Wednesday November 5, 2014 0 comments
Four more years.
It was an extremely close election, but Gov. John Hickenlooper was able to squeak out a victory over challenger Bob Beauprez on Nov. 4.
Normally, InnovatioNews steers clear of politics and partisanship. But in the case of Gov. Hickenlooper, we must declare we are very happy that he won reelection to another four-year term.
We believe Gov. Hickenlooper is one of the nation's leading governors when it comes to supporting new technology and innovation.
It's no accident that Colorado is regarded as one of the top states in innovation and entrepreneurship, and that reputation was solidified during Hickenlooper's first term.
One of the first items on Hickenlooper's agenda when he took office in 2011 was to create the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN). A privately funded organization, COIN represents Colorado's recognition of innovation as a powerful force for driving the state's dynamic economy.
Since 2012, there have been three COIN summits aimed at highlighting the amazing and ever-increasing innovation activity going on in the state, and in spotlighting successful innovation trends in other areas of the nation and globe.
But simply founding COIN and supporting its ongoing work has not been the only accomplishment of the Hickenlooper administration when it comes to encouraging the state's startup and innovation ecosystem.
With Hickenlooper's backing, in 2013 the state Legislature adopted the Advanced Industry Accelerator programs to promote industries driving economic growth, most of which are tech-focused.
Since its inception, the programs have awarded $8.3 million in early-stage capital and proof-of-concept grants, most recently nearly $2 million to nine recipients in September.
We are confident that investment will help young innovative companies get their products and services to the marketplace, creating good jobs and paying back that investment multiple times.
All governors want to bring new jobs and economic vitality into their states. But we believe Gov. Hickenlooper has set an example of the kind of governor who actively promotes his state's reputation as a progressive place where innovators with exciting ideas are truly welcomed.
Tens of thousands of new jobs were created during Hickenlooper's first four-year term - many of which were good-paying, tech-oriented positions.
No one knows how Colorado's vibrant, forward-looking innovation sector might have fared under a different leader.
But we do know that Gov. Hick has been a good friend to that sector, and we are delighted that he will stay at the helm of state government for another term.