Colorado Innovation Network Announced

On November 28 Governor John Hickenlooper announced the creation of a public-private-academic collaboration called the Colorado Innovation Network. It will be headed by Dr. Ajay Menon, dean of Colorado State University’s College of Business. Menon will keep his day job at CSU while volunteering about 20 hours per week to the network.

In a press statement, the Governor said “We’ll work statewide with industry leaders to build a business environment which promotes innovative practices, creates jobs and grows our economy.”

Details are still scarce but conceptually the idea makes sense. Done right the Colorado Innovation Network will bring focus to entrepreneurship and the keys to fostering it, including identifying obstacles. In a brain-driven state with significant public and private research facilities and talent, anything that supports innovation is a plus.

Although extremely busy, Menon is a great choice as the first chief innovation officer and Gov. Hickenlooper has demonstrated business acumen rare in a governor. Money for the network will come from private sources and the program will be housed in the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade.