An area dubbed the “Colorado Clean Range” ranks as the No. 5 clean-tech innovation hub in the country, according to a new study by Saoradh Enterprise Partners LLC, a Boulder-based venture-capital and research firm.
“Colorado’s top research universities and institutions, active entrepreneurial ecosystem, and track record of policy support make the state a leader in cleantech innovation,” Saoradh said in a press release announcing the report.
Saoradh defines the Colorado Clean Range as the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan statistical area, and the Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland and Greeley metropolitan statistical areas (Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties).
The area includes 527 clean-tech startup and growth companies; 3,144 companies that engaged in the hub; 164 research institutions, labs and centers; and 53 clean-tech stakeholders, according to the report.
The study reviewed 139 Colorado clean-tech oriented events that took place from June 2021 through June 2022, including networking, general support for startups, accelerator programs, informative events, conferences, contests and awards/funds/grants.
Saoradh defines clean-tech innovation hubs as “functioning regional ecosystems,” typically one or more MSA.
“A strong innovation hub includes well-funded research institutions, robust technology development, successful startups, and support infrastructure,” the report states.
Saoradh ranked areas based on:
- “Cleantech Intensity Rank,” with scores adjusted based on an employment per capita basis.
- “Young Firm Index,” an index of zero to 100 from Heartland Forward “that combines the Young Firm Index (a measure of ability to start and scale firms) and the Young Firm Employment-Share Index.
- Ranked Top 10 in Sectors,” the number of SEP Cleantech Sectors in which the hub ranked in the top 10.
- “State Cleantech Support,” an index of zero to 100 for renewable-energy jobs per capita employment and the count of successful advanced-energy legislation.
Colorado ranked behind the Bay Area of California, Boston, New York and Los Angeles.
Saoradh said Colorado “could move up a rank with improvements in funding for such areas as university R&D, technology development, and venture funding. If the Clean Range does not continue its pace of development, it risks losing one or more rank positions.”