(cross-posted from Into Thin Air)
I attended a dinner last week with about thirty influential folks in the Denver/Boulder tech scene (I’m not actually sure how I got invited). The topic was how might we work together to make ours a more attractive region for top-tier tech talent to live and work. There were a lot of good ideas about why people might prefer Silicon Valley, New York, or Seattle to Denver. Most of them revolved around density — the notion that the attractiveness of a region is correlated with the number of good technology companies found within it.
What’s interesting is that the Denver/Boulder area does have density. And this led some of us to believe that more people would be drawn to Colorado if they knew about the abundance of technology companies here.
For example, these companies all have a significant presence or are headquartered in the Denver/Boulder area:
So, why not put up billboards on the 101 in San Francisco and in DIA (owned by The City of Denver) as part of a coordinated marketing campaign with a slogan like:
Colorado: where great tech companies and affordable houses are abundant.
This campaign would touch both technologists in the Bay Area who might want an affordable lifestyle (the reason I moved to Denver), and the millions who connect through DIA every year on their way to New York or San Francisco or Seattle.
Further, many are unaware of anecdotes that support the viability of Colorado’s tech sector. For example, Gusto did its own data-driven survey of Salt Lake City, Austin, and Denver in an effort to find a home for its co-HQ. Denver stood out as the most attractive market.
Google is expanding its 350-person Boulder office to 1,500. I heard a rumor that they’re over-subscribed on internal transfers wanting to fill the new 1,150 positions opening up there. It would seem the lifestyle afforded by the region is attractive to many who work for that company.
We’re Taking Action
Coming back to the dinner I mentioned, a subset of us are coming together to conceive of and execute upon ways we can collectively promote the Colorado technology sector. I’m excited about what we might do together. Stay tuned.