New Economic Development Manager Chosen for Evans

The City of Evans is pleased to announce the selection of Paula Mehle to serve as the next Economic Development Manager.  Paula comes to Evans from the Town of Erie, having served as their Economic Development Coordinator since 2012. In Erie, she was responsible for the Town’s economic development strategy; which included local business retention and expansion programs, business attraction, strategic business alliances and business ombudsman activities. She was also responsible for the management of the Town of Erie Urban Renewal Authority, which includes five redevelopment areas.

Ms. Mehle’s work in Evans will include collaborating with the Evans Economic Development Advisory Council, a unique city advisory group made up of both residents and local business owners. Chairman Cruz Moncivais relates, ”The Evans Economic Development Advisory Council is looking forward to welcoming Paul Mehle to Evans. She will be an excellent addition to the City of Evans and we are excited to be working with her.”

Paula actively participates in several international and national organizations that focus on key aspects of economic development, redevelopment, and marketing. In 2000, she joined the International Council of Shopping Centers. In addition, she is a member of the International Economic Development Council, Economic Development Council of Colorado, American Planning Association, and the International City/County Managers Association.

Jim Becklenberg, Evans City Manager stated, “Paula brings important experience in both attracting new business and supporting local business communities. Her passion for economic development, along with her energy and enthusiasm will help take Evans’ game to the next level.”

About her selection as Evans Economic Development Manager, Paula said, “I am thrilled to be joining the City of Evans team and to have the opportunity to work in partnership with the Evans business community in strengthening the City’s economy.” Ms. Mehle joins the Evans team in late August.

 

Inocucor announces plans to open U.S. headquarters and production facility in Denver

Inocucor Corporation, a developer and producer of powerful biological crop inputs for agriculture, announced on July 27, it will open its 30,000-square-foot U.S. headquarters and commercialization office at 7304 South Joliet Street in Centennial, Colo.

Inocucor uses a patented fermentation process to combine multi-strains of bacteria and yeasts into powerful soil and plant optimizers that are safe for people and the environment. These products naturally improve crop yields, shorten growing periods and create healthier, more resilient soils for farmers and greenhouse growers.

Concurrent with the Denver headquarters and production facility opening this fall, Inocucor will be doubling its existing 10,000-square-foot lab and offices in Montreal. The Montreal facility will become its Technical Center of Excellence for technology innovation, new-product development, fermentation process development and pilot production. This entity will continue to be called Inocucor Technologies Inc. and will remain its Canadian headquarters.

Inocucor currently employs approximately 30 people in Montreal and the U.S. The company plans to add another 50 high-level scientific and managerial staff in both in its Montreal and Denver operations over the next 18 months.

The company’s move to Denver is supported by a performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit of $1,322,918 approved by Colorado’s Economic Development Commission.

“Inocucor is a leader in the emerging sector of specialty ag biologicals,” said Inocucor’s President and CEO Donald R. Marvin, a Denver resident. “We are one of a handful of companies that have successfully commercialized microbial crop inputs based on a microbial consortia technology that improve the plant microbiome, which translates into healthier soils and improved water quality. The result for the grower is improved crop yields and reduced need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers.”

Marvin said Inocucor will grow organically with its patented proprietary microbial consortia technology while also pursuing strategic acquisitions and product development partnerships in North America, Latin America and Western Europe.

Inocucor’s flagship product, Garden Solution®, soon to be rebranded in the U.S. as Synergro™, is a live-cell formulation for high-value produce, such as strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and broccoli. Synergro Free™ is a cell-free bio-fertilizer additive to existing plant nutrients for commodity row crops, such as soybean, corn and wheat. Inocucor’s new-product development pipeline includes bio-control formulations that combat economically devastating diseases in crops such as strawberries, tomatoes and potatoes.

In the U.S., Garden Solution (Synergro) is OMRI Listed® nationally and OIM-registered in California for organic production. It is registered for use in 22 U.S. states. Synergro Free is registered in 17 U.S. states. Both products are among the first microbial products of their kind to be registered in Canada. Synergro is also a Pro-Cert Approved Input for use in organic growing in Canada.

