High-tech company Virta Health moving to Colorado from California


Virta Health, a health technology company that aims to reverse type 2 diabetes without drugs, is moving its headquarters from California to Colorado.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the move Friday morning at a Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. meeting. The company, currently based in San Francisco, has 450 employees and a small office in Denver where about 100 people have worked remotely.

Sami Inkinen, Virta Health co-founder and CEO, said in an interview that the company will look for a new office to house the headquarters. Virta Health expects to increase the workforce every year.

Polis called Virta Health’s relocation to Colorado an exciting addition to the state’s “growing technology and health industries.”

In deciding to move the headquarters from the San Francisco area, Inkinen said the company considered Colorado’s pool of skilled professionals, the state’s quality of life and its education institutions.

“The second thing is, honestly, Colorado is very pro-business. It’s easy to do business here in Colorado. It’s getting gradually more complicated in other places,” Inkinen said.

Companies look for predictability and places with “sensible policies and no crazy surprises,” Inkinen added. “I think Colorado is on the right path with sensible, pragmatic policies that are very pro-business.”

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade worked with Virta Health for several months on its relocation, said Patrick Meyers, the agency’s executive director.

The state will provide the company up to $6.9 million in performance-based job growth incentive tax credits over eight years. Virta Health estimates it will add 902 jobs overall.

“This really helps create good jobs for Coloradans,” Polis said in an interview before the announcement. “I also like the fact that some jobs will be location-independent within Colorado, which is really important for our rural communities to make sure people have those kinds of opportunities.”

Inkinen said Virta Health will be hiring a variety of professionals, including software engineers, artificial-intelligence experts and medical care experts and providers. Inkinen, one of the founders of the online real estate marketplace Trulia, started Virta Health in 2014 with scientists Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek.

“Basically, it’s a high-tech, telemedicine company that’s on a mission to nutritionally reverse type 2 diabetes and eliminate the need for diabetes drugs like insulin in 100 million people,” Inkinen said.

Inkinen’s focus on diabetes was galvanized by learning that he was pre-diabetic despite being a high-performing endurance athlete.


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