Boulder, CO Is Becoming Bolder In The Food Start-up Scene

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Boulder is perhaps best known for craft beer and bicycles — there’s almost one for every person living here — and for being home to Mork and Mindy. But among foodies, it is also known as the place where new companies are challenging the old guard in the food business.

Up-and-coming food companies like Purely Elizabeth, Made in Nature and Good Karma Foods have relocated to Boulder to take advantage of the city’s deep bench of food executives, a food retail environment that prizes innovation and experimentation, and a growing pool of money for investments in food companies, among other things.

The money flowing to food start-ups here still trails New York and Silicon Valley. Food and beverage start-ups in Boulder, which has just over 100,000 residents, attracted $76 million from September 2012 to September 2016, according to CB Insights, a research firm, compared with $315 million in New York and $616 million in Silicon Valley.

But the vast majority of the money in New York and Northern California has gone to just a few companies. In Boulder, the money is more widely spread among dozens of companies that make everything from gluten-free cereals to probiotic drinks.

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