By: Keenan Brugh Issue: Vision Section: Collaboration Close Up New companies create three million new jobs on average in the U.S. each year, according to the Kauffman Foundation, the world’s entrepreneurial research and advocacy organization. In addition to jobs, new firms also add wealth to the economy through the introduction of innovative new ideas in the market. Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper, recognizes the power of innovation and entrepreneurship more than most politicians. He himself has gone through the process of creating a successful business and views Colorado as a burgeoning hotbed for new technology and businesses. With the announcement of the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), Governor Hickenlooper laid out a vision for embracing new ideas and supporting the networks that make them reality. COIN is a collaborative effort among public, private, and academic organizations. This network acts as a voluntary focal point for the entrepreneurial community and opens the door for win-win situations. Ajay Menon, Dean of the School of Business at Colorado State University said, “COIN is designed to connect investors and entrepreneurs, and surround them with the access points needed to help them build businesses and enterprises so we can support Ken Lund and his outstanding team with the Economic Development Goals that he has set for our state.”
Increasing relationships with networks in areas like Silicon Valley and Boston are an important way to increase innovation in Colorado. A delegation of Coloradans from both the private and public sectors traveled to meet with entrepreneurs and investors to learn from them and to promote doing business in Colorado. Denver is currently the largest net gainer of migrating young adults out of any metro area in the U.S. according to the 2008-2010 ACS data. This “brain gain” is valuable and combined with Colorado’s universities we are poised to provide an excellent environment for innovation. The Cross University Platform for Innovation, or CUPI, is acting as a bridge and fostering relationships between Colorado universities and those such as Stanford and MIT. Senator Michael Bennet announced, “We have the building blocks that we need. The effort that the governor is announcing gives us a mechanism to organize around, making sure that we don’t just talk about this—we actually are building an economy for the 21st century.”
Board of Advisors: • Kristin Russell, CIO & Secretary of Technology, Governor’s Office of Information Technology (CHAIR) • Vic Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, Business Genetics, Plug & Play Colorado • David Allen, Assoc. Vice President, University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office • Peter Bryant, Senior Fellow, Kellogg Innovation Network • Charles Corfield, President & Chief Executive Officer, nVoq • Steve Foster, President, Business Controls • Larissa Herda, President & Chief Executive Officer, tw telecom inc. • Adam Lerner, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver • Ajay Menon, Chief Innovation Officer, State of Colorado • Monisha Merchant, Senior Advisor, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s Office • Casey Porto, SVP of Commercialization & Deployment, National Renewable Energy Laboratory • Mark Sirangelo, Chief Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Space Systems • Kent Thiry, Chief Executive Officer, DaVita
To learn more about the Colorado Innovation Network visit http://coloradoinnovationnetwork.com.