City Spotlight: Denver

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WHAT TO KNOW

Although the Mile High City doesn’t have a long history — people didn’t start inhabiting Denver until the Gold Rush — it has a colorful one! Located near the Rocky Mountains, Denver is home to nearly 700,000 people. Its citizens are quite a group — they collectively render Denver the second-most educated city in America.

The city prides itself on being dedicated to environmentalism. It has launched impressive solar panel and tree-planting initiatives in the past couple of years, making it a model of sustainability for cities nationwide.

WHAT TO DO

Denver is buzzing with activity! Whether you’re interested in sports, nature, food, art, theater, or music, the city has a vibrant scene for you. For starters, it has seven professional sports teams. How many other cities can you name that can top that?

With 200 parks within city limits, and 20,000 acres of parks and forests in the nearby mountains, there’s no shortage of trails to hike or wildlife to observe.

As a “green” city, Denver prides itself on being home to some of the country’s most famous farm-to-table restaurants and cafes. After grabbing dinner at one of these world-class restaurants, Denverites can enjoy a performance at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, check out a live show at the open-air Red Rocks & Park Amphitheatre, or visit the Denver Art Museum.

STARTUP SCENE

This is what we’re most excited about! Denver is proving itself to be a strong startup space — so much so that Mashable recently suggested that it is in a position to lure talent away from Silicon Valley. There are several reasons that Denver stands out as one of the nation’s strongest startup communities. First off, it has created, in several ways, a very startup-friendly environment. This starts on a government level; the Office of Economic Development is extremely dedicated to helping advance Denverites’ entrepreneurial ventures. Its website offers a host of checklists, suggested contacts, and relocation help for new and scaling businesses.

If you have ever been to Denver or lived there, you probably picked up on the fact that the city has a very community-focused atmosphere. People are friendly and willing to help each other out. Their neighborly ways translate into business, too. Denverites are known to take phone calls from strangers, meet with a friend of a friend for coffee to talk entrepreneurship, or help spread the word about a new business idea.

The physical work spaces in the city also favor entrepreneurship. Denver has more than seven coworking spaces within its limits, and each one is catered to a specific type of startup or industry. Co-working spaces breed innovation and creativity; surrounding yourself with other motivated entrepreneurs is bound to challenge you and push you to get to the next level.

Lastly, in recent years, the city has been able to attract top young talent vital for the success and growth of its startups. Denver is a vibrant cultural center ideal for recent graduates. These young people are both starting their own companies and joining Denver’s startups to help them scale.

Speaking of young talent — if you’re reading this, either you yourself are young talent, or you know young talent. When it comes to the startup space and entrepreneurship, don’t rule out Denver. If you do, you may miss the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Taylor Modrowski