Governor Ritter Launches New Innovation Council

Gov. Bill Ritter established the state’s first Innovation Council to spur advances in Colorado’s technology sector. The council will be co-chaired by Silicon Flatirons Executive Director Phil Weiser.


Governor Ritter established the state’s first Innovation Council, bringing together 34 leaders from around Colorado. The Council is composed of experts from large, small, urban and rural technology businesses, as well as leaders in the venture capital, government, academic and nonprofit sectors. The council will have three primary subcommittees that will:

  • Assist the state as it reforms and improve its use of information technology;
  • Develop a strategy for spurring broadband deployment throughout the state, and;
  • Support state government’s economic development efforts for the technology sector.

The council will be co-chaired by venture capitalist Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group; entrepreneur Juan Rodriguez, who founded StorageTek and Exabyte; and national telecommunications policy expert Phil Weiser, who teaches law and telecommunications at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is executive director of the Silicon Flatirons Program.

In addition to Feld, Rodriguez and Weiser, three other tech-industry leaders also will serve on the Council’s executive committee: Cathy Fogler of Charter Communications; Su Hawk, president of CSIA; and Lee Kennedy, founder of TriCalyx.

“Our state must develop a robust and ubiquitous broadband infrastructure to support an array of applications that will transform how the people of Colorado work, learn and play,” Weiser said. “Deploying broadband to unserved areas of Colorado is a make-or-break issue for the state. We cannot afford to leave Colorado citizens or businesses behind as other states and countries adopt broadband connections and applications that catapult them ahead in the 21st Century economy.”

“Technology infrastructure is key for rural Colorado and will affect how we provide education, health care and business opportunities for decades to come,” said Council member Audrey Danner, executive director of the Yampa Valley Partners in northwest Colorado. “I am honored Gov. Ritter has invited me to join a group that offers such a broad range of statewide expertise to tackle one of the most important economic-development opportunities facing rural Colorado.”

The Innovation Council is expected to hold its first meeting this fall, with periodic recommendations submitted to Gov. Ritter beginning in 2008.

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