Junction finds spot on tech map

Grand Junction is making a name for itself in the technology industry, and local innovators and businesses are ready for the rest of the state to take notice.

That’s the message a panel of local technology experts and entrepreneurs shared with a traveling group of state officials and Front Range professionals on Wednesday.

The Colorado Tech Tour made five stops across the state this week, talking to locals about the growing communities of technology industry.

“The one message I hope you take back to your communities is that Mesa County is in the game,” said Jon Maraschin, executive director of The Business Incubator Center. “We’re playing, we’re here, we’re growing and we’re innovating. We’re one of the regional ecosystems of tech, from Telluride to Craig.”

Aaron Young of Kaart Group, a company that collects map data for giants like Garmin GPS, Google and Apple, will spend next week driving through French Guiana and Suriname. But he still comes back to Grand Junction — in fact, Kaart Group is renovating the former Mesa County Administration building for a new headquarters.

“We’re hoping it will be a technology hub downtown,” he said.

Brian Watson, a founder of entrepreneur networking group Launch West CO, told attendees that technology work is unlimited.

“Tech is not an industry,” he said. “It’s a tool that applies to all industries.”

Andrea Young, chief executive officer of the Colorado Technology Association, said the goal was to continue the Colorado Tech Tour for years to come.

“We’re moving forward to make this an annual event and to help put Colorado tech stories on the map,” she said. “(We’re trying) to build a strong pipeline of tech talent for the future.”


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