The Longmont Advantage Supports Innovative Entrepreneurs
July 5, 2017 -
Colorado is one of the hottest, most fertile entrepreneurial hubs in the U.S.
We think of Denver, and of course, Boulder…BUT…the truth is that Longmont is also an ideal home for startups at all stages of development and recognized as a national center for innovation.
Longmont offers real opportunity, innovation, collaboration, talent, industry, a workforce, and infrastructure. Longmont has “grown up” and is a firmly established vibrant place for businesses to launch and to grow and for investors to pursue partnerships with amazing companies.
Here are some impressive stats:
- In just four years, employment growth rate in Longmont has RISEN from 3 percent to nearly 5 percent. (By comparison, Boulder County has an employment growth rate of only 3.8 percent. The U.S. has an employment growth rate of 1.8 percent.)
- Longmont has the 2nd highest number of patents per capita in Colorado.
- Number of patents issued in Longmont between 2010 – 2015 = 50/10,000 residents. (Compared to the national average of 5 patents/10,000 (between 2010-2015)…and, remember, Longmont is a non-university town!
- Over $18 million in capital investments from local businesses alone…UP 202%!
THE LONGMONT ADVANTAGE
Some of the country’s best-known brands got their start in Longmont. Akonia Holographics, Redstone Aerospace, and Goddess Garden are all Longmont companies or organizations that were founded here and have thrived here.
Other Longmont founded and grown brands include:
- Bison Designs
- Burrito Kitchens
- Custom Microwave
- DFM Engineering
- Dohm Icebox
- Inter Mountain Railway
So, why have so many – and such amazing – companies chosen Longmont?
Many of the entrepreneurs we work with site advantages such as:
- Cost of living;
- Quality of life – we’re ranked #23 in the Top 100 Places to Live in the US (Livability 2016);
- Home values;
- The St. Vrain Valley School District was designated as one of the Top 100 Future Ready School Districts for technology with a nationally recognized Innovation Center and STEM-focused schools; and,
- Some of the lowest cost, highest quality, and most reliable utilities in the nation.
And, we are proud to say that Longmont is listed as:
- #4 Top Boomtown (Smart Asset, 2016);
- #3 Fastest Internet Upload and Download Speeds in the nation (PC Magazine 2016); and,
- #11 out of 38 cities reviewed for 2015 list of Best Places for Millennial Job Seekers in CO (Nerdwallet).
Without question, Longmont’s innovative approach to technology is also high on many business leaders’ lists. Longmont sits at the intersection of high technology and manufacturing. It is home to the largest makerspace in Colorado and is one of the first municipally owned and operated high-speed Internet networks in the country, one that will ultimately bring gigabit fiber to every home and business in the community.
WHAT IS A LONGMONT ENTREPRENEUR?
2017 marks the third year for Longmont Startup Week. This year, as in all previous, we are reminded and amazed at the quality of the event’s participants. The entrepreneurs we work with are as diverse as the products, services, and innovations their companies represent. But, whether they are working in the areas of advanced technology, bioscience, creative arts, food, or professional services, or IT, there are several common threads, or attributes that stand out. If asked to pick just three, we would most definitely call Longmont entrepreneurs inclusive, supportive, and collaborative.
Choosing to base her business in Longmont was a strategic move for Melissa Brandao, CEO and founder of HerdDogg. What sold her on Longmont was, in part, its geography. HerdDogg builds state-of-the-art smart ear tags and readers for livestock ID and health monitoring. They have clients throughout Colorado and as far away as Brazil. “Longmont is halfway between Denver and Fort Collins,” Brandao says. “This is the hub of agriculture tech and innovation, plus we have CSU right up the road and amazing access to an amazing labor pool.”
Brandao describes Longmont as “a combination of innovation and people looking to do things in a non-traditional way. It’s growing and the energy here is wonderful.”
For Sunni Sylvester, founder of Plains to Peak Chocolates, choosing Longmont was all about connection.
“I love the vibe in Longmont,” she says. “We’re all so excited for each other’s success. It was the place where I knew we could succeed.”
LONGMONT STARTUP WEEK 2017
Longmont Startup Week began in 2015. Every year the event gets bigger and better and attracts some of Longmont’s, Colorado’s, and even the country’s most amazing business innovators, investors, techies, foodies, creatives, and business owners.
Last year 2,000 people took part and we’re expecting this year to be even bigger! The workshops, keynotes, and firesides take place in several different centralized venues throughout Longmont, all within walkable distance and easily accessible.
Our goal is that attendees LEARN, GET INSPIRED, and MAKE CONNECTIONS every single day.
This year’s Longmont Startup week is focused on themes and businesses in Longmont’s core industries of:
- Advanced Technology
- Creative Arts and Culinary
- Professional Services and I.T.
We have content and workshops on a variety of topics, including:
- Creating a “Winning Culture”
- How Millennials and Younger Generations are Shaping the Workplace
- Accelerators and Incubators
- Branding and Digital Marketing
- Equity and angel investing
- Design Sprints
- Mental Fitness
- Lean Learning
- Software Development Technologies
- Mentoring office hours and networking coffee hours
- …and more!
Some of the amazing companies that have helped put together content, are represented and are sitting on panels include:
- Boomtown Accelerator
- Left Hand Brewery
- Genius Labs
- Wibby Brewing
- Terrapin Care Station
- Digital Globe
- Sticker Giant
- UC Health
- …and more!
There’s a seat waiting for you! Be sure to check out the full schedule and sign up as soon as possible!
Longmont exemplifies the best of the Front Range, offering a unique combination of infrastructure, quality of life, skilled workforce and business-friendly climate while remaining affordable and welcoming. It is an atmosphere of artistry and creativity that fosters invention and innovation and we are thrilled to watch our community grow!