. This report is the outcome of that effort. It is organized by five key sections: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

People Economy Research & Development Investment Capital Place

Each section presents a number of key innovation and entrepreneurship metrics. Boulder’s performance on these metrics is compared with peer innovation communities from throughout the country. Regions such as Silicon Valley, Austin, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco were selected for comparison. Here are some of the key metrics presented in each section:

PEOPLE

• Over 60% of residents in the Boulder metro area have a bachelor’s degree. This is the highest educational attainment among the peer communities studied and among the highest in the United States. • Boulder has the second highest concentration of Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations among all the peer regions. • Almost one-quarter of the Boulder metro area’s population falls within the millennial age cohort (20-34). This is second only to Austin, TX among peer communities. Millennials comprise over 37% in the City of Boulder, due largely to the presence of CU Boulder.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

• The economic impact of Colorado’s federal labs on Boulder County totaled $1.1 billion and provides a critical foundation for the regional economy. • Among our peer cities, businesses in the City of Boulder have been leading recipients of federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants, raising over $262 million from 2010-2017. • CU Boulder has the third highest average of university Research and Development (R&D) expenditures among universities in the peer communities studied.

INVESTMENT CAPITAL

• Since 2012, 41% of all venture capital funding in Colorado was invested in Boulder startups. Boulder also has the second-highest per capita VC investment in comparison to the peer communities. • Dozens of venture capital firms from throughout the world invest in Boulder startups, with funding rounds often led by one of about a dozen Boulder-based VC firms. • Small Boulder businesses fund operations through debt or equity at levels second only to businesses in Palo Alto, CA by using United States Securities and Exchange regulations favorable to small businesses.

PLACE

• Since 1967 Boulder residents have taxed themselves to purchase over 70 square miles of open space to date, nearly three times the 25 square miles of developed area within the city limits. • Boulder was named one of America’s Most Artistic Towns by Expedia and cited by the National Endowment for the Arts as a leading region for artists in the United States. • There are more restaurants per capita in the Boulder region, 2.45 per 1,000 residents, than in the peer regions studied in the report.

ECONOMY

• The City of Boulder’s employment base of about 100,000 jobs is two or three times larger than almost any other city in the United States of comparable to size in population. • At least ten established industries drive Boulder’s economy – a diverse mix of aerospace, bioscience, energy, ITsoftware, natural products, outdoor recreation and more – unusual for a suburban community. • Boulder’s startup community, its innovators, entrepreneurs, accelerators and investors, is cited often by researchers and media for the density and velocity of its entrepreneurial activity. 3

BOULDER INNOVATION VENTURE

Innovation Venture  

The Boulder Innovation Venture Report is a product of an initiative launched by the Boulder Economic Council of the Boulder Chamber in 2017....

Innovation Venture  

The Boulder Innovation Venture Report is a product of an initiative launched by the Boulder Economic Council of the Boulder Chamber in 2017....