EDCC & OEDIT Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award

Economic Development Council of Colorado & Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from
the International Economic Development Council

 

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 19, 2017) The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) won a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for its “How Colorado Came Together to Market Economic Development” campaign, a project in the category of Innovation in Economic Development Week (EDW) of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 17 – 20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the Economic Development Council of Colorado and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark.”  – Michael Langley, FM, CEO of GREATER MSP, Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN, and 2017 IEDC Board Chair

The mission for both OEDIT and EDCC is to increase awareness and economic prosperity for Colorado. The two teamed up this year to promote EDW. OEDIT created an Economic Development Toolkit that was specific to Colorado to help economic development organizations with their campaign promotions.
Campaign elements also included a press release from Colorado’s Governor pronouncing Economic Development Week in both a video and Proclamation, a blog from the director of OEDIT on LinkedIn, and a social media campaign populated by economic development organizations from around the state.
The goal of this promotion was to market and educate the importance of economic development organizations across the state. This opportunity brought together the economic development community, gave them a platform to share their economic development success stories and best practices, and to elevate their work within their communities.

“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Langley said.

 

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. Among many activities which benefit the economy, IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs and develop vibrant communities. www.iedcONLINE.org.

CO-LABS Announces Winners of 2017 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research

Ninth Annual Event Honors Colorado’s Top Scientists and Engineers for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society

CO-LABS has announced the four winners of the 2016 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research. Now in its 9th year, the event gathers scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials to celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs and institutions.

​“The projects in this year’s CO-LABS High-Impact Awards spotlight what makes Colorado a leader in innovation It’s terrific to see research advance its partnerships with the private sector. The range of crucial and profound discoveries coming from these labs are a national asset,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.  “I congratulate the scientific teams for their groundbreaking work and am excited to see the mark they will leave on our state and society as a whole.”

The winners will be formally recognized and celebrated Thursday, October 5, 2016 from 5:30pm-9:00pm at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard in Denver, Colorado. See more details on each project and REGISTER today.

2017 WINNERS: 

  • JILA and Dr. Tom Perkins’ New twists in the molecules of life
  • NIST  – Seeing More with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • NOAA/CU-Boulder/UCAR –  GPS Reflections: Innovative Techniques
  • CIRA – GOES-16 the New Generation of Geostationary Weather Satellite

Also for 2017 there are three Honorable Mentions:

  • USDA ARS – Sugar Beet research with High Impact in Colorado, the USA and the World
  • CIRES – Snow Research Improves Avalanche Safety, Water Resource Management
  • NOAA ESRL– Science on a Sphere and SOS Explorer visualization systems

See the full research and project details for each at www.co-labs.org.

“We are thrilled and truly honored to be recognized with the Governor’s Award for High Impact Research.  The vision of Drs. Keller, Geiss and Rice, to envision new and innovative ways to use a scanning electron microscope, coupled with their hard work at developing and validating the techniques, led to this impactful achievement, which has already resulted in broad scientific accomplishment and commercial success, said Dr. Jim Feteke, Chief of the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “Thanks so much to the CO-LABS Board of Directors and the Award Selection Committee for selecting our scientists for this prestigious honor.”

“Colorado has one of the highest per capita concentrations of federal science, research and engineering facilities in the nation, with renowned scientists whose research has global impact in a range of fields including agriculture, climate and weather, earth science, materials science, natural resource management, renewable energy, space physics and telecommunications,” said CO-LABS Executive Director Dan Powers. “This prestigious event provides a unique opportunity to connect with leading scientists, lab directors, business leaders and policymakers in an informal and celebratory setting, as we highlight the labs’ role in innovation and their significant contribution to the state economy.”

Started in 2009 by then-Governor Bill Ritter, this recognition effort starts with CO-LABS convening a special committee of academic researchers, technology transfer experts and science and engineering professionals to review nominations from the more than 30 federally-funded labs and research institutes in Colorado. Through a thoughtful and thorough process this group selects projects that have had a significant global, national or state impact resulting from a scientific breakthrough, change in public policy or development of a new technology.

