Senior Manager. Advanced Industries
Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDI
Katie Woslager encouraged local businesses to consider applying for state grants awarded by her office which began to support the state's business climate aggressively following former Governor's John Hickenlooper's initiative when he took office in 2013. She mentioned several success stories regarding innovative companies and organizations, like Colorado Spring's Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation which won two grants totalling $1.5mm.
Colorado also tries to support international trade with programs such as the Export Accelerator Grant and its Global Consultant Network in 16 markets including the UK, France, Germany, China, Japan, Brazil, Mexico and the UAE which is available to local businesses for only a flat $500 fee.
Colorado has also become a model for other states in its implementation of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) which helps local companies exhibit at global conferences.
To date the Advanced Industries has provided $60mm of funding, creating 1000 jobs in the process. The office grants $2-$5mm per grant cycle, each of which receives over 100 applicants. Given the traditional funding challenges small businesses face, Katie was able to give one example of a surprise success story involving a small company that had created an innovative process for managing the life cycle of utility poles.
Tom McClintock is the owner and founder of Relationship Martech.