Report: Colorado’s tech scene is — literally — growing

Colorado’s tech companies are expanding, according to a new report from real estate company CBRE.

The report looks at the number of tech companies in the area, as well as the size of their real estate footprint.

At least 40 companies have expanded their presence, with 400,000 square feet taken up by tech businesses.

Northern Colorado, in particular, has seen a boost in the tech industry, which grew by 50,000 square feet year-over-year.

“Colorado’s profile within the tech industry seems to only be rising,” Katie Murtaugh, CBRE research analyst, said in a statement. “From startups just beginning their business to Fortune 500 global companies, we are consistently seeing organizations interested in opening or expanding their presence in Colorado, citing our strong population growth, relatively low cost of living, sustained economic growth and unmatched entrepreneurial spirit.”

In the last year, at least 14 companies — three of which came from abroad — moved their headquarters to Colorado.

In metro Denver, tech company leases were at an all-time high of 7.9 million square feet of office space.

Part of the benefit has been Denver’s cost of having office space, especially in comparison to other West Coast tech hubs. Although slightly more expensive than Phoenix and Salt Lake City, Denver is cheaper than San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Portland. The average asking rent in Denver is $27.59 per square foot, compared to $70.29 in San Francisco.

Some areas of the state, like Boulder and the Northwest Corridor, did not experience the same growth as Fort Collins. But cities like Boulder remain a key player in the state’s tech scene. Although it has limited space to grow, it still remains a destination for startups especially.

Venture capital, meanwhile, took a hit last year, dropping from $789 million in 2015 to $339 million in 2016. However, as of mid-year 2017, venture capital rivals total-year funding for 2016.

CBRE expects tech growth to continue in Colorado.

“Colorado’s deep history of entrepreneurship that embraces pioneering and risk-taking is evident in the type of companies and tech talent that the state is harvesting, which will help propel it to greater import in the future,” the report states.