News & Events | Events Archive

Jan 13

2015 Economic Forecast: Boulder & Beyond

The Economic Forecast: Boulder & Beyond is the annual economic and business outlook event that features nationally-recognized economists highlighting the most up-to-date forecasts for the Boulder, State of Colorado, and U.S. economies. Attendees have the opportunity to engage with over 250 professionals, including a who’s who of Boulder’s business, academic and community leaders.

Register here


Wobbekind cropped  

The 2015 Forecast will include the popular keynote presentation from CU-Boulder economist Dr. Richard Wobbekind, who will present his economic outlook for Boulder, the State of Colorado and beyond. In addition, Dr. Phyllis Resnick, lead economist with CSU’s Colorado Futures Project, will expand on last year’s presentation about the State of Colorado’s fiscal challenges.

Time and Location:
Tuesday, January 13, 4:00pm – 7:30pm

UCAR Center Green Auditorium

3080 Center Green Drive

Boulder, CO 80301

3:30 – 4:00 pm – Check-in/Networking

4:00 – 6:00 pm – 2015 Economic Forecast

6:00 – 7:30 pm – Reception and Networking

$55 General Admission, $45 Boulder Chamber members, $35 BEC members*, $65 at the door.
*Call 303-938-2091 for promo code

Register here

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Jun 19

BEC Member Meeting on Boulder’s Outdoor Industry, June 2014

June’s BEC member meeting was hosted by Product Architects, maker of Polar Bottle brand insulated water bottles. The focus of the meeting was on Boulder’s outdoor industry. Special presentations were made by:

Judy Amabile, President and Co-Founder, Product Architects, on the Polar Bottle startup and success story (see Judy’s presentation posted here)

Jon Rucker, Vice President, HEAD USA Winter Sports, on HEAD’s decision to move back to Boulder

Chris Hazlitt, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP, on the pioneers of Boulder’s outdoor industry, and on Active Boulder, the new local outdoor industry advocacy group (see Chris’s presentation posted here)

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May 21

2014 Boulder Economic Summit: Made in Boulder

The 2014 Boulder Economic Summit: Made in Boulder, spotlighted Boulder’s manufacturing economy and the key industries fueling our economic vitality. From aerospace and bioscience to natural products and outdoor recreation, manufacturing is one of Boulder’s strongest economic assets.

Over 25 Boulder manufacturing executives, entrepreneurs, advanced industries leaders, economic policy experts, researchers, and other distinguished speakers addressed the advantages, challenges and opportunities for Boulder’s manufacturing economy. Executives from Ball Aerospace, Celestial Seasonings, NREL, Corden Pharma, RealD, MBio, LASP, BI, New Sky Energy, CAMT, Boulder Soup Works, OEDIT, CU Tech Transfer, Polar Bottle, ColdQuanta, Boulder Chamber, FreeWave Technologies, Blue Canyon Technologies, Sundolier, and Xero Shoes joined keynote presenters CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano, Ken Lund, Director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and CU Boulder Economist Rich Wobbekind.

Program summary:

Economic Summit Opening Remarks, Dr. Phil DiStefano, Chancellor, University of Colorado Boulder – Chancellor DiStefano set the stage for the Economic Summit and highlighted CU Boulder’s diverse programs supporting manufacturing industries, from research and innovation creating new technologies and products for commercialization to recent advanced manufacturing grant funded initiatives.

Colorado’s Advanced Manufacturing Imperative, Ken Lund, Executive Director, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade – Executive Director Lund presented the keynote about Colorado’s leadership in a nationwide resurgence of advanced industries and manufacturing in the U.S. He described the Governor’s efforts to further elevate Colorado’s economy by competing to win federal funding for advanced manufacturing initiatives. Director Lund highlighted the administration’s leadership in partnering with the state legislature to increase financial support for advanced industries programs.

U.S., Colorado and Boulder Manufacturing Trends, Dr. Rich Wobbekind, Executive Director of the Business Research Division, Associate Professor of Business Economics and Finance, and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Programs at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder – Dr. Wobbekind introduced Summit attendees to the global trends affecting the U.S.’s manufacturing economy, and how those trends are playing out in Colorado and Boulder. He addressed the growing reshoring phenomenon bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. Dr. Wobbekind profiled the Colorado and Boulder manufacturing economies and the unique competitive advantages of our diverse manufacturing base. Dr. Wobbekind’s slide presentation may be viewed by clicking here.

Breakout Sessions

Advanced Manufacturing: Aerospace and Information Technology

Executives from Boulder aerospace and information technology companies described their experiences as local manufacturers, and offered their perspectives on the advantages, challenges and opportunities for manufacturing in Boulder.

Moderator: Scott Tibbitts, Vice Chairman, eSpace: the Center for Space Entrepreneurship. Panelists: Matthew Beckner, Vice President, Blue Canyon Technologies; Alison Medbery, Vice President, Ball Aerospace; Greg Veintimilla, Chief Technology Officer, FreeWave Technologies; Jock Waldo, Vice President, BI Incorporated

Advanced Manufacturing: Bioscience and Cleantech

This advanced manufacturing panel presented perspectives from leaders of Boulder bioscience and cleantech companies. Observations from both well-established, multi-national manufacturers and earlier stage companies headquartered in Boulder were offered.

Moderator: Chris Shapard, Executive Director, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association. Panelists: Dennis Kreller, Director of Quality Assurance and Customer Service, Corden Pharma Colorado; Deane Little, CEO and Chief Science Officer, New Sky Energy; Chris Myatt, Founder & CEO, MBio Diagnostics; Peter Novak, CEO, Sundolier

Consumer Manufacturing: Natural Products and Outdoor Recreation

Two of Boulder’s best known industries: natural products and outdoor recreation, were highlighted in our consumer manufacturing panel. A cross-section of home-grown business leaders and founders will share their insights about making consumer products in Boulder for a worldwide customer base.

Moderator: Bill Capsalis, Chairman, Naturally Boulder Board of Directors. Panelists: Judy Amabile, President& Co-founder, Product Architects/Polar Bottle; Kate Brown, Chief Soup Officer, Boulder Organic Foods; Steven Sashen, CEO, Xero Shoes; David Ziegert, General Manager, Celestial Seasonings

Manufacturing Research and Development

The manufacturing R&D panel examined the technology and product innovation that fuels Boulder’s manufacturing economy. Boulder’s research and manufacturing economies are inextricably linked, creating a virtuous cycle of new technologies, new products, new companies, and new capital that continuously advances our economic diversity.

Moderator: Patricia Rankin, CU Boulder Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. Panelists: Dan Baker, Director, CU Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics; Dana Christensen, Chief Research Officer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Rainer Kunz, President & CEO, ColdQuanta; Gary Sharp, Chief Technology Officer, RealD

Closing Panel: Sustaining Boulder’s Manufacturing Economy

The Economic Summit closing panel acknowledged the importance of the statewide ecosystem supporting our manufacturing economy. Panelists representing organizations that support Boulder manufacturers addressed manufacturing challenges and opportunities. They explored ideas to reinforce, even enhance, Colorado’s manufacturing ecosystem and sustain Boulder’s robust and diverse manufacturing economy.

Moderator: Frances Draper, CU Boulder Vice Chancellor for Strategic Relations. Panelists: Tom Bugnitz, CEO, Manufacturer’s Edge; Kate Tallman, Interim Associate Vice President, University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office; Karla Tartz, Deputy Director and Chief Strategy Officer, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade; John Tayer, President & CEO, Boulder Chamber

Presenting Sponsor CU Logo Smaller

Platinum Sponsor Elevations logo color

Gold Sponsor W. W. 300 DPI Logo 2013

Silver Sponsors BHGR LAW logo

Caplan and Earnest from internet


EKSH new logo 2013


Bronze Sponsors Ball logo-RGB-6in

Manufacturer's Edge




Guaranty Bank Logo Off Website


Polar Bottles

Xcel LogowithTag_VertHi

Boulder County from internet

BizWest_logo with Tag Line


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Jan 30

2014 Economic Forecast: Boulder & Beyond

The Boulder Economic Council and Wells Fargo Bank presented the 2014 Economic Forecast: Boulder & Beyond on Thursday, January 30, 2014.  The event was attended by 250 business and community leaders, and included a panel discussion on economic issues and a presentation by economist Rich Wobbekind focusing on the outlook for the national, state and Boulder economy.

Keynote Presentation: 2014 Economic Outlook – Dr. Richard Wobbekind, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Executive Director, Business Research Division, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder. Download presentation; 2014 Colorado Business Outlook report

Panelist Presentation: Josie Heath, President, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. Download presentation; Boulder County Trends Report

Panelist Presentation: Dr. Phyllis Resnick, Lead Economist, Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University. Download presentation; Colorado Sustainability Study

Panelist Presentation: Dr. William Farland, Senior Advisor to the Executive Vice President, Colorado State University and Past Chair, CO-LABS. Download presentation; Economic Impact Study: Colorado’s Federally Funded Labs

Media Coverage of Event

Economists: Local, state economies continue recovery, but budget woes could loomDaily Camera, January 30, 2014

Other highlights from ’2014 Economic Forecast: Boulder & Beyond’Daily Camera, January 30, 2014

2014 Forecast mixed with good and badBoulder County Business Report, January 31, 2014

Inside Boulder NewsBoulder Channel 8, January 31, 2014

Boulder on par to outpace state growthKUNC, February 3, 2014

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May 29

2013 Boulder Economic Summit

Sen. Mark Udall at 2013 Boulder Economic Summit

Colorado’s research institutions play a significant role in the state economy, and changes in federal funding and other challenges have the potential to weaken our competitive infrastructure. The 2013 Boulder Economic Summit focused on actions that can be taken to better leverage the state’s research assets, create a workforce ready for the future and build strategic partnerships between universities, government and industry. Over 200 industry, academic and community leaders attended the event hosted by the Boulder Economic Council at the Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado Boulder.

