Population > 276,000
Leading indicator > Generating patents at the rate of 11.45 a year per 10,000 people, nearly four times the U.S. city average
Fast companies > LSI; Advanced Energy Industries
A big college town means two things: research and beer. Colorado State University spins out world-class work in realms from bacterial diseases to sustainable energy, feeding a patent stream that's growing by 21% a year. And Fort Collins's six breweries spin out … brew. Synergy alert: New Belgium Brewery has pioneered efficiencies for carbon emissions and water use.
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