With its relatively low cost of living and high quality of life, Colorado's capital city is fast becoming a small business hub. The 18th largest metro economy in America, with major sectors including energy, telecommunications and food, Denver boasts an impressive 47 companies on this year's Inc. 5000--not to mention that it's also a hotspot for the blooming marijuana industry.

Here's a curtain raiser to some of the top startups that have made the Mile High City their home:

10. Canary

Headed by CEO Dan Eberhart, oil and drilling company, Canary, has grown leaps and bounds since its' founding in 1984. With a three-year growth rate of 285 percent, the startup clocks out as number 1,503 on the Inc. 5000. It's no surprise that Canary is based in Denver: The city's mineral-rich location near the Rocky Mountains makes it an energy industry stalwart.

9. BWBacon Group

Denver-based BWBacon Group, a staffing agency that recruits for digital, Web and creative jobs, makes Inc.'s list as number 1,394. The company, founded by CEO David Bacon in 2001, embraces "stories of hard work, perseverance and ultimately, triumph," as noted on its website. Looks like it's working. Today BWBacon can boast a three year growth rate of 307 percent. 

8. Hammond's Candies

President and CEO Andrew Schuman heads Hammond's, which was founded way back in 1920 and today claims number 1,362 on the Inc. 5000. A maker of hard candies, caramels, and chocolates, the Denver-based company has seen a three year growth rate of 317 percent.

7. 3d Lacrosse

The company name speaks for itself. Offering lacrosse training, clubs, and events, 3d Lacrosse was founded in 2009, and today boasts a three year growth rate of 493 percent--that makes it number 909 on the Inc. 5000. Led by CEO Jamie Munro, this small business is also the 7th fastest-growing in Denver.

6. Altitude Digital

A digital ad services firm, Altitude Digital has created 44 jobs in the past three years, and boasts a growth rate of 549 percent over the period. According to its website, Altitude Digital knows how to make "their revenue engine purr." Number 829 on the Inc. 5000, the company is headed by founder and CEO Jeremy Ostermiller. 

5. Cardinal Group Management

Cardinal Group is a real estate investment, development and management firm, making the Inc. 5000 at number 647. Founded in 2008, the company has seen an impressive three-year growth rate of 710 percent, under the leadership of CEO Delano de Windt.

4. The Premier Group Staffing

Another HR company to make Denver's top 10, The Premier Group specializes in staffing construction, accounting, finance and IT companies. Founded in 2008, it clocks in at number 634 on the Inc. 5000, with a three-year growth rate of 184 percent. Led by CEO Rich Johnson, the company has swelled since its' founding back in 2008.

3. Swiftpage 

Under the leadership of CEO H. John Oechsle, Denver's third fastest growing company, Swiftpage, also claims number 440 on the Inc. 5000. A provider of customer relationship management software, the business has seen a massive three-year growth rate of 1,077 percent. 

2. Phidiax

A provider of Microsoft Azure Cloud and Microsoft custom software applications, Denver's second fastest-growing company, Phidiax, lands at number 317 on the Inc. 5000. Led by CEO Jason Sauers, the company boasts an impressive three-year growth rate of 1,461 percent, but maintains an intimate corporate structure. 

1. Stoneside Blinds & Shades

Denver's fastest-growing company, Stoneside Blinds & Shades, comes in at number 220 on this year’s Inc. 5000. A manufacturer (and installer) of custom-made blinds and shades, Stoneside has made great strides, with a three-year growth rate of 2,040 percent. Its president and CEO is Mickey Fain.  

Published on: Sep 30, 2014