15 Rural Colorado Communities Chosen for Second Round of Blueprint 2.0 Initiatives Designed to Boost Economies

Stephanie Copeland, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) along with local economic development professionals from around the state, gathered in Meeker on July 31, to announce the recipients of the second round of the Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives.

“Blueprint 2.0 is a great example of how Colorado is going above and beyond existing resources to support the needs of our rural regions,” said Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. “We congratulate today’s recipients and look forward to seeing how these regions leverage the new services and resources to help strengthen their economies and communities.”

Blueprint 2.0 leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the unique economic development goals of rural Colorado. Launched in 2015, Blueprint 2.0 is a bottom-up effort to turn regional feedback on local economic needs into a statewide set of initiatives to advance the economies of rural communities.

“OEDIT is committed to building rural economies through a variety of innovative programs and initiatives,” said Copeland. “We are excited to announce the communities that will benefit from the second round of Blueprint 2.0 initiatives and look forward to working with communities across the state.”

Recipients of the second round of Colorado Blueprint 2.0 include:

  • A Data-Driven Approach to Economic Development: Steamboat Springs
  • Brand Building for Communities: Logan County, Moffat County and Custer County
  • Community Placemaking: Hayden and Kiowa
  • Coworking 101: Sterling, Delta, and Rio Blanco County
  • Creativity Lab: Grand Junction and Grand Lake
  • Film and Major Production: Georgetown and Victor
  • Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry: Trinidad and Silverton
  • Tourism Promotion and Development: Leadville and Rio Blanco County

The second round of Blueprint 2.0 offered six new initiatives based on participant feedback and economic opportunities. Each initiative includes services not previously provided by the State, and leverages state resources and partnerships with organizations outside of the state of Colorado to provide technical assistance to regions who expressed an interest in pursuing the initiatives.

“We are excited to be helping communities address everything from placemaking and branding to housing and economic development,” said health and wellness champion and senior regional manager for regional development Meridith Marshall. “We had great success with the first round of Blueprint 2.0, and we are looking forward to the second round of initiatives and what they will do for Colorado.”

Many communities applied for Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives, and during the application process, communities and regions were asked to demonstrate collaboration, strong local leadership and solid support for the initiative they chose to pursue. Initiatives will be deployed between now and March 2018.

In 2016, OEDIT led 27 initiatives, of 10 different offerings, in 10 of Colorado’s 14 regions during the first round of the Blueprint 2.0 initiatives. The original Blueprint, conceived during Governor John Hickenlooper’s first term, was an overarching economic development strategy for the State.

 

USDA Colorado Rural Development Program Activity

Business & Cooperative Programs (BCP)

Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program:

Visitors to Silverthorne, Colorado will soon have another affordable option in lodging. The Pad Hostels, LLC recently was awarded a $4.5 million Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan from USDA.  The funding will allow for the construction of a 116 bed hostel in Silverthorne.  The hostel will be a unique addition to the community as it will partially be built out of shipping containers. Once complete, it will feature 12 dormitories, 10 private rooms, and 12 extended stay rooms.

Limon, Colorado will also be getting a new hotel. A $6.725 million B&I Loan was awarded to Oasis Hospitality, LLC for the construction of a 83 room La Quinta Inn and Suites.  The hotel will feature an indoor pool, fitness room, lobby workstation, market pantry, and a guest laundry. The project will create 25 jobs.

For more information on the Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program click here.

Community Programs

Community Facilities (CF) Program:

Construction is continuing at a rapid pace for the new Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley ReStore in Glenwood Springs, CO (pictured above). Once complete, the new building will allow the entity to consolidate three rental buildings into one location that they own.  The new location will also facilitate increased donations of construction materials and household items, divert more materials from the local landfills, and provide stable full-time jobs to community members who would otherwise have trouble finding full-time sustainable work in a tourism area.  The building will also include features to minimize its long-term life-cycle costs such as using energy efficient LED lighting and a Photovoltaic Solar Array.

Habitat for Humanity utilizes sales from the store to support its homeownership programs in the local community. Construction is tentatively slated to be completed in the Fall of 2017.

For more information on the Community Facilities Program in Colorado, click here.