Inocucor recently completed the $38.8 million CAD ($29 million USD) first close of its Series B financing round, with lead investor TPG Alternative and Renewable Technologies (San Francisco) and participation from Cycle Capital Management (Quebec), Desjardins Innovatech (Quebec) and Closed Loop Capital (U.S.).

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. announces vice president of economic development

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) is pleased to announce that Sam Bailey will join the organization as its vice president of economic development beginning on August 7, 2017.

 Sam 150X225

Bailey most recently served as president and Chief Executive Officer of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation in Golden, where he managed a team of four staff members, led business recruitment and expansion activities, and enhanced public and private sector engagement in the community’s economic development efforts.

Previously, Bailey worked as a senior manager of global business development for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, where he managed recruitment and expansion deals totaling $220 million in performance-based incentives supporting the creation of more than 14,400 net new jobs. In addition, he advised legislators and economic development stakeholders on business engagement, proactive recruitment strategies, and process improvement for statewide business development efforts.

“We are truly excited to have Sam Bailey joining our team. His energy and experience combined with his drive for innovation will help transform our work supporting economic vitality throughout Colorado and in the Metro Denver region in particular,” said J. J. Ament, Metro Denver EDC CEO. “He has the right combination of local expertise and international initiative.”

In his new role, Bailey will manage economic development efforts and develop strategic initiatives to expand the Metro Denver region’s economic competitiveness and ability to attract leading industries and talented workers.

Bailey serves as Vice Chairman on the Board of Directors for Colorado Companies to Watch and serves as a Professional Development Mentor and Board Member of the Regis University Young Alumni Board.

Just Another (Grand) Day in Colorado’s Grand Valley

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) launched on July 25, “Another Grand Day”, a video that follows local adventuress Stephanie Carville as she embarks on a series of outdoor activities – ten in all – across Colorado’s Grand Valley with her family and friends, all accomplished in just one day.

“Another Grand Day” is part of a series of videos produced by Grand Junction-based Vitality Films for GJEP and partners to showcase the remarkable outdoor playground Grand Valley locals enjoy every day. The series launched in 2016, with male lead Mason Klebold and friends delving through seven high-intensity sports from skiing on top of the Grand Mesa, to downhill mountain biking and ending with wakeboarding at a lake outside Grand Junction as the sun set.

“As soon as we launched the original Grand Day video, people started asking about the next one and chiming in on other activities we could include. So our goal for a sequel became to capture an equally inspirational day without repeating sports,” said Cilia Kohn, GJEP marketing director. “We also wanted to make sure that the activities felt accessible to everyone – perhaps you won’t do it all in one day, but you could feasibly do a few activities in a day or over the weekend, and bring the whole family. That’s how close we live to this plethora of outdoor fun.”

The sequel includes an even more impressive array of family-friendly activities, including: hiking, Go Karts at the Grand Junction Motor Speedway; riding ATVs on public lands; rappelling; SUP; fishing; riding motorcycles across the Colorado National Monument; and golfing at Redlands Mesa. The video also includes a special preview of the Cameo Shooting Complex opening soon in Palisade – and Carville received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the 2017 JUCO World Series.

GJEP plans to use the video in its business recruitment efforts.

“Almost a quarter of our prospects operate in the outdoor recreation industry, and I’d say nearly 100 per cent are attracted to the Grand Valley because of the quality of place, which is closely tied to this amazing outdoor playground we have. Alongside the original video, this will be a great tool for GJEP,” continued Kohn.

The Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), the City of Fruita and the Town of Palisade sponsored the sequel, alongside several local businesses, such as XLR Industries and Home Loan Insurance.

“Tourism and economic development go hand-in-hand, so when Vitality Films and GJEP approached the Visitor & Convention Bureau to again sponsor a second Grand Day video, we quickly accepted,” stated Mistalynn Meyeraan, spokesperson for the Grand Junction VCB. “The first video was a project that the VCB was able to use in social media, and we look forward to using the 2.0 video to further market our community as a vibrant, adventure-filled destination.”

View “Another Grand Day”, as well as the 2016 original film and behind-the-scenes footage on www.GrandDayCo.com.

 

Colorado Outdoor Recreation Office Welcomes New Deputy Director Janette Heung

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced on July 24, that Janette Heung will serve as the new deputy director for the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office (OREC), effective Aug. 10, 2017.

“Janette is joining us at an exciting time with record growth for our outdoor recreation industry, and she’s just the person to help take us to the next level,” said Luis Benitez, OREC director. “We are thrilled to have her experience and knowledge on our team.”

In her new role as the deputy director, Heung will support economic development within the industry, work to build a dynamic workforce, advance conservation and stewardship, and encourage the intersection with public health and wellness in the sector. She will also develop new initiatives to further Colorado’s outdoor recreation growth. The position manages day-to-day operations of the office and serves as a liaison in the community.

“Colorado is rapidly becoming the epicenter of the outdoor recreation industry,” Heung said. “I’m tremendously excited for the opportunities that lie ahead”.

Heung was born in the US, but grew up in the concrete jungles of Hong Kong. Returning to study as an adult, she soon became mesmerized by the wildness of the North American continent.  She experienced her first winters in New England during school, and eventually followed the call of winter to Alaska, the Alps, and the Andes. When she discovered Colorado and its outdoor recreation community, she immediately relocated here and started adventuring at an extraordinarily high level.

Many classic alpine mountaineering routes in the US and Canadian Rockies followed, and she has managed to complete first ascents in New Zealand and Bolivia, including on the south face of Mount Aspiring in New Zealand.

“Janette’s love for the outdoors directly feeds into her zeal for protecting it-when she’s not exploring outside, she is working on a range of environmental policy, public health and business challenges,” said Benitez. “She is a real asset to our office and the State of Colorado.”

Before accepting the deputy director role she was a consultant who specialized in strategic planning and program management with a focus on conservation and health. Throughout her career, she has consulted for public, private, and non-profit sector clients, including Fortune 500 companies, the City and County of Denver, and The Nature Conservancy. Previously, she was a senior management consultant at Deloitte Consulting in the greater Washington DC area.

Heung is the also co-founder of Unleashed, a winter climbing community event that features storytelling by community champions with the proceeds supping outdoor education non-profits. Heung holds bachelor degrees in physics and biomedical engineering from Tufts University and a master’s degree in Environmental Health from Harvard University.

Outdoor Recreation is a booming industry in Colorado with $34 billion in consumer spending and $994 million in state and local tax revenue. The industry provides 350k jobs with earnings of more than $4 million. Over 80% of Coloradans participate in trail-related activities on a regular basis according to the 2014 Scope Report.

Governor John Hickenlooper launched the OREC office in 2015. OREC is one of only three offices in the nation that provides a central point of contact, advocacy, resources and support at the state level for the diverse constituents, businesses, communities and groups that rely on the continued health of the outdoor recreation industry.
The OREC office is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Janette Heung – New Deputy Director of OREC

Advanced Industries (AI) Export Accelerator Grant Program: Now Accepting Applications

The Advanced Industries (AI) Export Accelerator Grant program is now accepting applications from current and aspiring Colorado exporters in the Advanced Industries who are looking to offset international business development and marketing costs.

Grants are available for up to $15,000 for eligible costs for small and medium-sized AI businesses in aerospace, infrastructure engineering, advanced manufacturing, energy and natural resources, bioscience, electronics, and technology and information.

Grants can be used to help cover the costs of trade missions and trade shows, translation services for a contract or official document, intellectual property protection, conducting due diligence or credit reviews on potential buyers or distributors, and production and design of international marketing materials.

The AI Export Accelerator grant program is administered by the Global Business Development division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). The application and eligibility requirements are available here.

Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. This is a competitive grant process with limited opportunities for funding. First year grant applicants will be given preference during the application review process. The deadline is rolling and projects and/or travel must be complete by June 30, 2018. Questions can be emailed to Laura Brindle at laura.brindle@state.co.us

Companies that are considering exporting or those that are currently exporting are also encouraged to use the Global Consultant Network as a complement to the AI Export Accelerator program.

The Global Consultant Network provides a network of international consultants who connect Colorado companies to global opportunities. Colorado companies have access to international consultants in major markets including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan, UAE and China that provide valuable in-country market research.

These consultants can assist Colorado companies to:

  • Understand the opportunity for a product or service in their international market
  • Navigate the local regulatory and business environment
  • Identify potential in-market partners
  • Set meetings with potential partners and attend meetings upon request

Colorado companies pay $500 for services provided by the Global Consultant Network and OEDIT covers the remaining amount of the services. Learn more about Global Consultant Network here.

DIA to add nonstop flight to Paris, France

Denver International Airport announces its fourth, new international destination in three months with nonstop flights to Paris, France.

The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe and many other famous attractions in Paris, France will soon be a nonstop flight away for Denver passengers. On July 20, Mayor Michael B. HancockDenver International Airport (DEN) and Norwegian announced that the airline will begin offering nonstop service from Denver to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) beginning April 9, 2018, making this the forth new international destination for DEN in three months.

Currently, Paris is DEN’s largest unserved market in the world and DEN has the largest unserved market to Paris in North America. A recent survey conducted by DEN in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain French-American Chamber of Commerce showed that 74% of those surveyed would travel more frequently to France if there were nonstop flights between Denver and Paris.

“Paris is a global center of commerce and culture, and we couldn’t be more excited that Norwegian will be offering nonstop flights from Denver beginning next spring,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “This addition to DEN’s growing air service network further elevates Denver’s position as a global city.”

The new service will operate twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. The flight is scheduled to arrive in DEN at 6:15 p.m. and depart DEN at 8:15 p.m. It will operate using a Boeing 787-9 with 344 seats.

“It’s an exciting day for Colorado travelers who, for too long, have faced high fares and limited choices. This new route is a win for all of our customers,” said Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian. “Paris is a very attractive destination, for both leisure and business travelers alike. The response we have seen from the U.S. market for more affordable accessibility to European cities reflects the demand on both sides of the Atlantic. We are excited to continue our relationship with Denver International Airport, and be the leading airline in offering customers more direct flights and affordable long-haul travel.”

Nearly 200 people a day travel between Denver and Paris, ranking Paris as Denver’s second-largest market in Europe behind only London. The demand for travel between Denver and Paris has grown by more than 20% over the past year and is today at all-time highs.

“Securing nonstop flights to Paris has been very high on our priority list since I took over as CEO nearly a decade ago and this is a game changer for Denver,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “We expect that this new flight will significantly stimulate the already strong demand for travel between Denver and Paris, with the hope of increased frequencies in the future.”

With the addition of the flight to Paris, DEN is now served by 25 airlines including nine foreign-flag carriers that provide service to 25 international destinations in 11 countries, and more than 185 total nonstop destinations. In addition, DEN will have nonstop service to all 10 of our top 10 international markets, and 15 of our top 20 international markets.

Secretary of State, Wayne Williams Releases Second Quarter Economic Indicators Report

Colorado businesses saw a small dip in both new entity filings and existing entity renewals in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter, but increases over the same period last year.

According to the Quarterly Business & Economic Indicators Report, in the second quarter of 2017, a total of 29,728 new business filings were recorded in Colorado — a 5.9 percent increase over the same period last year. The first quarter of 2017 yielded a 9.3 percent increase year-over-year.

“New entity filing continue an upward trajectory, which is good news for our state,” said Secretary of State Wayne Williams. “There are now nearly 650,000 business entities in good standing filed with our office.”

The Quarterly Business & Economic Indicators Report looks at a variety of factors, such as energy costs, the labor market, and inflation. Through May 2017, home prices in Colorado grew at the third-fastest pace nationally (9.9 percent). Labor data continues to show weakness in employment growth in rural communities.

