May 28, 2017 – GJEP is excited to welcome Erik Mitisek, Chief Innovation Officer in

Always Dreaming. Always Creating.

the State of Colorado, among the speakers at the 2017 Western Colorado Economic Summit. Erik has some experience with growing tech communities and will hopefully impart some wisdom as to how we can officially become the “Grand Silicon Valley”.

But how does one become Chief Innovation Officer for an entire state? Here’s a look at Erik’s impressive resume:

Throughout his 15+ year career, Erik has dedicated his work to building and accelerating companies and communities across  Colorado.

Erik is currently the Executive Director of Project X-ITE at the University of Denver. Launched in 2016, Project X-ITE is a campus wide cross-discipline initiative at the intersection of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship positioning DU as a global leader in higher education.

In February 2016, Governor John W. Hickenlooper appointed Erik to serve as Chief Innovation Officer of the State of Colorado. In this role, Erik oversees the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN), an initiative the Governor started in 2011, and serves as the organization’s Board Chairman.  He has been a board director at COIN since 2013.

Previously, Erik was the CEO of the Colorado Technology Association (CTA) where he led and represented Colorado’s technology industry through key public policy, legislative efforts, economic development and industry relations to ensure Colorado is remains a leading technology market in the United States.

Prior to his roles in public service, Erik held senior positions in the online software, luxury, consumer mobile, and online real estate industries. In 2010, Erik co-founded Next Great Place, a premium travel network backed by Trinity Ventures, to help online travelers easily book complex vacations online. Prior to Next Great Place, he served as CEO of an online software company Claremont Information Systems, led firm-wide business development and strategic relationships for Exclusive Resorts (a Revolution Company) and helped build XACT Radio, a world-class personalized online music company early in the 2000s.

Erik has been deeply involved in building Denver’s startup community since 1999. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Technology Association, was a Founder Institute mentor, is an alumni of  Leadership Denver Class of 2006, was a techstars mentor, he served as Co-Chair and on the Advisory Board of Startup Colorado and is a founder of Denver Startup Week (the largest free gathering of entrepreneurs in the country) and The Commons on Champa.

He is a proud Colorado native, calling Grand Junction his childhood home.

Erik graduated with a BSBA in Finance & Marketing from the University of Denver.