Friday, July 23, 2010 -- Mile-high dreams

“'Because we have only a handful of venture capitalists in Colorado, most of our companies have to go out of state to raise capital,' says Denise Brown, interim executive director of the Colorado BioScience Association. 'And that's a little hard, because investors like to be geographically close to their companies.' Denver's geographical isolation from big population centres on the nation's coastlines can be a hindrance. 'What we lack is critical mass, which is enjoyed by the tier-one sectors,' says Brown, referring to places such as San Diego and Boston.

What Denver lacks in capital, it makes up for in innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, say some resident scientists. Bioscience company creation and employment growth in the past five years exceeded the national average, according to statistics compiled by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. And the public universities are doing a good job of fostering innovation. According to Brown, of the 20–25 new companies every year in Colorado, 75% are formed to develop university-based technologies. Colorado's 400 bioscience companies employ approximately 18,000 people statewide."

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