Video: Research Universities and the Future of America (YouTube)
Report Summary: Research Universities and the Future of America
Presentation: Research Universities and the Future of America
Presentation: Chancellor DiStefano’s remarks

Presentation: Bioscience industry overview

Related news articles:
Hope, fears collide at econ summit, Boulder County Business Report, June 7, 2013
Boulder Economic Summit opens with call to fight threats to Colorado’s economy, Daily Camera, May 29, 2013
Chancellor: Cuts imperil research at CU, Boulder County Business Report, May 29,2013
Gains cheered, pain feared for aerospace, Boulder County Business Report, May 29, 2013
Polis touts education, predicts less funding, Boulder County Business Report, May 29, 2013
Udall wants drone test site in Colorado, Boulder County Business Report, May 29, 2013
Boulder Economic Summit to tackle sequestration, budget concerns, Daily Camera, May 26, 2013
Summit to explore impact of sequestration, Boulder County Business Report, May 24, 2013
Federal cuts in focus at economic summit, Boulder County Business Report, May 20, 2013

Program summary:
Colorado’s research ecosystem: threats and opportunities, Dr. Phil DiStefano, Chancellor, University of Colorado Boulder – Chancellor DiStefano discussed the importance of university research partnerships with industry as well as state and federal government to help Colorado and the nation compete and prosper. He also provided insights on an array of challenges research universities face from unstable revenue streams to competition from foreign universities. He discussed how those challenges are weakening our competitive infrastructure and what we can do to change that dynamic.

Preserving the federal commitment to research, Mark E. Udall, United States Senator, Colorado – Sen. Udall discussed the significant contributions of Colorado’s research institutions and provided his perspective on the federal government’s commitment to research. He also described steps that need to be taken to enhance the nation’s leadership in innovation.

Research universities and the future of America, Peter Henderson, Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce, National Research Council – Mr. Henderson provided an overview of the report from a committee of academic, industry, government and research laboratory leaders convened by the National Research Council to assess the competitive position of America’s research universities, and moderated a panel discussion of key recommendations. Panelists included Chancellor DiStefano, Ken Lund, Executive Director, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Dr. Michael Martin, Chancellor, Colorado State University, Monisha Merchant, Senior Advisor for Business Affairs, U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet, Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President & Head of Space Systems, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Scott Sternberg, President, Vaisala, Inc. and CO-LABS Vice Chair

Concurrent Sessions – Panelists shared insights about current trends in the Aerospace, Bioscience and Cleantech industries including funding challenges, technology transfer and partnerships between businesses and research institutions.

Aerospace – Moderator: Vicky Lea, Aviation and Aerospace Industry Manager, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Panelists: Diane Dimeff, Executive Director, eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship, Dr. Dan Durda, Planetary Scientist, Space Studies Department, Southwest Research Institute, Cary Ludtke, Vice President and General Manager, Operational Space, Ball Aerospace, Dr. Stein Sture, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Colorado Boulder

Bioscience – Moderator: April Giles, President & CEO, Colorado BioScience Association, Panelists: David Brunel, Chief Executive Officer, Biodesix, Dr. Richard Duke, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, CID4, Mark Messenbaugh, Executive Director for Corporate Strategy & Development, SomaLogic, Dr. Dan Theodorescu, Director, University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cleantech – Moderator: Chris Votoupal, Deputy Director, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, Panelists: Loren Burnett, Chairman and Founder, US e-Chromic, Dr. William Farland, Vice President for Research, Colorado State University, Bill Farris, Associate Lab Director, Innovation Partnering and Outreach, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Dr. John Poate, Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, Colorado School of Mines

Building a workforce ready for the future, Jared Polis, U.S. Congressman, Colorado – Rep. Polis shared his insights, as a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, on the importance of investing in education to secure America’s economic future. He also discussed the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) pathways, graduate education, and international students and scholars in building tomorrow’s workforce.

Partnerships for advancing research and innovation – Panel discussion of actions that can be taken to strengthen connections and collaboration between research institutions, policy makers and businesses to address funding challenges and better leverage Colorado’s research assets. Moderator: John Tayer, President & CEO, Boulder Chamber, Panelists: Brad Bernthal, Entrepreneurship Initiative Director, Silicon Flatirons, University of Colorado Boulder, Tim Bour, Executive Director, Innovation Center of the Rockies, Frances Draper, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Relations, University of Colorado Boulder, Pam Reichert, Vice President, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, David Skaggs, Strategic Advisor, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, Former member of Congress

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