Governor Hickenlooper announces Imagine Colorado winners

Turning school hallways into running tracks, after-school programs that help girls increase their self esteem and an app that gives kids awards for spending time outdoors could be the big ideas to make Colorado’s youth the healthiest in the nation. These are just some of the winning ideas of Imagine Colorado, a first of its kind statewide open innovation challenge that asked all Coloradans for their ideas on how to connect Colorado’s kids to a healthier lifestyle.

“The finalists who presented their ideas are exceptional examples of the creativity and advanced thinking taking place in our state, and we want to congratulate everyone who submitted ideas,” said Governor John Hickenlooper, who handed out the awards. “Coloradans came out in droves to help tackle one of our toughest issues, and we look forward to seeing just how these incredible ideas to make our kids healthier will become reality.”

Over 75 teams from 19 counties submitted their ideas online, and the top 10 finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of celebrity judges on May 17 while a live audience chose the winners. The ideas addressed issues such as Colorado’s growing childhood obesity rate and food desert challenges, and included unique ways to encourage physical activity and provide all Coloradans access to our Rocky Mountains.

Imagine Colorado Winners:

  • Adult Grand Prize ($5,000): Smart Fit Girls (Larimer County)
  • Adult First Runner-Up ($3,000): Pocket Playgrounds (Arapahoe County)
  • Adult Second Runner-Up ($2,000): LEAP Adventurers (El Paso County)
  • Youth Grand Prize ($5,000): Social Media Outdoor Youth App (Denver County)
  • Youth First Runner-Up ($3,000): Running Minds (Denver County)
  • Youth Second Runner-Up ($2,000): Sh-fat That (Arapahoe County)
  • Best Collaboration ($5,000): Discovering Nature’s Table (Conejo County) Submitted by Conejo Clean Water, Valleybound and Nature’s Table

Links to all winning videos can be found here: https://www.imagineco.us/en/showcase

Along with the cash prize, Imagine Colorado partner The Unreasonable Institute will provide each of the five adult finalists the opportunity to interview for the 2016 Unreasonable Institute accelerator program focused on early childhood. If accepted into the program, the participants will be provided world-class mentoring and given access to financing opportunities and a global network of support to help scale their ventures to the next level.

“Exploring ideas around youth and health is particularly important because not all Coloradans have access to healthy, affordable foods or the ability to walk safely to their neighborhood parks, playgrounds or schools,” said Shepard Nevel, President and CEO of LiveWell Colorado. “We have been impressed with the innovation and creativity of the ideas submitted to Imagine Colorado. The finalists are setting the stage for achieving healthier outcomes for all Coloradans.”

Imagine Colorado is presented by the COIN and LiveWell Colorado and is produced in partnership with The Colorado Health Foundation, Gary Community Investments, Unreasonable Institute, SkipsoLabs, Entravision and Comcast. It is also supported by more than 75 engagement partners from throughout the state. Used throughout the world by business, government and higher education institutions, innovation challenges shine a spotlight on a problem or opportunity and ask communities to provide ideas that can help build a better tomorrow.

For more information, please visit www.imagineco.us.

About The Colorado Innovation Network (COIN)

COIN is a public-private partnership launched by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2011 and is the leading global platform for innovative networks. COIN provides access to convene, connect and foster circles of exchange around ideas, talent, capital and the entrepreneurial spirit to strengthen economic development and diversity with the mission to make Colorado the most innovative state in the nation. COIN has a robust and highly engaged statewide network of innovation leaders in education, industry, startups, government and research. Visit Learn more at www.coloradoinnovationnetwork.com.

About LiveWell Colorado

LiveWell Colorado (www.livewellcolorado.org) is a statewide nonprofit organization committed to preventing and reducing obesity in Colorado by promoting healthy eating and active living. With the goal of eliminating health disparities and advancing health equity, LiveWell Colorado focuses its efforts on policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthy behaviors. Working in partnership with obesity prevention initiatives across the state, LiveWell Colorado aims to provide every Coloradan with access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation.