Five CEO "Unicorns" Are Doubling Down On Colorado Taking Over Where Silicon Valley Leaves Off

The Mile High City boldly takes over as the nation’s “tech darling” by cultivating and developing a startup and entrepreneurial culture through events like Denver Startup Week, which brings an influx of venture funding and successful entrepreneurs to the Mile High City for a week of free learning.

DENVER, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Denver Startup Week kicked off its 11th annual weeklong event and a celebration of everything entrepreneurial in Colorado and beyond with a press conference featuring some of Colorado’s most successful CEOs from high-growth companies including Havenly, Sondermind, Dispatch Health, Velocity Global, and AgentSync.

The press conference started with an announcement from Governor Jared Polis, where in true Colorado pioneering fashion, the Governor announced that Colorado is the first state to accept cryptocurrency for tax payments, highlighting the state’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation.

Each year, in preparation for Denver Startup Week, the Downtown Denver Partnership releases its annual Startup Report, which provides a snapshot of Denver’s current entrepreneurial ecosystem. This year’s report showcases the growing opportunities for employers and job seekers, as Denver consistently ranks among the top cities in the US to start and grow a business. The report found that Denver funding soared to an all-time high of $1.9 billion in Q2 of 2022, totaling $6.7 billion of investment in 2021 and 2022. Denver Continues to be a growing hub for tech talent, with over 117,000 employees in 2021. Ranking 7th in the fastest-growing large labor markets in the U.S, Denver continues to attract young professionals in the tech industry.

Prior to Denver Startup Week’s kickoff event, CEO and Founder of Havenly, Lee Mayer, joined by other “unicorn” CEOs at the front of the room, discussed with reporters how influential the startup culture in Colorado is and why they each chose Colorado to grow their businesses.

Mayer remarked that in 2015 when she was raising her initial seed fund, she had not only to sell her company but also sell Colorado as Havenly’s headquarters.

“Now, funders and people don’t question my decision because Colorado is at the top of the list as one of the most innovative and interesting states for entrepreneurs, VCs, and talent. People want to be here, including talent seeking a work-life balance that doesn’t exist in other places. In addition, it is a strong community of people who care about each other and are mission forward,” says Mayer.

Jenn Knight, CTO of AgentSync, and her husband and co-Founder, Niji Sabharwal, moved their company from San Francisco in 2020. They saw Colorado’s tremendous opportunity and talent beyond what the Bay Area could offer them.

“During the pandemic, people stopped asking “Why Denver?” and instead “How is Denver?” When considering scaling the company, we were passionate about keeping the whole team together, with Product, Engineering, Sales, Support, and Marketing working side-by-side. Denver’s incredibly strong talent-pool made that dream possible and was not something we could have achieved in San Francisco. A major part of moving to Denver was about encouraging a diversity of background and building a deeply collaborative team from day one,” says Knight.

The largest free event of its kind, the 11th annual Denver Startup Week will welcome thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs from around the globe to celebrate everything entrepreneurial until Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. The weeklong event unites the entrepreneurial community with educational sessions, presentations, panels, workshops, happy hours, a job fair, and more.

“Supporting Denver Startup Week and sharing in the innovation and encouragement of incredible entrepreneurs and small business leaders throughout the region is at the core of Amazon’s foundation. In Colorado alone, tens of thousands of small and medium business sellers grow their businesses daily with Amazon. This week we’re excited to share many of their stories and other Amazon programs and accelerators that propel startups and entrepreneurs throughout the nation,” says Brittany Morris Saunders, Amazon’s Head of Community Affairs.

Denver Startup Week’s Presenting Sponsor is Amazon, and Title Sponsors include Capital One Cafe, Dell for Startups, and the Downtown Denver Partnership. For more information on Denver Startup Week, including headline events, registration, scheduling, and programming tracks, please visit


About Denver Startup Week

Denver Startup Week is a celebration of everything entrepreneurial in Denver and the largest free event of its kind. In 2021, the tenth annual event brought over 10,000 people together with over 200 programs and events to celebrate Denver’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and build the center city’s culture of innovation.

The weeklong event unites the entrepreneurial community in Denver and beyond and celebrates great companies, innovations, ideas, and people. It includes sessions, presentations, panels, workshops, happy hours, celebratory events, job fairs, and more. The community and DSW’s Organizing Committee organize events throughout the week.

About the Downtown Denver Partnership

For over 60 years, the Downtown Denver Partnership has convened, collaborated, and led a bold vision to build an economically powerful center city for the benefit of all. With a bias for action, we invest for tomorrow and execute for today, converging the right people at the right time to make an IMPACT.

Guided by the 2007 Downtown Area Plan, we are a fast-moving, forward-thinking, non-profit business organization with the foundational belief that every day is our chance to improve the city. Together with our more than 700 Member organizations, we are the leading voice for private sector businesses in Downtown Denver.

Media Contact

Elizabeth Neufeld, Strat Labs, 1 720-885-9252, [email protected]


SOURCE Denver Startup Week

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