Gov. Polis Proclaims March 23rd Energize Colorado Day

In March, Energize Colorado turned two. As anyone on my team can tell you, I’m immensely proud of the work we have done and the impact we’ve delivered in those two years. 

Little did I our volunteers know that some of our co-founders and board members were working behind the scenes to have the Governor’s Office recognize our second anniversary with this proclamation:

As we head into year three, Energize Colorado has ambitious plans to deepen its impact through the Energize Community Program, including funding readiness, a community accelerator, and a low-cost loan program for businesses in East Colfax, SW Denver, Pueblo, and the child care industry.

Reflecting on these two years, I see serving Colorado as a natural progression from my experience as CEO of Cintrifuse, the public-private partnership that built a thriving innovation ecosystem in SW Ohio. Leading Energize Colorado has deepened my insights about regional economic ecosystems, how they perform under stress (such as a pandemic), and what is required for businesses to thrive now. It has underscored for me the necessity of lifting small businesses in rural or historically marginalized communities now and in years to come.

Looking further back, I see that the entrepreneurial mindset I’ve learned to trust over the decades—one that embraces big vision while maintaining the flexibility to find the right people and the path to achieve that vision–has served Energize Colorado well. I’ve leaned into strengths in digital innovation as well as my delight in connecting generous people who want to give back with opportunities to do so. This gives me so much joy.

Moving forward, I know that this unprecedented time and experience in launching Energize Colorado has strengthened my resolve to build a sustainable organization, one that leads with understanding and respect for Colorado’s small business ecosystem and remains eager to do our part to connect and collaborate with all who share a mission to lift our state’s underserved businesses.