Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced the Colorado Innovation Network to promote collaboration among Colorado's private, public and academic organizations. The Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) will stimulate economic growth, help create jobs and attract new businesses by supporting innovative business activities and establishing Colorado as the best state for business.
"The Colorado Innovation Network is a roadmap for making Colorado the best state for innovation and where every road must lead to new jobs," Hickenlooper said. "We'll work statewide with industry leaders to build a business environment which promotes innovative practices, creates jobs and grows our economy."
The Colorado Innovation Network's objectives are to build a business environment to foster innovation; retain jobs and support growth in key industry clusters; pursue capital for project funding; establish Colorado's reputation as the most innovative state; create a workforce with the right talent and job skills; and develop innovation-oriented performance metrics to demonstrate COIN's economic growth impact.
"Colorado innovators and entrepreneurs are the catalyst for job creation and economic growth in the 21st century economy, but they can't do it alone," U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said. "We need to work together -- across industries, expertise and political parties -- to create an economic environment in Colorado where innovation and job creation can thrive. I have no doubt COIN, which builds on the tremendous work of Coloradans for an Innovation Economy, will help ensure Colorado is a hub for innovation and economic growth for years to come."
Ajay Menon is the state's first Chief Innovation Officer, leading COIN to develop an eco-system in Colorado that cultivates entrepreneurial and innovative activities. Menon will volunteer 20 hours a week for the state in addition to his full-time job as Dean of the College of Business at Colorado State University.
"We are thrilled to have Ajay Menon's vision and experience in leading this effort," Hickenlooper said.
"I am honored and excited to help Gov. Hickenlooper develop a statewide network that bolsters entrepreneurial and innovative activities to benefit Colorado and all its residents," Menon said.
COIN will initially be housed within the state's Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Funding for COIN will come from private donors; no state money will be used. Kelly Quann will work as executive director of the Colorado Innovation Network. For more information, visit www.coloradoinnovationnetwork.com.