Water and Environmental Programs

Providing financial assistance to help very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses is our goal. Good practices can save tax dollars, improve the natural environment, and help manufacturers and businesses to locate or expand operations throughout rural Colorado.  Funding is available for communities of 10,000 or less.

For more information on our Water and Waste Water Programs in Colorado, click here.

Single-Family Housing

Rural Development’s Direct and Guaranteed Loan Programs provide rural residents an opportunity to make a house become a home. Our Direct Loan Program provides a path to homeownership for low- and very-low-income families living in rural areas who would not qualify for conventional home mortgages.   Our Guaranteed Loan Program gives local lenders the opportunity to make home loans to eligible low and moderate income families living in rural areas. Providing affordable homeownership opportunities promotes prosperity, gives stability to families, and attracts new employees for expanding businesses. This, in turn, creates thriving communities and improves the quality of life in rural Colorado.

So far this year,1140 rural homeowners have found that special place to call home through Colorado Rural Development.   Remember, whether you choose a direct or guaranteed loan, USDA’s programs offer buyers a low, fixed interest rate, with no mortgage insurance or no down payment. For more information on our programs click here.

Last Housing Forum Scheduled This Month 

Don’t miss your chance to attend the final Housing Forum Colorado 2017 in Buena Vista on July 26th. The forums are sponsored by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA).  This is an opportunity for lenders, Realtors and other housing professionals to hear the latest program updates from Rural Development, Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration, CHFA, and Colorado Housing Assistance Corp.  Real Estate Professionals can receive continuing education credits.  For more information and to register visit http://www.chfainfo.com/hfc.

Multi-Family Housing (MFH)

Finding a place to rent that feels like home

USDA Rural Development provides financing for affordable multi-family rental housing in rural areas for very low to moderate income, elderly and disabled individuals and families all across Colorado.  We have financed 116 properties designated for either senior or family living.  Rural Development does not manage these properties, however, anyone interested in finding an affordable rental unit in a rural area in Colorado should click here to find properties in a county near them.

Funding Availability:

Rural Development publishes Notices of Solicitation of Applications (NOSAs) or Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register.  NOSAs and NOFAs provide program information organized in a consistent way to easily and quickly find information regarding Rural Development Opportunities.  For more information on current notices click here.

Currently the following application windows are open:

Community Facilities Program Technical Assistance and Training Grants – Applications due July 24, 2017

More information on this program can be found by clicking here.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Grant -Applications due July 25th

For more information click here.

USDA Seeks Applications to Help Socially Disadvantaged Ag Producers and Rural Business Owners – Applications due August 1, 2017

For more information on how to apply for this program click here.

FlexJobs and LCEDC Partner to bring new career opportunities to Logan County

The Logan County Economic Development Corp (LCEDC) is partnering with FlexJobs to help expand the career opportunities available to Logan County citizens. FlexJobs is a unique company designed to help job seekers looking for telecommuting or location neutral positions. There are thousands of jobs available from all around the world that can be completely performed from the comfort of your own home right here in Logan County, Colorado.

“We want to create new ways for our local citizens to elevate their career options, while having the ability to remain in the community,” Said LCEDC Executive Director, Trae Miller. “I am personally aware of several local citizens that are highly skilled and educated, but struggle to find the type of positions that fit their experience level in our local job market. By working with FlexJobs we can help plug locals into new opportunities to continue to support our local economic base with good paying jobs.”

FlexJobs is a job seeker site that subscribers pay to join for access to thousands of available positions in  disciplines in medical & health to sales to education to customer service to science. The cost to join the site is $14.95/Month or $49.95 for a year. However, the partnership with LCEDC and FlexJobs allows Logan County citizens to get 50% off a subscription. To get the discounted rate you must live in Logan County and contact LCEDC for the discount code at 970-521-7196 or Director@Sterling-Logan.com.

“FlexJobs is proud to be partnering with Logan County Economic Development to help engage its citizens in the remote workforce,” said Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, Sara Sutton Fell. “We believe the employment opportunities that remote work can bring to rural areas in Colorado and around the country can have significant, long-lasting economic potential.”

In addition to working with FlexJobs on the special discount, LCEDC is partnering with them to hold an online webinar on telecommuting opportunities and how to best prepare for those job offerings to ensure you are competitive for the positions. FlexJobs’ Senior Career Specialist, Brie Reynolds, will be presenting more about the concept on August 17th.

