There’s Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, and even Silicon Prairie.

Then, there is Denver.

 

Downtown Denver

Downtown Denver

Last month, Denver celebrated its fourth annual StartUp week. Themed, “Internet of Things” conference hosts and entrepreneurs worked to show how a startup could be built in just one weekend.

In the past few years, Denver entrepreneurs have proved that not only can they build these startups, they can compete with the ones from Silicon Valley. According to a ranking by the Kauffman foundation, Denver jumped from the 9th most popular startup scene to the 4th from 1990 to 2010.  Here’s a handful of some companies that have showed some promise. They are doing great things in Denver and I look forward to seeing where they are in the next few years.

  • Wayin (Denver): I’m a big fan of Wayin, a quickly growing startup that curates content and social trends for marketing purposes.  With traditional marketing techniques giving way to social media audiences, the employees in this trendy Denver office still make people their priority despite focusing on technological innovations.  
  • Altruist (Denver): What if you could give one dollar every month to a cause you deeply cared about – just one dollar?  What if you knew other people were also giving to the cause?  Altruist makes giving easy, yet meaningful. It is a unique way of crowdfunding, once a month your donation goes to a new, hand-picked nonprofit. No percentage of the donations go to Altruist.
  • Havenly (Denver): Havenly helps you move, decorate, and organize your room all in one easy process. All you have to do is complete an easy survey, give as little or as much input with a personal designer to receive a personalized plan for your space. For a flat free, they delivers your room to you. They offer complete redesigns for $1500 budgets. They were founded in November 2014, with a $7,500,000 foundational investment.  Check out the Behind the Scenes page of their site for updates.
  • Ibotta (Denver):  Ibotta users have earned more than $8 million dollars so far through their cashback system.  With 110 local employees and  $67.9M in funding,Ibotta is looking to revolutionize the tradition of couponing by showing that earning cash back can be free, fun, and easy. Users of the app are welcome to exclusive rebates when shopping at their favorite stores; perks including the savings still being effective after you’ve already made the purchase and a loyalty program. The company recently announced plans to hire as many as 300 new employees and move into a larger office.
  • Parkifi (Denver):  Hoping to make parking easier for everyone, Parkifi’s app allows users to view the availability of parking spaces. So far, sensors have been installed and correlated in 1,000 parking spots in Denver. With 22 employees and $3M in funding, Parkifi plans to expand throughout the country.