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The Colorado Technology Association is trying to live up to its name and become less centered on the Denver area by reaching out to technology businesses in Boulder, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.
To reinforce that message, CEO Erik Mitisek, who has been on the job just six months, was in the Springs Tuesday for the group’s first meeting here in five years, a meetup that attracted about 100 entrepreneurs and technology executives at Epicentral Coworking in the downtown area.
"We are trying to build the fabric between Denver and Colorado Springs. That means shifting from having sporadic programs in cities outside of Denver to including all of the nodes along the Front Range and building relationships that span the area from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs,” Mitisek said. "There are 10,100 companies in the state’s technology sector that make a $50 billion contribution to the Colorado economy, and only 650 of them are CTA members. We need to reach out to more of the companies in this sector.”
Mitisek said he hopes to schedule at least two CTA events a year in the Springs and have up to five representatives from area companies on the association’s 45-member board and has similar goals for events and board seats for companies from Boulder and Fort Collins. Two Springs area residents now sit on the association’s board: Jose Ruiz, former chief information officer of defense giant Raytheon Co., and state Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Colorado Springs.
"We intend to be a statewide association and that means being hyper-inclusive of the four primary economic drivers in the state,” Mitisek said. "CTA exists to advocate on behalf of the technology industry to have the best business climate for technology companies and to connect, collaborate and convene industry players for networking, business development, talent development and mentorship. By unifying the technology sector, we can put together programs to work the industry’s work force and talent needs.”
The group’s next event is a Day at the Capitol on Nov. 8, when members and others will hear about legislative issues, the economic impact of data centers on the state, how to grow technology businesses and how to increase the supply of qualified technology workers.
Mitisek has been a key player in the Startup Colorado, an organization that promotes and helps startup businesses, including putting together Startup Weekends during which dozens of entrepreneurs gather and try to turn a business idea into a viable company.