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Boulder, CO: The Mountainous Town Great for Growing Companies

Boulder, Colorado, is known for its beautiful mountains, hiking trails and ski resorts, but recently has gotten attention for something diff erent: its tech community. Home to hundreds of budding startups, as well as accelerators and venture capital fi rms, Boulder’s growth has steadily made it a healthy alternative to Silicon Valley. The tech world has taken notice, with both journalists and professionals praising it as one of the best cities for startups.

But one of Boulder’s most alluring parts isn’t even the tech world — many up-andcomers are attracted to the area for the lifestyle. As Silicon Valley becomes pricier and more crowded, Boulder has carved its niche as a more aff ordable and welcoming option, perfect for the outdoorsy and laid-back business exec. The boom has made Boulder and its surrounding areas, like Denver and Fort Collins, some of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., attracting lawyers, professors, engineers, and students for the University of Colorado Boulder.

Misty Robotic's Tim Enwall

“Boulder offers a great place for our employees to live, work and enjoy the outdoors,” says Misty Robotics’ Tim Enwall. The artifi cial intelligence company began as a spin-off  of Sphero, one of the most successful tech companies based in the city.

Sphero got its start from Techstars, the city’s premiere incubator. Founded in 2007, the popular three-month “mentorship-driven” accelerator focuses on hands-on learning and expanding your network through the program’s resources. “Boulder also happens to be the highest-density tech worker county in the U.S.,” Enwall says. 

“We support each other and work together when it makes sense.”

Its collaborative tech scene has allowed startups like Sphero to find their footing and succeed. It recently created the BB-8 toy robot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Other startups have also thrived, including Dolby Laboratories, Occipital, LogRhythm and TeamSnap. Boulder houses some of the biggest tech companies as well, like Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Qualcomm and IBM. 

Lang Mei, CEO and co-founder of informu, is another startup star in town. After beginning his business while attending the University of Colorado Boulder — where he participated in Catalyze CUBoulder, the university’s accelerator — Wei decided to stay. Boulder and its passionate tech community are perfect for his five-person team, he says.

Informu's Lang Mei

“It is affordable, and the talent pool here is already very strong,” Mei adds. “A startup can just focus on growing here, and even attract employees or customers outside of Colorado.” 

And informu has done just that. Today, Mei and his company have launched Mu tag, a tiny electronic tag for mobile phones. They have raised four times their goal on Kickstarter, attended CES 2018 and are looking to expand their company. He plans to stay in Boulder, too, where he and his coworkers sometimes go camping after work. 

Jeremy Snow, Consumer Technology Association