Clark's Cone of Silence

A unique look at economic development in the region

Monthly Colorado Rankings: Top Five for August

Fall is almost here! But before we welcome the changing Aspen leaves, Broncos football games and the crisp, Colorado autumn air, we wanted to salute the end of summer with the rankings our great state acquired in August. 

Colorado’s business climate ranked highly in August for Metro Denver’s startup scene, fast-growing companies, convention center, and international airport.

Here’s a closer look at our top-five rankings that show Metro Denver is always open for business: 

  • Forbes ranked Denver and Fort Collins as the sixth- and seventh-best cities in the nation for business and careers, based on 12 factors related to jobs, the cost of business and cost of living, income growth, quality of life, and education of the labor force. With its major industries including aerospace, telecommunications and technology, Denver’s gross metro product is $153 billion and has a projected annual GMP growth of 3.9 percent. Fort Collins ranks high on school attainment with 43 percent of adults having a college degree and 94 percent with a high school diploma, with a projected annual GMP growth of 4.4 percent.
  • 134 Colorado companies made the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies for 2013, with five companies located in Metro Denver and Northern Colorado listed in the top 100. The top-ranked company was Boulder-based Trada, an online advertising firm, which ranked 28th with revenue growth of 8,101 percent between 2009 and 2012. Loveland-based marketing and design agency, Madwire Media, ranked 52nd with 5,254 percent growth. Others that ranked in the top 100 include Englewood-based Eventus, Denver-based Altitude Digital, and Boulder-based Doc Popcorn.
  • Boulder ranked first for its high-tech startup concentration at 6.3 times the national number, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Denver-Aurora-Broomfield MSA was ranked fourth nationally. The rankings were based on U.S. Census Bureau business dynamics data, ranking the concentration of tech startups less than five years old relative to the national concentration. Metro Denver has well-established itself as a top high-tech start-up hub in the last couple years and we’re happy to see it isn’t slowing down any time soon.
  • Continuing with the tech concentration theme, TechAmerica Foundation’s Cyberstates 2013 ranked Colorado third in the nation in tech employment concentration, where the state’s tech industry employed 162,600 in 2012 and represented 8.7 percent of the state’s private sector workforce. The state also ranked 15th for tech employment and 7th for average tech wages at $97,100. The tech worker average wage is also 98 percent higher than the overall average private sector wage.
  • Denver International Airport is the fifth-best airport worldwide for the time it takes to connect between flights, according to Mo’Zippity Apps. The rankings are based on the time it takes to get between an airport’s furthest gates when connecting between two flights. DIA showed a connect time of 18 minutes and is no more than four hours flight time from most major cities in the country. With the $544 million South Terminal Redevelopment Program well underway, we anticipate DIA climbing the airport ranking charts in the near future.

What were your favorite Metro Denver rankings from this summer? Colorado businesses sure know how to end the summer with a bang, because we loved them all! We look forward to what’s in store for the state’s fall rankings next month, so stay tuned!


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About Tom Clark

Tom has over 30 years of economic development experience at the state, regional, and local levels, spanning from Illinois to Colorado. He is known both for his quips and his candor. Often quoted in the local and national press on Metro Denver’s economy, his iPhone is his most valued possession next to his Les Paul guitar. He is also famous for writing parody songs, maintaining an orderly office, and funding the office swear jar. Tom says that if wasn’t an economic developer, his dream would be to work in a chocolate factory.

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About The Cone of Silence

Invented by Professor Cone from TV’s "Get Smart," the Cone of Silence was designed to protect the most secret of conversations by enshrouding its users within a transparent sound-proof shield. Unfortunately, from experience, we have also learned that it never works properly. This blog offers those outside our “Cone of Silence” a unique look at economic development in the region.

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