The Colorado Innovation Report

The purpose of this website is to display and highlight the current Colorado Innovation Report as well as archive those from past years. The reports began as an innovation index produced in partnership with the Governors Office, the Colorado Innovation Network and Colorado State University. The inaugural report focused on where Colorado stood in comparison to the nation as a whole and seven other benchmark states, with respect to one particular asset – innovation. Since the first year, the innovation report has evolved to focus on specific trends in the state as analyzed by a research team at Colorado State University.  The 2013 report analyzes the growth and survival of nonemployer and employer firms. The 2014 report focuses on the dynamism of the Colorado economy.


To measure Colorado’s Industry-driven and overall innovation progress, each report focuses on the four aspects of innovation: entrepreneurship, talent, ideas, and capital. Talent, ideas, and capital are used to represent the components necessary to produce raw innovation, and entrepreneurship is used to measure the refining and matching process. We use these four components to benchmark the components of innovation in each of seven peer states. The seven peer states used to compare Colorado with are Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Utah. These states were chosen either because they are known as innovative hotbeds, such as North Carolina or California, or because, like Utah and Arizona, they are regional neighbors with close geographic and economic ties as well as similar aspirations. This two-tiered approach to benchmarking is important in that it compares Colorado against its regional peers, and also provides a point of reference against what it can aspire to be.