Innovation Knows No Bounds

Host to five military installations, Colorado Springs is a headquarters hub for the aerospace and defense industry. Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and 150-plus companies provide advanced technologies in national defense, global positioning systems, cybersecurity, and satellite communications. Tech-savvy talent is recruited from a veteran pool of 80,000-plus and five colleges certified by the National Security Agency. While classified operations fly under the radar, innovation soars proudly in Colorado Springs.

A Perfect Atmosphere for Space Innovation

Home to the United States Space Command, five military institutions, and more than 150 space, aerospace, and defense companies, Colorado Springs plays an important role in the United States’ national security. The city’s aerospace and defense companies supply space-related products and services in the state and provide mission-critical support to key installations including the North American Aerospace and Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command, both of which protect the North American airspace and partner interests from threats by foreign adversaries. The city’s strategic location in the center of the country provides one-bounce satellite communications to Europe and Asia on the same business day.

This collection of military assets and the robust cluster of growing smaller aerospace companies make Colorado Springs an ideal location for space businesses to innovate, connect, and prosper.

Specialized Training Meets Technical Prowess

Job seekers: Search Colorado Springs aerospace and defense careers

A workforce of more than 100,000 strong powers the aerospace and defense industry in Colorado Springs. Many of the tech and engineering experts joining company teams derive locally from the region’s five military installations. Approximately 400 military separations take place each month, providing a unique nuance within the talent pool. Newly separated individuals from other cities also relocate for civilian life in Colorado Springs, which is consistently ranked as a top city for veterans.

Within Colorado Springs, five universities and colleges are certified as National Security Agency Centers of Academic Excellence.

After serving their country, U.S. Air Force Academy graduates return to the region for career opportunities. Engineering alumni bring with them an Academy education with high marks: fifth for engineering and third for aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical (U.S. News & World Report).

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs includes the Center for Laser, Energy, and Exploration Research. Students pursue research and studies on rarefied gas dynamics, propulsion, heat transfer, and more. The college is also part of NASA’s Colorado Space Grant Consortium, and students frequently intern, and later work, at Colorado Springs-based defense companies.

Other higher education institutions with engineering curricula are Pikes Peak State College and Colorado Technical University, a system recognized for excellence in education for veterans.

Colorado Springs: Where Entrepreneural Space Activity Thrive



The Colorado Springs aerospace industry enjoys access to a resilient, strong, and diverse economy, cutting-edge technology, a highly educated workforce pool, and state and local programs designed to support business growth, accelerate commercialization, and increase market access.

Business Growth Incentives and State Corporate Tax

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)’s Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) Programs help facilitate market access by companies in key industries, including aerospace and defense. The program awards companies up to $150,000 in Proof-of-Concept grants, up to $250,000 for Early-Stage Capital grants, and $15,000 matching grants for businesses looking to export to the global market.

Apart from having one of the lowest corporate income tax rates, a flat rate of 4.55%, Colorado offers a Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit that enables companies to apply for a state income tax credit from the Colorado Economic Development Commission, based on the payroll tax cost from creating new jobs. To qualify, companies must create at least 20 new jobs in the region and pay wages above the local average.

In addition, the state has a single-factor tax apportionment, which asses taxes on a company’s sales in the state only. In Colorado, foreign corporations as well as corporations with 80% of their property and payroll outside the U.S., are not included in a Colorado income tax return.

City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County Incentives

The city of Colorado Springs and El Paso County offer customized incentive packages to assist businesses in relocating or expanding to Colorado Springs. Some of these include Sales and Use Tax Rebates on construction materials and purchase of machinery, equipment, and business personal property.

The city’s Commercial Aeronautical Zone (CAZ), Aviation Development Zone (ADZ), Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), and Enterprise Zone (EZ) tax credits are dedicated to attracting local businesses and helping them thrive at the Colorado Springs Airport.

El Paso County’s Enterprise Zone Tax Credit supports the growth and prosperity of companies located within the Zone.



Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation Located in Colorado Springs, creates a centralized ecosystem to promote education and collaboration for industry, startups, and venture capital to stimulate innovation and growth in the aerospace and defense industry.

Colorado Apex Accelerator in Colorado Springs, one of the 16 procurement technical assistance centers located across the state, helps businesses compete for military contracts and other funding.

The Space Foundation Center for Innovation & Education: Provides a global learning platform for qualified individuals looking to work in the space industry.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is designated as the Space Education Consortium’s lead university to educate the nation’s future aerospace workforce.

Space ISAC (Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center) Facilitates collaboration by serving as “an all-threats space security information source for the public and private sector. Space ISAC opened a new Operational Watch Center in March 2023, to help the space community enhance the security and resilience of space systems.

National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) The Center aims to build a collaborative, operational and interdisciplinary model for cybersecurity and space that transforms the nation’s ability to detect, protect, and deter threats. Serves both public and private organizations and individuals through leadership, collaboration, and education.

For more information on doing business in Colorado Springs, contact, Tim Vanderhoof, Vice President of Economic Development, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC for assistance.

Welcome to Colorado Springs and Experience the Magic

Friends Laughing at a Colorado Springs Brewery


Live and Work Where You Love

Whether it’s hiking the Manitou Incline, discovering your inner champion at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, cheering on the Switchbacks FC at Weidner Field, or sampling delicious cuisine at local restaurants, Colorado Springs has a place for everyone. Our community has evolved and grown tremendously in the past year, creating more opportunities and amenities that residents can enjoy away from work.

Create lasting memories in beautiful Colorado Springs. Explore more than 55 area attractions, including trains, museums, parks, and a zoo, indulge in our region’s tremendous culinary scene of restaurants, and drift away into the city’s delightful nightlife. Colorado Springs Lodgings offers unrivaled views and convenience for local shopping, dining, and entertainment. There are plenty of things to do in Colorado Springs!

Learn more about the city’s lifestyle and where to live, how to live like a local, and work in Colorado Springs.