Mile High Roundup: Startup Visas, Jobs, and Entrepreneurs Take Bows

Welcome to the Mile High Roundup, a fortnightly review and recap of some of the interesting things that have happened over the past two weeks in the tech scene in Boulder, Denver, and around Colorado. It’s no secret tons of cool stuff is happening around the state, and this is a chance to catch up.

In this edition, startup visas clear a hurdle, Colorado companies are looking for workers, and some local entrepreneurs take home a cool prize.

COMING TO AMERICA?: One of Boulder and the startup world’s favorite political causes was a big winner this week in Washington.

The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and it included what’s become known as “startup visas.” In a nutshell, the bill would increase the number of visas available to entrepreneurs who want to start companies in the U.S., provided they can meet certain conditions about securing funding and adding employees.

Startup visas are becoming increasingly popular around the world, and a number of countries are implementing entrepreneur-friendly immigration policies. That includes Canada, which means we’ve had to endure some showboating from our friend, or maybe frenemy, from up north.

The bill also would change a number of other provisions aimed at encouraging high-skilled workers to come to the U.S., especially those in scientific and engineering fields.

Supporters of startup visas should wait a while before celebrating, though. The entire immigration reform bill must pass the House with the startup visa section included. The Senate passed the bill with broad bipartisan support, but there are doubts about how it will fare in the Republican-controlled House.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS: Colorado tech companies continue to look for new talent, with a handful announcing over the past few weeks they are making major additions.

Sympoz creates online educational courses and is the company behind Craftsy, which specializes in teaching arts and crafts. Sympoz will add 230 to 480 new jobs, and the expected average annual wage will be $98,411. (I’ll save you the trouble of looking up the link.) The deal is … Next Page »

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