CS tech startup moving to Denver

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Prosperent co-founder Mike Christensen and his staff have developed their own pros-and-cons list for several locations.

Growing tech startup Prosperent will move to Denver in March.

The company, which manages pay-per-sale online advertising for companies like REI, QVS and Zappos told the Business Journal in November that it was having trouble finding talented web programmers to hire in Colorado Springs.

Mike Christensen, company co-founder and president, said employment issues were the primary motivation to consider moving the business to Denver or Boulder.

As Prosperent was growing rapidly, company leaders wanted access to venture capital, which Christensen said he and partners felt would be easier to find in Boulder. Boulder has developed a reputation for having strong venture capital investment for high-tech companies like Prosperent.

“That isn’t something we’ve decided for sure we want to pursue,” Christensen said this week. “But we know we want a bigger talent pool.”

The company is having trouble attracting experienced PHP programmers. While such programmers are hard to find everywhere, Christensen said market conditions made it particularly difficult in Colorado Springs.

Prosperent has to compete with high-paying government contractors for employees, and the culture in the city wasn’t strong enough to draw young professionals from out of town. But the purely business justifications weren’t the only reasons to plan the move.

The Colorado Springs arts and entertainment culture doesn’t match for the company’s needs. Prosperent is basically five guys in their 20s and 30s who work with the office lights off, watch movies and play ping pong in their office. Christensen said there weren’t a lot of office spaces that promoted their particular corporate culture.

“We found a really cool place in Denver,” he said.

It’s Block 32, a new apartment and artists’ studio high rise at 3200 Brighten Blvd. in the River North, or RiNo, district of Denver. The office space has a balcony and a kitchen. It’s within walking distance of the popular LoDo area and Prosperent employees will have access to the swimming pool, grills, weight room and all the amenities in the building that residents have, Christensen said.

They’ll pay about the same rent they did at 31 E. Platte Ave. But they’ll have about half the square footage. That’s fine, Christensen said. They don’t need all the space they have now. Plus, they can leave their ping-pong table behind because the building has one they can use.

“We’re excited,” Christensen said.



6 Responses to CS tech startup moving to Denver

  1. This could make a worthwhile in-depth case study as to what could have been done to keep this firm in Colorado Springs? In the way of perhaps ‘moving cost incentives’ to assist engineers in Denver who would be interested in the job? The level of effort put forth by the new RBA to assist in marketing in the Denver area for engineers? The lofts available in downtown Colorado Springs?

    This looks like maybe a five engineer deal. At minimum of $80,000.00 a year that is close to half a million dollars in income at the 92% propensity to spend level: fair amount of sales tax revenue and property tax revenue going to Denver. What is the ROI on that?

    Staci Lynne Holdt
    January 30, 2013 at 11:13 am

  2. This is the right call for them. More than ever, large cities are causing a brain drain from regional peers. The “Boulders” of the world have figured out how to carve a niche. Colorado springs simply missed it chance.

    If we were staying in Colorado there is little doubt that Denver would be the smartest choice for employment.

    Not Sure That We'll Stay
    January 30, 2013 at 11:34 am

  3. Well it now looks like Bach needs to have 6005 new jobs to meet his quota

    January 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

  4. Of coincidental interest:


    (By the way, CSBJ has the most interesting combination of “Captcha Words”)

    Staci Lynne Holdt
    January 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

  5. Doesn’t sound like much of a job sitting in the dark. Move.

    January 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm

  6. Agreed, this town is doing everything it can to run out young professionals, even if it’s not trying.

    However, saying that you’re losing PHP developers to the government contractors is silly. The government and its contractors don’t use PHP. In this town, the good developers go where the money is, and that’s with contractors. As a long-time PHP developer, I talked to Prosperent about filling one of their positions, but I opted to go elsewhere when I found out the salary was nowhere near what I was being offered elsewhere, and it didn’t include any benefits whatsoever.

    Startups are great and we need good quality tech businesses in this town. But these small companies have to be realistic too. You get what you pay for. Top quality young professionals don’t work for free, especially when there’s a chance your next paycheck may bounce. Our city needs to do more to attract and train a quality talent pool…..and business has to follow up by making it worthwhile to leave everything that makes a big city such a draw for these future leaders.

    Bottom line, “We have Pikes Peak” just ain’t doing it any more. When we realize that, we can move forward.

    January 31, 2013 at 10:41 pm