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COLORADO
From Site Selection magazine, May 2024
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Fueling the Future of Colorado’s Life Sciences Sector

COLORADO
by Lindsay Lopp
A

group of 22 partners representing Colorado’s life sciences ecosystem have banded together to fund a new national economic development campaign to bolster Colorado into “America’s epicenter for life sciences innovation.” 

Launched in February, the Colorado Hub for Healthcare Impact comprises entities from each level of the state’s life sciences network The campaign highlights six critical factors that are currently spurring growth in Colorado’s life sciences sector including: 

Talent + Inclusivity: Colorado has the No.1 highest concentration of biomedical and bioengineers in the U.S. and leads the country in post-secondary educational attainment. Research assets include the Colorado School of Mines, University of Colorado Denver and University of Colorado Boulder. 

Capital + Growth: In 2023, life sciences organizations in the Denver-Boulder area achieved record-level funding from both the National Institutes of Health ($519 million) and venture capital sources ($288 million). The Colorado BioScience Association reports that life sciences companies in the state raised $1.47 billion in funding from public, private, federal, state and foundation sources in 2023, marking the seventh year the state’s life sciences community raised more than $1 billion. 

Location + Real Estate: According to a report CBRE released in January, the Denver metro was one of only three locations among the 13 largest life sciences markets in the U.S. to see tenant demand increase in the fourth quarter of 2023. Fourteen companies were seeking a cumulative 506,000 sq. ft. of lab space. A total of 3.5 million sq. ft. of life sciences lab and office space are currently planned or in development, according to the Colorado Bioscience Association.

Lifestyle + Culture: With cities ranked among the top 10 places to live in the country, legendary outdoor activities, Michelin-starred restaurants and leading professional sports teams, Colorado boasts an exceptional quality of life. 

Costs + Incentives: U.S. World and News Report ranks Colorado No.3 for economic stability and potential. Since 2016, Colorado has awarded $128 million in state-funded grants for Advanced Industries. 

Community + Infrastructure: With life sciences clusters along Colorado’s Front Range, five R1 designated research universities, the University of Colorado System ranking fifth in the country for startup formation, and 30+ federal labs (one of the largest concentrations in the U.S.), the state is home to a collaborative network of research partners. 

Room For Growth 

In Boulder, NexCore Group and HATCHspaces® have transformed the 33,700-sq.-ft. historic Boulder Beer Company Brewery into a resource for emerging life sciences companies. The new facility, dubbed HATCHlabs@Wilderness Place, boasts infrastructure featuring turnkey labs and customizable space. 

“In order for life science clusters to grow, functional and affordable graduation lab space needs to be available for startups emerging from academic labs and incubators. We’ve designed the HATCHspaces platform to be just that,” said Allan Glass, executive VP of Science & Technology at NexCore, in a statement.

During the facility’s ribbon-cutting celebration in January, the company announced its first partnership in the region, a bioscience internship program in collaboration with the University of Colorado Boulder. 

“The startup companies in our ecosystem could not do the work they do without our university partners and all the support that goes into helping those companies move through the obstacles,” said Elyse Blazevich, president & CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association. 

Lindsay Lopp
Associate Editor of Site Selection magazine

Lindsay Lopp

Lindsay Lopp joined Conway Data in 2023. She is the assistant editor of the company’s Custom Content division and regularly contributes to Site Selection magazine. In 2021, she graduated from Pratt Institute with her BFA in Creative Writing and is currently completing her MFA in Popular Fiction and Publishing at Emerson College.



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