February 24, 2016 – Gov. John Hickenlooper announced yesterday the appointment of Erik Mitisek, Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Technology Association, as the state’s new Chief Innovation Officer and as the Chair of the Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) board. The appointment is effective immediately.
“We’re thrilled to have Erik Mitisek on board as our new Chief Innovation Officer,” said Hickenlooper. “Erik brings different strengths and a new energy to our efforts to grow Colorado as a global leader in innovation and technology. His strong background in tech will catalyze the partnerships between public and private sectors that will make Colorado the best place for innovation.”
Mitisek will oversee COIN to further support and elevate the state’s leading position in the global innovation economy, building on the momentum generated by the network in which Colorado is the epicenter of today’s innovation conversation. Under Mitisek’s leadership, COIN will focus on catalyzing Colorado business development through strategies that broaden connections on a global scale.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve Governor Hickenlooper and the State of Colorado in this exciting time of innovation and growth,” said Mitisek. “With technology and innovation leading all industries in Colorado, we are positioned to showcase the best of innovation and invest in programs that fuel innovation to impact growth. I am very honored to serve the State of Colorado at this important time, and to follow the great work of Mark Sirangelo – a true leader in the innovation economy.
Mitisek replaces Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems’ Mark Sirangelo, who had served as COIN chairman and Chief Innovation Officer since August 2013 and whose appointment ended in December 2015. “We are so grateful Mark was able to take the helm and lead Colorado’s innovation industry over the last few years,” said Hickenlooper.
As CEO of the Colorado Technology Association (CTA), Mitisek represents Colorado’s technology industry through key public policy and legislative efforts, economic development and industry relations to ensure Colorado is one of the best technology markets in the United States. The organization’s 45 person board represents the best of Colorado technology and over 50 percent of the IT workforce in the state and has close working ties with investors and entrepreneurs.
Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to building companies and communities in Colorado that have spanned over 15 years in the online software, luxury, consumer mobile, and online real estate industries – with a focus on innovation and early-stage companies.
In 2010, he co-founded Next Great Place, a premium online travel network backed by Trinity Ventures, to help online travelers easily book complex online vacations. Prior to Next Great Place, Mitisek 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.
Mitisek has been involved in and helping to build the Denver startup and innovation community since 1999. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Technology Association, as a Founder Institute and Techstars mentor, and served as Chairman of BuiltIn Colorado, and was a graduate of Leadership Denver Class of 2006 and served as Co-Chair of Startup Colorado.
Currently, Mitisek serves on the Information Technology Economic Development Advisory Committee for Colorado. He also is co-chairman of Quarterly Forum, a leadership development and civic engagement organization in Denver.
In 2012, as one of the founders and co-chair, Mitisek led the successful organization and production of Denver Startup Week, which was the first and largest event of its kind celebrating entrepreneurship in Denver. In 2015, the program attracted over 10,800+ attendees and was recognized as the largest “free” startup event in the United States. In addition, Mitisek was a founder and partner in leading the efforts of the The Commons on Champa – a 20,000 sq. ft. haven and resource center for those starting up and building companies in Colorado that opened in May 2015.