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Strava, the popular social network on which tens of millions of global athletes track their workouts, announced on Tuesday that it’s opening a new office in Denver. Based in San Francisco with locations in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Bristol, England, Strava is initially opening its new office in LoDo’s Galvanize coworking space before moving to a more permanent, yet undetermined, location in the future. The company formally announced the news at an event in Confluence Park with Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday afternoon.
James Quarles, Strava’s CEO, says the company chose Denver over cities like Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Austin, Texas, in large part because—in addition to the state’s growing tech scene and startup culture—Colorado is an epicenter of outdoor recreation. “Denver is going to be, we’re convinced, one of the great hubs for technology in this country,” Quarles says. And, he notes, Colorado has proven “a strong commitment to the outdoors and active lifestyles…with a community of people who share our mission.”
In 2018, Quarles expects to hire between 15 and 20 employees at the Denver office and will likely hire between 90 and 100 employees over the next three years. Strava has already begun hiring for the Denver office; the majority of positions are product designers and managers, as well as software engineers. As of Tuesday, the Denver office is officially open.
Strava began looking for a new location in the fall of 2017, at which point an independent firm put Quarles’ team in touch with people like Sam Bailey, vice president of economic development for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. Bailey and his team introduced Quarles to people like Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, and Ken Gart, Colorado’s bike czar. In November, Quarles came to Denver for a tour of the city with state and city officials and other local tech CEOs, who Quarles describes as “huge partners.” And in early January, Strava formally decided to bring its new office here.
“Strava will have access to a highly educated and energetic workforce,” Gov. Hickenlooper says. “Colorado shares their values and is dedicated to protecting our outdoors and ensuring opportunities for all to live a healthy lifestyle.”
The move to Colorado is a familiar one for Strava. Beginning in 2014, the tech company partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation on Strava Metro, a program in which 70 municipalities statewide used Strava data to improve cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Furthermore, Coloradans are among the most active Strava users. According to company data, Colorado is the second most active state in the U.S. for both cycling and running, per capita. When it was founded in 2009, Strava was a tracking app only for cyclists, but has expanded over the past decade to form a diverse community of athletes, including runners, skiers, hikers, and rock climbers in 196 different countries.