Collaborative by Nature
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 10/10/2017
A Commitment to Working Together Supports Success
There’s something different about Colorado. It’s more than our beautiful natural surroundings and abundant sunshine, favorable business climate and talented workforce. Companies and organizations share a commitment to working together and helping each other solve business challenges.
“We know that how we work matters just as much as what we work on. That’s why the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation looked to identify those values for doing business that set us apart,” Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kelly Brough says. “What they found after talking to hundreds of business and community leaders were values of inclusivity, collaboration, shared vision, leadership and responsibility. These are the values that make up what we call Colorado’s Civic DNA™. These values reflect who we are and how we aspire to lead, so when people ask, ‘Why Colorado?’ it’s because we’re committed to living these values every day.”
Perhaps the best people to answer the “Why Colorado?” question are the life science leaders who have built their companies here, relocated to our state from elsewhere in the country or reallocated assets to expand their domestic footprint in our backyard.
When you ask bioscience executives representing sub-sectors from across the industry, they talk about the value Colorado brings to their organizations. They say this civic DNA has influenced company expansions and relocations alike.
“It’s got a vibrant and growing local economy, companies are willing to help one another and the tax climate is an advantage.”
After living in Colorado earlier in his career, Segrave chose to move back when he was ready to launch his pharmaceutical company, focused on pediatric drugs.
As Mehmet Kazgan, CEO and co-founder of Cliexa, a digital health start up notes,
“People here come from different countries and cultures, but the community is so open-minded and inclusive. It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from – which state or country – you just become a part of the community really fast.”
Christopher Banas, CEO of Bio2 Medical, which recently gained FDA approval for its Angel Catheter device, chose to relocate his company from Texas to Colorado. He says, “I think Colorado has an advantage over a lot of other places because you have companies that aren’t necessarily in the healthcare business, but they’re in the semi-conductor business, so they know how to build clean rooms. I’ve seen a lot of other geographical areas that don’t have that and it is a challenge.”
Another notable highlight for the smaller companies is the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program – a matching grant program awarded by the state with $5.5 million dedicated to bioscience annually. The state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade runs the program, with support from the Colorado Bioscience Association.
“We have not only been funded by the AI Grant Program, but we recently received an important grant from the state of Colorado for an early clinical trial in the developing field of immunotherapy,” says Jim Chomas, CEO of Surefire Medical, which makes a delivery system for targeted cancer therapy.
Frank Segrave summed it up best when asked what advice he would give to a CEO or entrepreneur who is considering starting or relocating a business to the state: “Do it now,” he says. “It’s the best decision you will ever make.”