Colorado Launches Statewide Innovation Challenge

Competition designed to attract entrepreneurs in advanced industries

Governor John Hickenlooper launched of the Glorious Failure: In Search of Success Innovation Challenge, a statewide business competition that encourages creativity and responsible risk-taking.

The Glorious Failure: In Search of Success Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Governor and managed by the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), seeks to foster economic growth through innovation in seven “advanced industries.” Colorado entrepreneurs operating with less than $1 million in annual revenue are invited to compete for a chance to win approximately $100,000 in cash and in-kind donations to accelerate their business venture.

The seven targeted industries include: Information and Technology, Aerospace, Energy and Natural Resources, Infrastructure Engineering, Advanced Manufacturing, Bioscience, and Electronics.

“Research and development-focused companies in advanced industries are an important economic market for Colorado,” Governor Hickenlooper said. “This workforce currently drives 30 percent of the state’s economy. We want to encourage and grow these important industries, which provide quality, high-paying jobs for the people of this great state.”

The Glorious Failure: In Search of Success Innovation Challenge is designed to showcase promising early stage entrepreneurial companies determined in a way that extends beyond traditional indicators of success. COIN’s innovation competition incorporates the acceptance and tolerance of failure – a key factor in building and supporting entrepreneurial communities.

“The concept that failure can be a catalyst for success is being used as inspiration to find, celebrate and advance local innovators,” said Catherine Grassman, Executive Director of COIN. “The ‘Glorious Failure’ theme speaks to Colorado entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges and adversity to develop viable and innovative companies that advance the economic success of Colorado.”

COIN engaged with the lead sponsor of “Glorious Failure” – the professional services firm of PwC in the Rockies Market – for its strong ties with the Colorado business community and its advanced innovation capabilities.

“We’re dedicated to building a vibrant business community, which begins with an ecosystem that supports and celebrates local innovators,” said Katrina Salem, Managing Partner of PwC in the Rockies Market.

“Innovation Challenges are being successfully utilized globally to inspire, encourage, and promote creativity – a key component to economic growth,” said PwC Innovation Leader and COIN board member Mitra Best, who develops innovation challenges that mine the creativity and ideas of more than 35,000 PwC US staff and partners. “Innovation tournaments democratize the innovation process by allowing anyone, anywhere to propose a new idea. By leveling the playing field, we empower our people to participate in the growth and prosperity of our organization and communities.”

Entries for Glorious Failure: In Search of Success Innovation Challenge can be submitted through the COIN website and will be accepted through July 3, 2013. A panel of judges comprised of state business leaders and innovators will select up to four finalists, with an additional finalist selected by online popular vote during the entry period. Following the selection process, finalists will receive “pitch training” before presenting their proposals at the COIN Summit on August 29, 2013. At the Summit, a judging panel and delegation will determine the overall winner. The COIN Summit is a two-day, invitation-only meeting for 250 leaders from Colorado and around the globe to connect on innovation topics.

First place will receive $50,000 in cash, as well as $25,000 in-kind business services. Second place will receive $13,500 in-kind services, and the third place winner will receive $11,750 in-kind services. These services include legal assistance from Cooley LLP, community workspace from Galvanize, computer technologies such as e-mail and backup bundling or cloud storage from CenturyLink/Savvis, and video production services from Post Modern Company.

Funding for COIN and Glorious Failure: In Search of Success Innovation Challenge has been provided by leading Colorado businesses in the form of cash donations and sponsorships. Sponsors of the Innovation Challenge include: PwC, Cooley LLP, Galvanize, CenturyLink/Savvis, Post Modern Company, Zenman and COHN.

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SOURCE: Colorado Innovation Network