The Polis-Primavera Administration and the Global Business Development Division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced today that defense industry startup Nooks, a veteran-owned Classified-Space-as-a-Service leader, has selected Colorado Springs for expansion. Here, Nooks will open its third and largest national location offering flexible access to classified facilities and associated networks for use by industry and government partners.
“We are excited to welcome Nooks to Colorado Springs, creating 35 good-paying jobs and helping to enhance national security space. Colorado is a leader in innovation, and as more companies choose to move and expand here, I look forward to the continued success of our aerospace and advanced technologies industries,” said Governor Polis.
Nooks founders, who have experience in defense, government and emerging technologies, recognized that innovators often lack access to the physical and IT infrastructure required to move or work on classified data and systems. This slows the adoption of new technologies in national security. By providing classified facilities and networks, the company seeks to increase the pace of innovation and technology adoption within the nation’s defense sector.
Colorado Springs provides a central location for Nooks to service data centers across the country while also focusing on the western U.S. The company joins a growing number of more than 250 businesses focused on providing advanced technologies in national defense, global positioning systems, cybersecurity and satellite communications in the community.
“As the epicenter of national security space, we’re happy to welcome Nooks to Colorado as our collaborative aerospace and defense industry continues to grow with the addition of this innovative veteran-owned small business,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera, co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition.
“Colorado Springs is one of the centers of America's National Security Ecosystem. The City and State have done an exceptional job attracting America's best and brightest defense focused companies, so it was a no-brainer to make the Springs one of our earliest and largest locations,” said Nooks CEO Sean Blackman.
Nooks has secured rights to a facility near the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs campus and expects to infuse $33-37 million into the local economy. The 60,000-square foot facility will provide government, industry, and academia a secure space where collaboration or segregation of classified activities can occur simultaneously. Nooks is currently the only company authorized to perform this work on behalf of the U.S. Government.
“Nooks shares Colorado’s spirit of innovation and our commitment to advancing new technologies that benefit national security. We’re pleased to welcome them to the state’s growing aerospace and defense industry and the Colorado Springs community,” said Eve Lieberman, Executive Director of OEDIT.
In Colorado Springs, the company expects to create 35 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $165,942.86, which is almost 276% of the average annual wage in El Paso County. The positions will include site leads, security, and IT specialists.
“The entry of Nooks into the Colorado Springs market reaffirms the diversification, resilience and strength in our region’s defense and aerospace economy and the significance of Colorado Springs in the global security sector,” said Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer, President & CEO for Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC. “We are pleased to welcome Nooks to Colorado Springs to aid government and commercial partners in the provision of operational support to national security systems.”
"Nooks is another welcome addition to our region's dynamic business community," said El Paso County Board of County Commissioners Chair Cami Bremer. "Cybersecurity and emerging technologies supporting national defense are some of our fastest growing industries in El Paso County and Colorado. This new partnership reminds us that we are a top destination for businesses like Nooks and we look forward to adding these high-paying jobs to our region."
The Colorado Economic Development Commission approved up to $763,182 in performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits for Nooks, over an 8-year period. These incentives are contingent upon the company, referred to as Project Jade throughout the OEDIT review process, meeting net new job creation and salary requirements.
Nooks also considered Florida and California for expansion. The company currently employs 22 personnel nationwide, none of whom are in Colorado and 18 of whom are veterans or still serve in the National Guard or Reserves. Additional locations are National Landing in Arlington, Virginia and El Segundo, California.