British culture and innovation on display at Colorado popup [VIDEO]
The UK has historically close ties with Colorado and those economic, educational, military and cultural relationships are only deepening
Illuminating British creativity, culture, economic impact and market potential, the Great Britain House took over the newly remodeled McNichols Civic Center Building March 14 – 18, with a collection of popup events. The aim of the programming was to promote the relationship between Colorado and the United Kingdom in business, politics, culture, science and innovation, drawing a crowd of local leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
"I think we have a lot of commonalities," said Erik Mitisek, executive director of Project X-ITE at the University of Denver and Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Colorado. Both locations have "thriving startup ecosystems. Colorado is consistently named one of the best places to startup [and] Tech City comes up in the UK as equal…" in the European market.
Patrick Davies, who works as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., descended on the Mile High City for the four-day celebration and shared estimates that roughly 200 British companies have roots in Colorado, employing nearly 15,000 people.
"Colorado's relationship with the UK is phenomenal," said Karen Gerwitz, president of World Trade Center Denver. "First off, the UK is the No. 1 investor in our state. Many people don't know that … Keeping our trade relationship with Great Britain is most important."
Last June, Britain vote on a referendum to exit the European Union, a historic event dubbed Brexit. The formal process of leaving the EU began in mid-March and is expected unfold during the next two years.
The UK has historically close ties with Colorado and those economic, educational, military and cultural parallels and partnerships are only deepening.
As an example, Golden-based HomeAdvisor announced March 27 they would be expanding into the UK, following the acquisition of major online home services company, MyBuilder, based in Great Britain.
Since 2009, Colorado exports to the UK have increased 56 percent to $221 million, and Colorado services exports to the UK have risen 33 percent to $1.3 billion. Sponsors and support for the Great Britain House came from Lockheed Martin, Denver International Airport – which provides direct flights between Denver and London – and Fitzgerald & Law.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also named March 16 UK Day at the Colorado Capital, presenting an opportunity for lawmakers to speak with British diplomats about trade with the UK.
Videographer, Jesse Barlow captured moments and perspectives from the launch of the Great Britain House. Check it out:
Great Britain House Launch from Jesse Barlow on Vimeo.