Mystery firms could bring 1,200+ jobs to Colorado

DENVER — A trio of unidentified firms were approved for millions of dollars in tax-incentive packages by the Colorado Economic Development Commission that could bring more than 1,200 new jobs and hundreds of millions in capital investment to the Centennial State.

Not only are the identities of these companies unclear, so, too, are the locations where the firms could ultimately set up shop.

Announced publicly only as Project Quantum, Project Runway and Project Hong Kong, these mystery firms represent a quantum computing technology developer, a firm in an undisclosed industry and a nonprofit organization that funds educational programs, respectively.

It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is recruiting until incentives are accepted. That acceptance process often takes six months to a year.

Project Quantum, a Colorado-based early stage startup launched in 2020, manufactures hardware used to build quantum computers.

State economic development officials “believe that this technology will be catalytic and central to the next wave of digital innovation and progress across a variety of industries,” OEDIT deputy director Michelle Hadwiger said.

The firm, which is also considering Illinois, Ohio and New York to headquarter and expand the company, was approved for just under $3 million in jobs-based tax incentives over eight years in exchange for a pledge to create 726 new jobs. 

Those jobs, spread across management, engineering, technical, sales and marketing, supply chain management, finance and administrative roles, would pay an average annual salary of  $103,329, higher than the average wage in any Colorado county. 

“Quantum computing is the most transformative technology being worked on anywhere in the world today,” said a Project Quantum executive identified only by his first name Corban. The computers that the firm’s hardware helps build are “going to be as important to the next 30 years of technology as the internet was to the last 30.”

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Project Quantum could choose to target the Boulder Valley or Northern Colorado regions for the new headquarters. Boulder is home to a blossoming quantum computing industry led by ultracold-atom technology firm ColdQuanta Inc. And both Boulder and Fort Collins are home to high-profile state universities with computer science programs that could provide a pipeline of talent for Project Quantum.

Project Hong Kong is a foreign nonprofit organization in search of a United States headquarters.

The group is an “innovative tech non-profit focused on funding education programs for disadvantaged populations,” according to OEDIT documents. “The company derives its profits through a technology platform that significantly reduces the costs of consumer’s purchases within its industry vertical in comparison to the private competitors’ platforms in the market.”

Project Hong Kong then uses its profits to fund educational and training initiatives. 

The company was approved for as much as $884,000 in funding to be paid out as Project Hong Kong reaches certain employment benchmarks. 

Over eight years, the group could add as many as 210 new workers from disadvantaged backgrounds at an average salary of $52,276, according to OEDIT documents.

Of the incentive packages approved Thursday, Project Runway is the most mysterious.

“Project Runway is highly confidential. [Identifying characteristics provided to EDC members] should not be referred to publicly in any EDC deliberation,” Hadwiger told the commission Thursday. “Due to certain press considerations, we’re asking that the EDC refrain from mentioning anything regarding the company’s geography, interactions with local entities or sensitive project information that may jeopardize the confidentiality of this company.” 

According to a vague OEDIT memo, “This project would entail the first phase of a potentially multiphase competitive expansion project that could occur in whole, or in part, in Colorado. The project phase in question would entail nearly $150 million in capital investment between construction costs and machinery and equipment purchases.”

The commission approved $900,000 in incentives over eight years, contingent on the payout of matching local grants. 

Project Runway will generate about 300 new jobs over four years. Those positions would be in administrative, managerial, development and engineering roles. 

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DENVER — A trio of unidentified firms were approved for millions of dollars in tax-incentive packages by the Colorado Economic Development Commission that could bring more than 1,200 new jobs and hundreds of millions in capital investment to the Centennial State.

Not only are the identities of these companies unclear, so, too, are the locations where the firms could ultimately set up shop.

Announced publicly only as Project Quantum, Project Runway and Project Hong Kong, these mystery firms represent a quantum computing technology developer, a firm in an undisclosed industry and a nonprofit organization that funds educational programs, respectively.

It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade is recruiting until incentives are accepted. That acceptance process often takes six months to a year.

Project Quantum, a Colorado-based early stage startup launched in 2020, manufactures hardware used to build quantum computers.

State economic development officials “believe that this technology will be catalytic and central to the next wave of digital innovation and progress across a variety of industries,” OEDIT deputy director Michelle Hadwiger said.

The firm, which is also considering Illinois, Ohio and New York to headquarter and expand the company, was approved for just under $3 million in jobs-based tax incentives over eight years in exchange for a pledge to create 726 new jobs. 

Those jobs, spread across management, engineering, technical, sales and marketing, supply chain management, finance and administrative roles, would pay an average annual salary of  $103,329, higher than the average wage in any Colorado…