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Cultural Shifts and Innovations During Denver's Growth Spurt

With so much recent growth, it feels like a present-day Colorado Gold Rush for businesses, entrepreneurs and new ventures


Colorado is innovating. Our state's growth and development, progressive culture and risk-taking workforce have stimulated innovation that is pioneering local industries from biotech to software and alternative energy, cannabis, outdoor retail and much more.

Colorado has an exceptional business climate and an environment that both inspires and supports it. It's a place where innovative businesses and industries can thrive with the help of ideas and opportunities. With so much recent growth, it feels like a present-day Colorado Gold Rush for businesses, entrepreneurs and new ventures. 

Looking back, Merchant & Gould P.C. opened its office in 1998, during the dot-com bubble and during the early stages of Colorado's shifts and growth.

Idea protection is an important part of this innovative climate, and IP is that much more important to local companies that are inventing and redefining. Twenty years later, I sit back and reflect on the changes, the opportunities, the impact and our role in the mix.

  • How Colorado's interest in innovation is affecting the business culture and economy: New Ideas help people in work and life. If an invention is helping, it's also changing what we do every day and how we do it. As a result, innovation is changing and improving the culture. Connectivity through technology is also having ripple effects, like remote work and the ability to collaborate with organizations on a global scale.
  • Significant changes that have taken place in Colorado's business community in the last 20 years: Colorado is where people want to be, and it seems this area is attractive to colossal corporate firms and small startups, alike. It's an environment that supports creation and growth.
  • Thoughts on the fastest-growing industries in Colorado: Colorado is filled doers; as a result, a diverse collection of industries are thriving.  But a few industries are growing even faster here, such as robotics, biomedical sciences, outdoor recreation and retail cannabis, alternative energy, computer science, financial technology and information technology.
  • Predictions for the next 20 years in the local business community: As millennials reach decision-making levels, there will be notable differences and significant changes, such as a more community-minded workforce. With leaders who question more, work smarter and innovate more, this next generation will continue to help create progress.
  • Role of new technology:  As technology becomes more and more intertwined with our lives, there will always be room for new ideas and advancement.  This increase in innovation is leading to increases in patenting of that new technology.  In addition, the very nature of business has fundamentally changed – a change enabled by new technology.

Today, Colorado is at the peak of its innovation momentum, quickly attracting companies with fresh thinking and risk-taking attitudes. Colorado’s outdoor culture is also attracting a quality workforce and business builders with a more adventurous approach.  

Inventions and innovation will continue to improve Colorado business and lifestyle, making our state even better and playing an important role in the entrepreneurial growth of the U.S. and world. Our Denver office’s 20th anniversary captures the dynamic combination of Colorado’s history, business culture, inventive spirit and imaginative people.

Timothy B. Scull is managing partner of Merchant & Gould P.C., a national intellectual property (IP) law firm with clients in the Rocky Mountain Region, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Denver office, as well as the progress, innovation and integrity of Colorado’s ever-evolving business community. He can be reached at tscull@merchantgould.com or 303-357-1648.

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