DENVER, Colo. – A culture of collaboration has made Colorado the #1 Health Innovation ecosystem in the United States today.
Organizations like Prime Health, the Colorado Bioscience Association (CBSA), Innosphere and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), are working on behalf of the ecosystem to support programs and funding that drive innovation and acceleration commercialization.
One of the qualities that make Colorado unique for entrepreneurs is the publicly supported advanced industries grants and tax credits run by OEDIT. These programs encourage private investors to provide funding for local companies with high growth potential.
According to OEDIT, the State of Colorado has issued 126 tax credits to 111 different investors since July 1, 2014, supporting $9.7M of investments to 44 different companies under the Advanced Industries Tax Credit Program. Bioscience and information technology made up a combined 80% of investment dollars.
With the Advanced Industry Tax Credit Bill up for extension in the State Capitol, companies like the Colorado BioScience Association and dBMEDx are working with Legislators to advocate on behalf of the companies that are positioned to benefit from the program.
“CBSA is highly supportive of the Advanced Industry Investment Tax Credit Extension,” said April Giles, President and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association. “Our companies continue to express that access to capital is the highest priority for the bioscience industry. The program has been successfully in place since 2009 and aids Colorado companies who are attracting early-stage capital and helps Colorado remain competitive nationally.”
As Dave Shine, CEO of dBMEDx, explained, “We took advantage of the AI Tax Credit in mid 2014. A total of 13 investors received a tax credit and we raised a total of $1.4M in that round. Most of those 13 investors essentially doubled their investment amount because of the tax credit. Needless to say, that had a huge impact on our ability to raise funds. At that time, we were just starting to put in place our production plans and we decided to locate the facility in Colorado as a result of these incentives. We have now been manufacturing our device in Littleton for over 18 months.”
Dave continued, “For every dollar the state provides in tax credit, $4 end up going to a startup company. This is a multiplicative incentive, giving the state funds 4x the impact. Very powerful.”
According to OEDIT, the Advanced Industry Investment Tax Credit is designed to stimulate private sector capital formation by rewarding local investors for taking equity stakes in start-up companies.
“Angel investments are critical ingredients that fuel innovation and new business creation in technology driven sectors like the Advanced Industries,” said OEDIT director of business funding and incentives, Jeff Kraft.
Over the past five years, Colorado has received over $1.6 billion in venture capital investments and OEDIT has complimented investor tax credits with four types of grants, targeted at Proof of Concept, Early-Stage Capital and Retention, Infrastructure Funding, and AI Exports.
Network partners have provided support to companies like Orderly Health, RxAssurance, and dBMEDx, to access some of the over $35M awarded through the Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs.
Innosphere’s Alan Curtis explained, “We are proud to be part of an expanding support network for entrepreneurs working to improve the healthcare industry. Thanks to companies like dBMEDx trailblazing paths of collaboration, the Colorado healthcare ecosystem is getting global attention.”
Dave Shine credits ecosystem support for dBMEDx’s success in accessing capitol to deploy their technology.
“The startup and healthcare ‘ecosystem’ is truly outstanding and we have benefited from a number of relationships: CBSA has been absolutely critical to our success and they are a tremendous resource, we recently graduated from the Rocky Mountain Innosphere incubator, we are a Blackstone Entrepreneur Network company and have numerous advisors working with us through that network.”