Advances in technology have transformed the US economy; throughout the country we are seeing a shift towards an inevitable digital economy. Denver has especially seen this shift, with our number of tech startups increasing and migration of tech workers to the city.
Vauhini Vara, a writer at The New Yorker, calls Denver a “second city.” In her article, she credits the tech boom in Silicon Valley for Denver’s recent growth and success. Vara writes that the shift towards technology brought people to Silicon Valley cities, similarly to previous tech booms. However, this time was different: tech executives and investors were looking to save money, which meant opening offices and hiring employees in cities outside of Silicon Valley.
Denver happened to be one of those cities.
Silicon Valley businesspeople find that the quality of life in California is decreasing while prices are increasing. Wayin CEO and Curriki founder, Scott McNealy, also complained about increasing regulations and traffic, saying California is “just not a fun place to go start.”
Along with Austin, Seattle, and Salt Lake City, Denver could support the “tech boom overflow,” due to our high concentration of nearby universities, relatively low cost of living, influx of millennials, and large tech company offices (IBM, Oracle).
Not only do these characteristics allow for Denver to capitalize on the digital economy, but they also form our vibrant and growing, startup culture. Last year, Vara reports that Denver startups raised over $822M in venture capital funding, with the most money going to the tech sector.
Denver has always had the right characteristics for the shift to a digital economy, but a large part of the city’s success can be credited to executives and investors who were looking to save money and get out of Silicon Valley.