“At this time the national economy appears poised to continue the third longest expansion in U.S. history,” said Richard Wobbekind, Executive Director of the Business Research Division. “We see few warning signs that could derail this trajectory over the next year. Colorado’s economy is still holding strong.”

The Quarterly Business & Economic Indicators Report is published by the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder using data from the Secretary of State’s central business registry.

U.S. Bank deepens commitment in Denver area with new hires; purchases campus in Englewood

U.S. Bank is expanding its presence in the Denver area with a plan to hire more than 300 new employees and moving more than 400 other employees to a new, two-building campus located at the Inverness Business Park in Englewood, a suburb of Denver in Arapahoe County.

The expansion will begin with the welcome of new hires as early as October and continue into 2018. Existing employees working in a corporate office in Centennial will begin their transition to the new campus at the end of 2017, after refurbishment is complete.

“U.S. Bank has strong roots in Denver dating back to before Colorado was officially a state,” said Hassan Salem, market president for U.S. Bank in Colorado. “We believe in the quality of the Denver workforce, the strength of this state’s economy and our ability to continue to earn trust in this great state. This expansion allows us to build upon the faith our customers have in us to deliver a great experience.”

The new location in Englewood offers amenities such as a cafeteria and an updated fitness center. The decision to stay in the South Metro area was driven by the employees.

“We were committed to locating a space that would bring us together, be conveniently located for our staff, and provide amenities that boost comfort and productivity,” Salem added. “We believe we’ve achieved that and look forward to settling into the new offices.”

U.S. Bank currently employs more than 2,700 people in Colorado with expertise in personal banking, wealth management and business services. In addition to the Inverness Business Center in Englewood, U.S. Bank has offices in downtown Denver at 950 17th Street and more than 150 branches serving more than 930,000 customers statewide.

“Supporting the community and operating with integrity are priorties for us, and as a result, we’ve been recognized by Ethisphere as the only U.S.-based bank to achieve their ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ status for the past three years,” Salem said. “We care about this community, and it shows in the trust our customers place in us.”

Investing in the community through its Community Possible platform, U.S. Bank employees contributed 3,961 volunteer hours locally in 2016. In the same timeframe, U.S. Bank extended more than $90 million in community development loans, and invested more than $36 million in Colorado communities to provide affordable housing, encourage self-sufficiency and foster economic development. These investments include U.S. Bank Foundation grants, U.S. Bank corporate giving and nonprofit sponsorship as well as tax credit investments made through U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC).

Efforts to purchase the two-building campus were supported by Arapahoe County, the Denver South Economic Development Partnership and the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.

Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program: Now Accepting Applications

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced on July 10, it is accepting applications for the Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Grant program.  Proof of Concept and Early-Stage Capital and Retention applications are due Sept. 8.  Apply online here.

Proof of Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado, and other labs with valid technology transfer offices. These grants are for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation. Grants up to $150,000 will be awarded.

Early Stage Capital and Retention grants fund companies commercializing innovative technologies to create viable products that meet a market need and can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally. Grants up to $250,000 will be awarded.

Past recipients include Colorado companies and universities with technologies that could improve 3D printing, doctor/patient interactions and farming.  Applications are reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as by an industry-specific reviewer.

The AI Accelerator Program was created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries by helping drive innovation, accelerating commercialization, encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to early stage capital and creating a strong ecosystem that increases the state’s global competitiveness.

Colorado’s advanced industries include:

  • aerospace
  • advanced manufacturing
  • bioscience
  • electronics
  • energy and natural resources
  • infrastructure engineering
  • technology and information

The application process for infrastructure grants will open on Feb. 1, 2018 and applications will be due on April 1, 2018. Infrastructure grants provide state funding to collaborative projects that will have a broad industry-wide impact across one or more of Colorado’s advanced industries.For more information about the Advanced Industries Accelerator Program, including upcoming informational sessions, guidelines and grant cycles, click here.

Questions can be directed to Katie Woslager at  303-892-8760 or katie.woslager@state.co.us.