CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS4) – Colorado’s governor shared his experience as an entrepreneur before a national audience on Wednesday night.

Gov. John Hickenlooper spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., and described how he struggled during the recession in 1986 after becoming unemployed. He talked about how when he decided to start his brewery business — Wynkoop Brewing Co. — he knew he couldn’t do it alone.

“We were turned down by 32 banks and scores of investors. My own mother wouldn’t invest, but we got there because like so many other things, my business wasn’t just me, it was ‘we,’ ” Hickenlooper said.

The governor started out his speech by thanking lawmakers from both parties for their support during the tragic wildfires this summer in Colorado, as well as the movie theater shooting in Aurora.

“Thank you for your thoughts and your prayers. Thank you for your generosity to families who lost so much,” he said.

Hickenlooper also praised President Barack Obama for visiting Colorado during the fires and after the shooting and “bringing a message of support on behalf of the entire country.”

VIDEO: Watch Hickenlooper’s Complete Speech

“We weren’t Democrats or Republicans in that moment. We were simply Americans trying to help one another,” Hickenlooper said.

Hickenlooper said Colorado is “moving forward,” and that Obama’s policies are helping.

“He set a goal of doubling exports in five years, and so far they are up by almost 40 percent. In Colorado agricultural exports jumped by 59 percent. Overseas tourism is up by nearly 30 percent in Colorado.”

The governor also said that using more wind energy, solar energy and natural gas is helping to get America closer to energy independence, and that — of course — “even craft beer production is up 35 percent.”


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