Kentec Communications Inc (KCI) is also working with LCEDC on the telecommuting initiative to offer a special Telecommuter Package and rate. The package is designed to support telecommuting workers with a high speed 50 Mbps internet connection and 1 phone line for only $58.98/Month for the first 12 months and free install valued at $75. According to CEO of KCI, Chip Powell, “KCI truly believes in this initiative to help locals find new ways to earn a good living in this community. This is a great place to live and often people are forced to leave for jobs that simply aren’t available here. If we can help people by offering a lower cost package to try telecommuting careers we want to do that to help this county grow and get stronger economically.” To get the special ‘Telecommuter Package’ through KCI, telecommuters must provide their FlexJobs subscription number and position they are applying for.

Telecommuting is a growing trend across the country and across multiple sectors. As Millennials have a stronger presence in the corporate and working world, traditional methodologies are changing. They value flexibility and social responsibility and both of those are addressed through telecommuting. This change can be a game changer for Rural America in places like Sterling, CO. Having these opportunities can open the community to a new kind of growth that we have never seen before. In a Denver Post article, 2015 data was quoted showing that in Colorado 6.9% of residents telecommute full time. That outpaced the national average by 2.6 percentage points according to FlexJobs’ analysis of U.S. Census data.

LCEDC is thrilled to help bring these unique job offerings to Logan County and help the community look into the opportunities that fit individual needs and skill sets. From entry level to executive positions, there are options for all job seekers.

Sterling, the largest City in Logan County, is the region’s commercial hub for over 60,000 area residents.

FlexJobs and LCEDC Partner to bring new career opportunities to Logan County

The Logan County Economic Development Corp (LCEDC) is partnering with FlexJobs to help expand the career opportunities available to Logan County citizens. FlexJobs is a unique company designed to help job seekers looking for telecommuting or location neutral positions. There are thousands of jobs available from all around the world that can be completely performed from the comfort of your own home right here in Logan County, Colorado!

“We want to create new ways for our local citizens to elevate their career options, while having the ability to remain in the community,” Said LCEDC Executive Director, Trae Miller. “I am personally aware of several local citizens that are highly skilled and educated, but struggle to find the type of positions that fit their experience level in our local job market. By working with FlexJobs we can help plug locals into new opportunities to continue to support our local economic base with good paying jobs.”

FlexJobs is a job seeker site that subscribers pay to join for access to thousands of available positions in disciplines in medical & health to sales to education to customer service to science. The cost to join the site is $14.95/Month or $49.95 for a year. However, the partnership with LCEDC and FlexJobs allows Logan County citizens to get 50% off a subscription. To get the discounted rate you must live in Logan County and contact LCEDC for the discount code at 970-521-7196 or Director@Sterling-Logan.com.

“FlexJobs is proud to be partnering with Logan County Economic Development to help engage its citizens in the remote workforce,” said Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, Sara Sutton Fell. “We believe the employment opportunities that remote work can bring to rural areas in Colorado and around the country can have significant, long-lasting economic potential.”

In addition to working with FlexJobs on the special discount, LCEDC is partnering with them to hold an online webinar on telecommuting opportunities and how to best prepare for those job offerings to ensure you are competitive for the positions. FlexJobs’ Senior Career Specialist, Brie Reynolds, will be presenting more about the concept on August 17th.

Kentec Communications Inc (KCI) is also working with LCEDC on the telecommuting initiative to offer a special Telecommuter Package and rate. The package is designed to support telecommuting workers with a high speed 50 Mbps internet connection and 1 phone line for only $58.98/Month for the first 12 months and free install valued at $75. According to CEO of KCI, Chip Powell, “KCI truly believes in this initiative to help locals find new ways to earn a good living in this community. This is a great place to live and often people are forced to leave for jobs that simply aren’t available here. If we can help people by offering a lower cost package to try telecommuting careers we want to do that to help this county grow and get stronger economically.” To get the special ‘Telecommuter Package’ through KCI, telecommuters must provide their FlexJobs subscription number and position they are applying for.

