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Technology association looks to bring more Colorado Springs businesses into its fold

By: wayne heilman wayneh@gazette.com
October 31, 2013 Updated: November 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm
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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 Colorado Springs this week for the group's first meeting here in five years. The meetup drew about 100 entrepreneurs and technology executives.

"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. He has similar goals for events and board seats for companies from Boulder and Fort Collins.

Two Colorado Springs-area residents 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 next event for the advocacy and education organization is a Day at the Capitol, 8-10:30 a.m. 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. For more information, go to the association's website: www.coloradotechnology.org

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilman

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