Denver-Boulder listed on top 30 startup ecosystems

This year Boulder-Denver ranks No. 21 among 150 ecosystems analyzed for the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2019 (GSER2019).


Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Denver-Boulder’s “startup ecosystem” hit the world stage this year. After seven years of not quite making the top 30 list of best startup ecosystems, this year Boulder-Denver ranks No. 21 among 150 ecosystems analyzed for the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2019 (GSER2019).

Published annually by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the widely read report evaluates tech ecosystems on seven factors that help startups, scaleups and startup ecosystems succeed on a global scale, including performance and talent. Findings are based on data from thousands of startup founders and research on over a million companies.

A “startup ecosystem” is the coming together of people, startups in their various stages, and various types of organizations to create new startup companies, according to

Known for its vibrant high tech and venture capital environment, Denver-Boulder has been a runner-up since 2012. This year, the cities’ strong supply of high-quality local tech talent boosted them to No. 21. The area ecosystems also ranked high for local connectedness, intellectual property protections, and size of local market.

Denver-Boulder also performed well in access to funding, with a score of eight out of 10. The area ranked alongside ecosystems like Seattle, Berlin and Shanghai, and outranked Sydney, Vancouver and Singapore.

Key highlights from the GSER2019 include:
– Instead of a “next” Silicon Valley, 30 startup ecosystems around the world are poised for parallel vibrancy and economic productivity.
– Movement among the ecosystems is significant from year to year. Among the top 30 overall rankings: Paris moved up two spots to No. 9; Amsterdam-Startup Delta moved up four spots to No. 15 overall; and San Diego and Washington, D.C. broke into the top 20 for the first time.
– Since 2011-12, early-stage funding has more than doubled for startups, increasing eight-fold in Agtech & New Food and quadrupling in AI.

The top five startup ecosystems overall worldwide in 2019 are Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Beijing and Boston.

Twelve U.S. ecosystems made the list:
• No. 1 Silicon Valley
• No. 2 New York City
• No. 5 Boston
• No. 6 Los Angeles
• No. 12 Seattle
• No. 16 Austin
• No. 17 Chicago
• No. 19 Washington D.C.
• No. 20 San Diego
• No. 21 Denver-Boulder
• No. 26 Atlanta / Miami (tied)

The GSER2019 also examines the growth and decline of sub-sectors including Deep Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Edtech
and Digital Media.

Deep Tech, which relies heavily on intellectual property, is the fastest-growing startup group globally. The four fastest-growing Deep Tech sub-sectors are Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics, Blockchain, Agtech & New Food and Artificial Intelligence.

By contrast, startup sub-sectors showing decline are Edtech, Digital Media, Gaming and Adtech.

Additionally, the 2019 GSER includes the first-ever analysis and rankings of startup ecosystems in the Life Sciences sub-sector. Based on Success Factors such as Funding and Knowledge, the top five ecosystems for Life Sciences are Silicon Valley, Boston, San Diego, New York City and London.

Download the full report here:

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit

SOURCE: Bloomberg analysis of U.S. Census 1Y ACS data.