Telecommuting is a growing trend across the country and across multiple sectors. As Millennials have a stronger presence in the corporate and working world, traditional methodologies are changing. They value flexibility and social responsibility and both of those are addressed through telecommuting. This change can be a game changer for Rural America in places like Sterling, CO. Having these opportunities can open the community to a new kind of growth that provides options that we have never seen before. In a Denver Post article, 2015 data was quoted showing that in Colorado 6.9% of residents telecommute full time. That outpaced the national average by 2.6 percentage points according to FlexJobs’ analysis of U.S. Census data.

LCEDC is thrilled to help bring these unique job offerings to Logan County and help the community look into the opportunities that fit individual needs and skill sets. From entry level to executive positions, there are options for all job seekers!

Sterling, the largest City in Logan County, is the region’s commercial hub for over 60,000 area residents.

Amazon to open new fulfillment center in Thornton

City of Thornton announced on June 12, 2017 that Amazon, the electronic commerce and cloud computing company, is building a new fulfillment center in Thornton.

The footprint of the new building Amazon is working with Trammell Crow Company to build is 855,000 square feet, but the building will have three floors making it a 2.4 million square foot fulfillment and robotics center on about 80 acres at the Northeast corner of Interstate 25 and 144th Avenue.  Construction is set to begin in early June of this year with an anticipated opening date of August, 2018.  The facility will be different than the other fulfillment centers in Colorado because it will be an Amazon Sort Facility, meaning it will only handle product that is 18 inches and smaller and includes a large amount of robotics.  The facility is anticipated to employ over 1,500 full-time people with an increase for seasonal workers around the holidays.

“We are excited to continue growing in Colorado with the new Amazon Robotics fulfillment center in Thornton,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s Vice President of North American Operations. “This facility will utilize Amazon Robotics, vision systems, and more than 20 years’ worth of software and mechanical innovations. We are grateful for the support we have received from state and local leaders who have helped make this project possible.”

The 2.4 million square foot facility will be the largest industrial building in Colorado.  Given the short timeframe of just 14 months for development of such a large scale and innovative facility, the project required an “all hands on deck” approach from the development team in Thornton. Thornton’s business-friendly development process made this project possible in the timeframe allowed.  This includes the recently implemented Economic Significance program, which allows for administrative development review for projects in the North I-25 corridor.

“The city of Thornton is extremely excited Amazon chose to locate this state-of-the art facility in Thornton.  Amazon’s commitment to the communities where their fulfillment centers are located is impressive” said Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams. “They will be the largest employer in Thornton and represent the cutting edge of innovation in the e-commerce market.  This highlights what a great location Thornton is for Fortune 500 companies and will continue to advance Thornton’s employment center in the Northern part of the city”.

“The city of Thornton understands economic development and has the attitude and processes necessary to attract job growth,” stated Bill Mosher, Senior Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company’s Denver Business Unit. Mosher added, “Our original interest in this site was based on excellent access and strong demographics related to employment and growth. For a company of Amazon’s stature to select Thornton and this site, it is a testimonial of the future of the north I-25 corridor.”

“We are pleased to continue working with Amazon as it grows and creates jobs in Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Our talented workforce will have the opportunity to learn new, valuable skills with Amazon and work alongside innovative technology. We look forward to the great jobs with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits that Amazon will bring to the state.”

CU Boulder honored for positive impact of international students on nation’s economy

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented the University of Colorado Boulder with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony on May 22, in Washington, D.C.

The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. CU Boulder, the only institution of higher education to receive this year’s award, was specifically called out for prioritizing international education and doubling international student enrollment over the past five years.

“The University of Colorado Boulder has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion,” Ross said in his congratulatory letter announcing its selection. “The institution’s growth of employment tied to increases in the number of international students was also particularly notable. The University of Colorado Boulder’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

In total, Ross honored 32 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country with the President’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity outside of our borders.

While education is not considered a commodity by all, that perception is changing, said Larry Bell, assistant vice chancellor for global strategic initiatives at CU Boulder.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (left) presented Larry Bell, ​assistant vice chancellor for global strategic initiatives (middle), with the award in Washington, D.C. They are joined by Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Kenneth E. Hyatt.

