The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and Economic Development Administration (EDA), in coordination with the U.S. Department of State and the Organization of American States (OAS), officially selected Colorado to host the 13th Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE) on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Serving as the lead applicant, Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation (Jeffco EDC), submitted the application in partnership with El Paso County as well as the City and County of Denver. ACE 13 will take place May 17-22, 2020.

ACE is the premier economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurial network of the Americas and is one of the leading events of the OAS. The ACE program is the core initiative of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC), for which the OAS serves as Technical Secretariat.

“We are proud to host the 13th ACE Tour and provide valuable opportunities for greater partnerships with the Department of Commerce, Office of American States, and global leaders,” said Mark Waller, El Paso County Commissioner. “Colorado consistently ranks as one of the best states in the nation to live and work; we have established a business-friendly ecosystem that promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and strong public-private partnerships that continue to advocate for a pro-business environment, increased job creation, quality education systems, and the attraction and retention of a well-trained, highly skilled workforce. We are ready and excited for this opportunity to showcase our great state.”

ACE brings together up to 50 senior-level government, business, policy, and economic decision-makers from across the Americas and beyond to experience first-hand the diverse range of projects, strategic investments, public-private partnerships, and best practices from a particular region’s economic, innovation, and entrepreneurship ecosystem. These global top leaders are selected to participate in the week-long program, tour innovation hubs, advanced technology centers, leading firms, and educational and research institutions, explore local, regional, urban, and rural economic development models, share experiences and knowledge, and build networks among the local and visiting stakeholders to enhance economic competitiveness in the Americas.

ACE 13 will display Colorado’s unique entrepreneurial and innovation assets. The delegation will tour leading innovation clusters in El Paso County, Jefferson County, and Denver County built around industries such as aerospace; bioscience; energy; outdoor recreation and technology, highlighting incubators and accelerators.

“We’re thrilled to host the 13th ACE delegation in Colorado, where the participants will have the unique opportunity to foster relationships and develop partnerships with Colorado’s leaders in advanced manufacturing, aerospace, energy, and outdoor recreation,” said Libby Szabo, Jefferson County Commissioner. “With over 300 days of sunshine a year, entrepreneurial activity around every corner, and the nation’s number one economy, Colorado is sure to be a premier host for ACE 13.”

“Our region has a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and we’re proud to join with neighboring areas to host our colleagues from across the Americas,” said Eric Hiraga, executive director of Denver Economic Development & Opportunity. “We look forward to uncovering synergies that will lead to more collaboration around ways we work together to grow our businesses, nurture the future talent pipeline and infuse our culture and values into all that we do.”

El Paso County will receive two days on the ACE Tour to highlight the region’s prime economic development systems, to include: military installations, cybersecurity economy, aerospace and defense companies, national sports organizations, manufacturing, healthcare, and outdoor recreation industries.

The County is grateful to Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, who collaborated with El Paso County on our region’s portion of the application and proposed ACE Tour schedule. This exciting announcement will allow the region to showcase the amazing activities that are happening locally on national and international levels.

For more information about the ACE program please visit: