Colorado Companies and Connections, Summer Edition

A huge shout-out to BEN companies and entrepreneurs who have recently been selected as Colorado Companies to Watch and as Finalists for this region’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards:

Colorado Companies to Watch  (Galvanize, Mobile Accord, Silvergate Pharmaceuticals, and Simple Energy)

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists (David Armitage, Cartasite; Chad Arnold, Door to Door Organics; Walter Knapp, sovrn; John Levisay, Craftsy; Yoav Lurie, Simple Energy; Bob Paulsen, PlayerLync; Frank Segrave, Silvergate Pharmaceuticals; Elia Wallen, Travelers Haven & Hotel Engine; and Dave Wright, SolidFire)

Many of you have seen the news that I will be joining the leadership team at the University of Denver as Dean of the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science.  (My discussion with DU Magazine is here: )

As Founding Director for BEN, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a little more context.

I’ve been extremely impressed by the new Chancellor at DU, Rebecca Chopp, whom we’re very fortunate to have wooed last year from Swarthmore where she had served as President for five years.  She and I and her team share strong convictions about the new roles for engineering and computer science in a liberal arts context; to the critical opportunity to deepen DU’s ties to Colorado’s entrepreneurial and civic communities; and to diversity.  If you haven’t met her, you should and will.

I remain personally committed to and passionate about the BEN initiative.  Our goal from launch has been to weave the network so completely into the Colorado community that it will be sustained by our collective efforts.   We’re well on our way.  We’ll be meeting as a Steering Committee, including Blackstone Foundation folks, in the coming weeks to finalize plans for future years, but please be assured that I will remain deeply engaged with this tremendous program. 

Happily – and not coincidentally -- my role with DU relates directly to the BEN mission.  In particular, I’ll continue to curate connections across Colorado’s most successful later stage private firms and serial entrepreneurs for BEN, and I’ll be connecting the DU platform more completely into that effort.

We’re in the early innings in Colorado’s development at the epicenter of entrepreneurship and innovation, and I couldn’t be more excited about our next conversations. Thanks for all you do for our great State!

JB HolstonComment