superbowl-pageOh, the mountains; the music; and the marijuana.

Seattle and Denver — the two crunchy Western cities — share a lot in common. (Though, we’re smarter and richer here on the Puget Sound).

And now these two up-and-comers are facing off in the Super Bowl — or as some have dubbed it “The Bong Bowl.” We’ve seen the comparisons between quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson, as well as the strategies of head coaches Pete Carroll and John Fox.

Now, how do these two locations compare in terms of tech prowess?

Seattle already knocked off one tech giant last week in the form of the San Francisco — or, as we now call them the Santa Clara 49ers. (Hey, Re/code, we’re still waiting for that compelling guest post).

Now, it’s time for Denver, which boasts a thriving startup scene in Boulder (home to venture capitalist Brad Feld and TechStars) and the corporate headquarters of Dish Network in Englewood (market value of $25 billion) and Level 3 Communications in Broomfield (market value of $7.5 billion). (Previously on GeekWireThe top 3 cities for startups: Austin, Seattle and Boulder)

While impressive, that doesn’t compare to Seattle’s tech scene by any stretch, which boasts giants such as, Expedia, Microsoft and T-Mobile. (One interesting side note, Dish Network may be shopping again in Seattle after failing to buy Clearwire last year, reportedly thinking about making a run at T-Mobile).

Paul Allen
Seahawks owner Paul Allen

Seattle also edges out Colorado in venture capital investing, as the chart below shows. Last year, $415 million was invested in 79 deals in Colorado. That compares to $913 million in 126 deals in Washington state. (In fact, the fourth quarter in Washington surpassed all of the money invested in Colorado last year).

And then there’s the team ownership. The Broncos are led by Pat Bowlen, whose family made their money in the oil and mining industries.

In the case of the Hawks, as we all know, the money behind the franchise is all geek, with owner Paul Allen previously co-founding Microsoft.

We’re thinking that startup success, plus the geek cred, is going to translate to the gridiron come Feb. 2nd. GoHawks!


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  • Brian Hansford

    I’m a lifelong Broncos fan in enemy territory in Seattle – been here since 1991. (Raised a Broncos fan WAY before that :-) Seattle is by far the most dynamic start up and entrepreneurial of the two. I think it’s great for both cities and tech innovation as a whole to see Denver growing. In fact, I see tons of business and collaboration between entrepreneurs and companies in both cities. Sorry Denver, but I’m with Seattle on the Startup Bowl.

  • Steve Banfield

    Don’t forget companies that live in both cities! Rightside (formerly Demand Media) has our main office in Kirkland but thanks to the acquisition of in 2013 we have a large registrar team in the heart of Denver. Right now there’s a healthy rivalry going on between the two with taking the early lead in snark as you can see from their latest video

    • johnhcook

      That’s pretty funny. But, sea chicken?

      I am going to have to track down other tech companies that have operations in both cities, and do a follow-up.

  • Jeff Schrock

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