Colorado State Capitol

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Colorado’s Economic Development Commission on Thursday approved almost $2.5 million in economic incentives to lure two companies to the state, a move expected to create almost 550 jobs.

The commission, under the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, decided that since the incentives are performance based — meaning the state doesn’t pay unless the jobs are created — the decision was not a financial risk for the state. The state also collects income tax on those jobs.

Officials estimate the state collects $1.30 for every $1 spent on job growth incentive tax credits awarded to companies that move or expand here.

One of the companies, using code name Project Cobalt, is a startup space resources company with an asteroid mining mission focus. All the companies applying for grants are given code names because they are often in negotiations with other states.

“Their team is working to enable mining of near-Earth asteroids for abundant mineral resources that are carbon neutral and sustainable,” according to the application filed with the state.

The company is looking to relocate to Denver County, where it hopes the environment is “suited for space resources as the legal framework for space activities.”

“The company is hopeful that the ownership of space resources be secured in national legislation,” according to commission documents.

Based in the Netherlands, the company has four employees and is also looking at the United Kingdom and Luxembourg.

It hopes to create up to 150 jobs over the next few years with an average wage of $110,620 for data engineers, marketing and market analysts. The commission approved up to $1.29 million in job growth incentive tax credits for the company.

The company will be required to prove it has raised enough capital, $15 million, by the end of 2022 “prior to the execution of this JGITC award contract.”

The second company, code named Project Myth, is a San Francisco-based employee management software firm. According to its application, more than “100,000 active locations” use its software, which is cloud based and helps with time sheets and schedules.

It’s looking to relocate to Denver to create a tech hub that would employ up to 399 marketers and engineers. It’s also looking at Atlanta and Austin.

Commission members agreed to provide up to $1.19 million for the creation of those jobs, which have an average salary of $119,092. The company has 264 employees, with 24 in Colorado.

“Should Project Myth choose Colorado it would highlight the strength of the tech industry in Colorado in comparison to some of our frequent competitors,” according to commission documents.

Four companies that have received incentive packages have agreed to move to, or expand in, Colorado, Deputy Director Michelle Hadwiger told the commission. Official announcements identifying the companies are expected in coming weeks.

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