Colorado a top state for business, but capital lags

Once again, Colorado finds itself ranked as a top state for business in a new study. In a recent analysis from the Kauffman Foundation on the geography of entrepreneurship, Colorado received a top spot. Colorado ranked sixth in the number of Inc. 500 companies per capita during the 2000s. While Colorado continues to be ranked as a top business state and a hotbed for fast growing companies, there seems to be a disparity between capital demand and supply.

According to Pitchbook, the Mountain region accounted for only 4 percent of the total private equity deals in the second quarter of this year. In 2011, that number was five percent. At the same time, Colorado has been perennially ranked as a great place for businesses. CNBC’s annual ranking of top business states placed Colorado at number five in 2011.

According to the Census Bureau, of the 16.7 million businesses in the U.S., nearly 16 percent are domiciled in the mountain and southwest regions. Colorado alone contains more than two percent of the nation’s businesses. Clearly, there’s no shortage of opportunity.

It isn’t difficult to see the disconnect in the amount of private equity investment in Colorado and the mountain region, both in terms of the quantity and the quality of businesses. However, private equity is smart capital and typically doesn’t lag for long. There is already a movement to have better coverage in the Rocky Mountain region and anecdotally, we have seen an uptick in the number of private equity firms looking for opportunities in the Rocky Mountain west.

Click here for more information on the Kauffman Foundation’s study on entrepreneurship by region.