Walking around the streets of Denver last month, it was clear things are changing quickly around the city. In the past 10 years, Denver has grown into a more urban and cosmopolitan city to live in. There are cranes on every corner and an entrepreneurial excitement. Colorado has the fourth fastest growing economy in the nation, and the city is quickly growing in population each year.
Tech companies are following the rush and setting up offices in Denver and Boulder. Major companies like Google, Oracle, and possibly Amazon are opening up offices in Denver or Boulder. Smaller startups like Gusto, SendGrid, GoSpotCheck, and Guild are building a presence of technology entrepreneurs and workers.
The Moonlight team was in Denver during Denver Startup Week, which is an impressive week of free startup events. There are events all over the city each day following the tracks of Design, Developer, Founder, Growth, Maker, and Product. These events had an excitement to them, with less of the jaded culture you might find in Silicon Valley or other major tech markets.
Entrepreneurs and people working in Denver tech were most happy with the work-life balance, the easy access to outdoor adventures, and the relatively affordable cost of living.
Check out the list of our favorite places to work and hang out in the Denver area:
Union Station: This historic train station was recently redone to be a community space with free wifi, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and of course trains. This is the best co-working space we’ve ever worked out of - both free and paid. The space is beautifully designed, there’s plenty of people watching for when you need a break, and you can stay there all day.
Thump cafe: An old pizza joint converted into a coffee shop. Always full of people working. The wifi is occasionally unstable, but it was never an issue. It’s close to Whole Foods, which is a great place to take a break and grab lunch.
Starbucks at REI: This huge REI store has a Starbucks inside right off the Platte River. The space has tall ceilings, tons of natural light, and it’s rarely crowded. It serves Starbucks but feels nothing like any other Starbucks we’ve been to. The seats aren’t comfortable enough to stay in all day, but it’s great for a few hours.
2914 Coffee: This small neighborhood coffee shop serves great specialty drinks, our favorite was the Cambric Tea. Although it’s not a large, there are plenty of chairs and tables both inside and outside. Most people during the day are working on laptops or holding meetings.
Brider: Underneath the co-working space Galvanize, there’s a restaurant serving coffee and a full menu of food for lunch or dinner. Since it’s located in a co-working space, most people are tech professionals. You order at the corner and can sit at a table with your computer or a pen and paper.
Black Eye Coffee: A small coffee shop, but lots of people are working. They have stable wifi, and there are several locations around the city.
Crema Coffee House: This spot is located in the new trendy area of RiNo. It feels like a warehouse, creating relaxed hipster feel. Although it doesn’t have the best coffee, it has lots of seating.
The Commons on Champa: Another free co-working space in Denver. The focus of the hub is social entrepreneurship, so it can be a good place for networking as well.
Novo Coffee: Good coffee, good work space.
Wash Perk: A few blocks from Wash Park, this is a good neighborhood spot for a more relaxing day.
Carbon Cafe: Close to downtown, and walkable to Union Station, Whole Foods, and King Sooper's. There's plenty of spots for a lunch break in the neighborhood.
Ink! Coffee: There are a ton of locations around the city. Our favorite was on Little Raven.
Stella's Coffeehaus: This spot is in South Denver. It feels like you're sitting in your living room. There are lots of students and people working, indoor and outdoor seating.
Hope you enjoy exploring Denver! Email us if you have any places to add to our Denver list.