2010 Colorado Entrepreneurial Landscape

Nearly 80% of all new job creation in the United States is produced by new ventures and emerging growth businesses; therefore, the organizations supporting the creation and growth of new business are critically important to regional and national economic recovery.

In Colorado there are many university based resources that support entrepreneurial start-up endeavors including: academic entrepreneurship centers, offices of technology transfer, business incubators, university run venture capital funds, business plan competitions, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), law school clinics, and entrepreneur- or venture capitalist-in-residence programs. Furthermore, there are numerous  community based programs that have similar offerings to those found in more traditional academic environments.

This 2010 competitive landscape analysis focuses on the following university based core activities that support entrepreneurship in the region:

  • For-Credit Courses, degrees and certificates in entrepreneurial studies
  • Business Incubators
  • Venture Capital Funds
  • Business Plan Competitions
  • Non-Credit Courses

Others have approached this topic from different perspectives. The following two linked articles are among the most comprehensive for different aspects of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Colorado.

Higher Education & Entrepreneurship in Colorado by Micah Schwalb on behalf of the Silicon Flatirons Center & the Governor’s Innovation Council

Summary: Campus communities and entrepreneurial clusters overlap and affect one another. This Report examines entrepreneurial education led by Colorado’s colleges and universities as well as through specific interactions between institutions of higher education and entrepreneurial clusters in Colorado.

The Entrepreneurial University: What the University of Colorado has to learn from MIT and Stanford. by Kaleb A. Sieh for The Silicon Flatirons Roundtable Series on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Public Policy

Summary: Nationwide, there are a few universities with a commitment to supporting entrepreneurship that can serve as examples. Notably, MIT and Stanford are two schools renowned for using the knowledge creation and invention that takes place on their campuses to create high quality companies. In contrast, many schools do not achieve such results, even with similar characteristics. This disparity raises the two questions addressed by the roundtable: (1) what separates a university that engages in this process effectively – i.e., the “Entrepreneurial University” – from the university that does not?; and (2) how can the University of Colorado- Boulder become an Entrepreneurial University?