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Denver Named No. 4 on National List of Startup-Friendly Cities

Forbes and Revolution's Rise of the Rest partnered to examine entrepreneurship between the coasts


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With a burgeoning class of cities fostering booming startup scenes beyond the coasts, Forbes, in partnership with Revolution's Rise of the Rest, released a list of the Top 10 Rising Cities for Startups, naming Denver No. 4. 

Revealed at the 5th annual Forbes' Under 30 Summit in Boston, the significance is drawn from the fact that three-quarters of venture capital dollars are invested in California, New York and Massachusetts, with the Bay Area, New York City and Boston as the main beneficiaries. 

"The goal is to level the playing field so everybody, everywhere, who has an idea has a shot at building a company and the American dream," says Steve Case, the billionaire co-founder of AOL and Washington, D.C.,-based venture capital firm, Revolution. He helped launch the Rise of the Rest platform in 2014 to shine a spotlight on startups in "underserved cities." Case and his team have since taken bus tours to 38 cities across the country to bring attention to startup communities between the coasts. Revolution launched a $150 million Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, an early-stage fund to invest in companies in this landlocked locales. The fund's investment roster features some of the most successful Americans in business, including Jeff Bezos, Sara Blakely, Dan Gilbert, Meg Whitman, Henry Kravis, Eric Schmidt, Howard Schultz and more. 

Forbes selected emerging cities for startups poised to thrive in the decades ahead. To compile the list of emerging startup cities, Forbes eliminated the 10 metro areas that garnered the most VC funding throughout the last three years. The drop-off from Austin to No. 11 Atlanta is more than $500 million, according to data from PitchBook. Forbes compared the 30 largest metro areas, outside of the 10 above, on 13 factors related to costs (business and living), education, college presence, entrepreneurship rates, working-age population growth, venture capital investments (density, total number, value and percent changes). Data was provided by PitchBook, Moody's Analytics and the Kauffman Foundation. 

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ColoradoBiz staff

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