Grand Junction makes list of top cities for tech startups

Grand Junction ranks among the top 20 metropolitan areas in the United States for technology startups.

Grand Junction ranks 19th among 25 metro regions with the highest ratios of tech startups compared to the national average, according to the results of research released by technology policy coalition Engine and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Five Colorado cities made the list, including top-ranked Boulder. The Fort Collins and Loveland area placed second, followed by Denver in sixth and Colorado Springs in ninth.

The research used statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau tracking the annual number of new businesses and locations from 1976 to 2011. The research focused specifically on new businesses with a concentration of so-called STEM employees — those working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The research found that the creation of high-tech firms was 69 percent higher in 2011 than 1980 and outpaced the creation of other private-sector businesses.

The research also found that tech startups are becoming increasingly geographically diverse, just the opposite of what’s true for most new businesses.

“By comparing the high-tech sector with other firms across the country, we see the job creating power that growth-oriented technology startups harness compared with other young businesses. Observing these trends, it is clear that encouraging the creation of new tech businesses can boost our economy,” said Ian Hathaway, an economic advisor to Engine and author of the report.