stk20173bidColorado’s high-tech innovation sector is competitive with the rest of the nation – but falls short in the number of jobs at startups, the survival rate of small businesses and self-employed innovation company.

The good news: the state exceeds the national average for public funding of companies and its educated workforce.

The information comes from the second innovation report, released last week as  part of Innovation Week in Colorado.

In 2012, the first Colorado Innovation Index took a comprehensive look at how Colorado was creating an environment in which innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation can thrive. This year, the Colorado Innovation Report is a deeper dive into potential opportunities for the state to maintain and increase its innovative competitiveness, said a news release from the organization.

“We know that innovation is key to economic growth,” said Catherine Grassman, executive director of the Colorado Innovation Network, or COIN. “This report provides a deeper analysis of the previously issued index and identifies challenges and opportunities for Colorado in advancing our position as the most innovative state in the nation.It also brings to light certain initiatives or trends that are already occurring that support and enhance our future innovative competitiveness.”

Similar to last year’s index, the report evaluated innovation performance in Colorado across four categories: entrepreneurship, talent, ideas and capital. To see the report, visit

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Highlights from the 2013 Colorado Innovation Report:

– Colorado ranks above the national average in terms of breadth of entrepreneurship among both the self-employed and small businesses, but has not followed the national trend of increased non-employer establishments.

– Colorado continues to be competitive in a number of employer firms; however, similar to the peer group, the birth size of these firms is declining (i.e. fewer jobs at onset).

– Along with other peer group states, Colorado falls slightly below the national average in terms of small business survival rate. However, Colorado continues to perform well in terms of small business measures, scoring high relative to the nation and the peer group with respect to entrepreneurial returns and returns to labor.

– Colorado boasts a highly educated workforce and experienced an increase in science and math degree attainment. Colorado continues to exceed the national average in terms of public funding for research and development; however, private business contributions are below the national average.

– Capital trends for Colorado vary among debt, equity and public equity.

COIN was launched by Gov. John Hickenlooper with the mission to make Colorado the most innovative state in the nation. It is a public-private partnership housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.


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