As part of Innovation Week in Colorado, The Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) today released the second annual innovation report, detailing innovation activity in Colorado. In 2012, the first-ever Colorado Innovation Index took a comprehensive look at how Colorado was creating an environment in which innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation can thrive. This year, the Colorado Innovation Report is a deeper dive into potential opportunities for the state to maintain and increase its innovative competitiveness.

“We know that innovation is key to economic growth,” said Catherine Grassman, Executive Director, COIN. “This report provides a deeper analysis of the previously issued index and identifies challenges and opportunities for Colorado in advancing our position as the most innovative state in the nation. It also brings to light certain initiatives or trends that are already occurring that support and enhance our future innovative competitiveness.”

Similar to last year’s index, the report evaluated innovation performance in Colorado across four categories: entrepreneurship, talent, ideas and capital. To see the innovation report, click here or visit

Highlights from the 2013 Colorado Innovation Report:

• Colorado ranks above the national average in terms of breadth of entrepreneurship among both the self-employed and small businesses but has not followed the national trend of increased non employer establishments.
• Colorado continues to be competitive in a number of employer firms; however, similar to the peer group, the birth size of these firms is declining (i.e. fewer jobs at onset).
• Colorado, along with other peer group states, is slightly below the national average in terms of small business survival rate. However, Colorado continues to perform well in terms of small business measures, scoring high relative to the nation and the peer group with respect to entrepreneurial returns and returns to labor.
• Colorado continues to boast a highly educated workforce and experienced an increase in STEM degree attainment.
• Colorado continues to exceed the national average in terms of public funding for research and development, however private business contributions are below the national average.
• Capital trends for Colorado vary among debt, equity, and public equity.

COIN worked in partnership with a research team at Colorado State University (CSU), sponsored by Chief Innovation Officer and Dean of CSU’s College of Business Ajay Menon and advised by Dr. Stephan Weiler.
"Colorado State University is delighted to sponsor the Innovation Index,” said Menon. “The research findings underscore the growing potential for innovation successes in the State of Colorado. It is clear that we have the base infrastructure of talent and ideas that will benefit from access to capital."

“COIN is a bright spot for our state,” said Hikmet Ersek, president and chief executive officer of Englewood-based Western Union. “Colorado has a quality lifestyle with good research facilities and a committed workforce and COIN is a catalyst for developing these assets that will help attract global companies to Colorado.”
In response to the challenges and opportunities presented through the data, COIN also collaborated with the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, the Colorado Legacy Foundation, Co-Labs, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to highlight trends and ongoing initiatives in entrepreneurship, talent, ideas and capital, respectively.

COIN was launched by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper with the mission to make Colorado the most innovative state in the nation and is a public-private partnership housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development. COIN acts as a convener for leaders in our innovation ecosystem. To learn more about COIN, visit