DENVER (CBS4)– Small businesses and innovation are in the spotlight during Denver Startup Week. The Downtown Denver Startup Report shows that startups are not only active in the Denver metro area but also an important factor in Colorado’s economy.

The report shows that 623 startups employ more than 4,350 people in downtown Denver. More than 150 new startups were founded last year alone and that trend it expected to continue.

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The growth rate for startups in Denver for the next five years is expected to be more than four times the national average.

“The entrepreneurial energy in Downtown Denver is palpable, and it’s clear that we are building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that makes the center city the absolute best place to start and grow a business,” said president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership Tami Door, in a statement. “Through programs and events like Denver Startup Week and The Commons on Champa, we are partnering with the community to create the resources and tools necessary to help business builders succeed.”

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Denver Startup Week began on Monday and continues all week. The event includes workshops, presentations and expert panels to help people grow their startups.

Part of the reason Denver is so appealing to startups is because of its reputation for job growth and fostering small businesses.

“Downtown Denver is the perfect confluence of lifestyle, access to top talent, and engaged local investors,” said founder and CEO of Craftsy John Levisay in a statement. “Through the commitment of organizations like the Downtown Denver Partnership and city and state leaders, all the ingredients are here to help businesses succeed.”

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