“The trading of knowledge is something that is increasingly being thought of as an economic commodity,” Bell said. “The Denver World Trade Association featured knowledge and research innovation as a commodity in World Trade Day this year.”

Bell pointed out that international education is the seventh largest export industry in the U.S. At CU Boulder, 3,079 international students were enrolled in 2016–17, up from 1,643 five years earlier.

“It’s not just tuition we’re talking about,” Bell said. “These students also rent rooms, buy food, buy clothes, buy cars. They spend money outside of simply tuition.”

Nationally, international students have a $32 billion economic impact, he said. International students at CU Boulder contributed $106 million to the state’s economy last year and supported more than 1,600 jobs, according to NAFSA, the Association of International Educators.

U.S. companies and institutions are nominated for the “E” Awards through the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service, located within the department’s International Trade Administration. The U.S. Commercial Service helps U.S. entities expand in international markets by lending their expertise at every stage of the exporting process.

U.S. exports totaled $2.21 trillion in 2016, accounting for nearly 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 11.5 million jobs nationwide in 2015, according to the most recent statistics from the International Trade Administration.

In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Criteria for the award is based on four years of successive export growth and case studies which demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the company’s clients.

“One thing people consistently don’t fully appreciate is that international students contribute greatly to the local economy – in addition to the contributions they make in the classroom and the diversity on the campus,” Bell said.

» Read more: CU Boulder honored for positive impact of international students on nation’s economy | CU Boulder Today

>> Submitted by: CU Boulder, Office for Strategic Relations

Vertafore establishes headquarters in Denver; launches Centers of Excellence Strategy

Vertafore, the leader in modern insurance technology, announced on May 22, the launch of a Centers of Excellence strategy designed to further enhance customer service and accelerate innovation.

As part of this strategic investment, Vertafore is aligning with technology industry best practices of co-locating teams with specialized expertise to drive effective collaboration, improve speed-to-market, and provide innovative products and solutions to meet the evolving demands of customers across the insurance industry. Vertafore designated offices across North America as Centers of Excellence, each of which will house a specific product team or business function to provide the consistency and proficiency needed to deliver a superior customer experience. The company also announced that Denver will be the new location of Vertafore headquarters as well as a Center of Excellence focused on agency management and insurance knowledge base solutions.

Each Vertafore Center of Excellence will bring together agile teams to increase the speed of innovation. In addition to Denver, other Centers of Excellence are located in: Atlanta, Georgia; Bothell, Washington; East Lansing, Michigan; Greenwich, Connecticut; Pulaski, Tennessee; Windsor; Connecticut; and three Vertafore locations in Canada.

“We are launching our Centers of Excellence strategy because we want our primary focus to be driving customer success and producing increasingly positive customer outcomes,” said Amy Zupon, Vertafore Chief Executive Officer. “To achieve this goal, we felt that we needed to fully commit to aligning our business to be entirely customer-centric. We are confident that this strategic investment to unite our specialized teams in combined business units will offer significant benefits to our customers through speed of development, scale, and sharing of best practices.”

» Read more: Seattle-area insurance-software company is moving HQ to Denver | Denver Business Journal

>> Submitted by: Metro Denver EDC

Colorado’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Program Awards $2.9 Million to Technology Startups

The Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC) approved $2.9 million in Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) grants for 18 Colorado companies with technologies that will positively impact key industries from health to manufacturing. The program has awarded over $40 million since its inception in 2013.

“Colorado is a national leader in innovation and business startups,” said Office of Economic Development and International Trade executive director Stephanie Copeland. “The Advanced Industries Accelerator program is a key initiative in encouraging such activity within the State and we are thrilled to fund so many innovative organizations.”

The Colorado EDC approved 15 Colorado companies to receive Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital Grants for a total of $2,696,489. Additionally, three Colorado companies – Arthroventions, Optienz Sensors, LLC, and IM Therapeutics -were approved for second round or “transition” funding for $203,511.

Proof-of-Concept grants are open to Colorado research universities, federal labs located in Colorado and other labs with valid technology transfer offices for pre-commercialization research and commercialization preparation. 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.

The Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant program received 124 applications this grant cycle. Applications were reviewed by committees of business, technical and financial experts, as well as by an industry-specific reviewer. Of the applicants, 24 companies were invited to participate in a pitch session in April with the full AIA committee. Final recommendations were approved by the Colorado EDC on May 18.

The next application cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants will open on July 3, 2017 and applications will be due August 31, 2017. Infrastructure grant cycle will open Feb. 1, 2018 and close on April 2, 2018.

Approximately $40,773,560.79 from the Advanced Industry Fund has been granted since the inception of the program in 2013. To date, the program successes include the creation of 492 new jobs and approximately 593 jobs retained. Additionally, these funds have helped the technologies acquire an additional $200,353,734.29 dollars in grants and investments to further commercialize these advanced technologies.

The Advanced Industries Accelerator Program (AIA) was created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in Colorado’s advanced industries by driving innovation, accelerating commercialization, encouraging public-private partnerships, increasing access to early stage capital and creating a strong infrastructure that increases the state’s capacity to be globally competitive. AIA encompasses three distinct grant programs: Proof of Concept, Early Stage Capital and Retention, and Commercialization Infrastructure.

Awardees:

  • Astra, LLC – ASTRALiTe has developed a revolutionary lidar technology that penetrates the water, measuring the water depth as well as mapping underwater infrastructure, with a range resolution of 1cm.
  • Colorado School of Mines – Researcher- Dr. Nils Tilton- The objective of this proposal is to develop more efficient and sustainable methods of water treatment.
  • Colorado State University/CureImmune – Researcher- Dr. Amanda Guth – CureImmune is developing the first immuno-oncology checkpoint inhibitor drug (beta alethine, BA or 4cure™) that is a stable small molecule, inexpensive to manufacture, easy to store and ship and that can be administered at home.
  • Colorado State University/LaPorte Ag Therapeutics Researcher – Dr. Steven Dow- MucosImmune is a liquid, topically administered, next generation immunotherapeutic designed to improve on first generation injectable immune therapeutics for cattle.
  • Elementum 3D – will utilize an innovative reactive additive manufacturing (RAM) technology to develop and commercialize advanced new 6000 and 7000 series aluminum alloy metal matrix composites (MMCs).
  • GitPrime (Durango, CO) – is cloud software that provides productivity analytics for teams of software developers.
  • Living Ink Technologies – Living Ink has developed a solution that is a patent pending technology ink formulations using algae cells as a bio-pigments and other components that are plant-based for a sustainable, renewable, biodegradable and safe ink replacement.
  • Matrix Analytics – Matrix Analytics has developed LungDirect which provides real time data analytics, PCP and patient letter population, multi-disciplinary reporting, advanced nodule tracking, and more for lung cancer patients
  • Meadowlark Optics – The proposed work will set a new frame rate standard using our recently developed high voltage, large format 512×512 pixel SLM as a replacement for our low voltage, small format 512×512 pixel SLM (Spatial Light Modulators).
  • Molon Labe, LLC – Molon Labe has developed a new commercial aisle-widening staggered airline seat.
  • Mountain Racing Products (Grand Junction, CO) – Eko Sport, Inc. dba Mountain Racing Products (MRP) is a manufacturer of high end bicycle components and will be launching a new suspension fork line aimed at the new hub standard.
  • Rebound Technologies – IcePoint is a liquid sub-cooling product that plugs into legacy refrigeration systems, both new and retrofits, to boost performance of industrial freezers. Unmatched efficiency and control make IcePoint the future of refrigeration.
  • Solo-Dex- Solo-Dex Inc – is a medical device company founded by Colorado physicians to promote the use of nerve catheters for pain management by using Continuous Peripheral Nerve Blocks (CPNB) for orthopedic surgery.
  • University of Colorado – Denver Researcher – Dr. Randall Tagg- The work outlined in this proposal aims to develop systems for the industrial scale production of electronics-grade single-walled carbon-nanotubes (CNTs).
  • Vartega Carbon Fiber Recycling, LLC – Vartega creates strong and lightweight low-cost carbon fiber through the use of its patent pending chemistry-based recycling process.

>> Submitted by: Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade