December 2, 2015

The Commons on Champa, a public campus for entrepreneurship in
Downtown Denver, announced that in its first six months of operation
11,569 people have benefited from more than 150 programs, 85 percent of
which were free to attend, designed to foster innovation and
entrepreneurship in Denver. The Commons on Champa (The Commons)
opened on May 13, 2015 to bring high quality programming, advanced
technology, networking and other resources at low-to-no-cost for all

The Commons was founded by the Downtown Denver Partnership,
Colorado Technology Association, and the City and County and Denver to
grow Denver’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and support
strategies in the 2007 Downtown Area Plan, the 20-year vision for
Downtown Denver, and Denver’s JumpStart economic development plans
to ensure Downtown is the best place for small businesses to thrive.

“The Commons on Champa opened as a first-of-its-kind resource that is
now a go-to resource for anyone looking to start or grow a business in
Denver,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver
Partnership. “With more than 620 center city startups employing more than
4,350 people, turning successful startups into thriving small businesses is
central to ensuring an economically healthy and vital Downtown.”

Other notable accomplishments from the first six months of operation at
The Commons include:

  • Serving as a hub for the fourth annual Denver Startup Week, hosting
    19 sessions for 3,144 aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Releasing the Denver Entrepreneurial Resource Navigator to provide a
    regional referral network linking entrepreneurs to resource partners
    who provide services to help business grow. The navigator was
    produced in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and U.S.
  • Artist Jennie Lou Art was selected by a panel of civic leaders in the
    community to install artwork in co-working space on the second floor.
    Comcast continued its investment in The Commons by awarding a
    cash price of $2,500 plus the cost of materials to bring original local
    artwork to the space.

“The Commons supports startups across all industries by emphasizing
inclusivity and implementing programming to support diversity in
entrepreneurship,” says Erik Mitisek, CEO of the Colorado Technology
Association. “The entrepreneurial ecosystem in our center city continues to
strengthen thanks to initiatives like The Commons, and we are committed
to providing the programming, resources and connections to help business
builders in our center city succeed.”

The Commons also hosts an extension office of the City’s Office of
Economic Development, which hosts programs and offers one-on-one
advisory hours at The Commons.

“Through The Commons on Champa, we’re proud to strengthen Denver’s
position as a premier city for startups and small business,” said Paul
Washington, executive director of the Denver Office of Economic

The Commons was brought to life through the support of 39 organizations
who contributed time and financial resources for the $2.5 million building
renovation, as well as installation of state-of-the-art technology and art
throughout the space. Continued community support, including recent
grants from the Boettcher Foundation ($25,000) and the JPMorgan Chase
Foundation ($60,000), remain a vital component of sustaining operations at
The Commons.

“Chase is deeply committed to Denver’s thriving entrepreneurial
community, and we are thrilled that we are able to continue to support
resources such as The Commons on Champa that are available for small
businesses year-round,” said Todd Munson, managing director and market
manager for the Commercial Bank in Colorado for JPMorgan Chase.
The Commons also announced:

  • The “InCommons” Mentorship Program, which will launch in mid-
    December, will give up-and-coming entrepreneurs an opportunity to
    connect one-on-one with some of the community’s most successful
    business leaders, innovators and investors. The program is being
    sponsored by renowned Colorado entrepreneur Brad Feld and will be
    managed through Uvise, a Colorado-based startup.
  • Winners for the local competition for the 1776 Challenge Cup, a
    worldwide tournament for the most promising, world-changing startups
    to win cash prizes that was held at The Commons on Nov. 24, included
    Mcsquares, Prima-Temp and
  • On Dec. 15, The Commons will host a mentor “speed dating” event
    aimed at aligning U.S. military veterans with Denver’s growing startup
  • Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network (BEN), which connects
    entrepreneurs with high growth companies, and Innosphere, a nonprofit
    incubator focused on supporting entrepreneurs in cleantech, software,
    biosciences and digital health, re-located to the second floor of The
    Commons, which offers dedicated co-working space for nonprofits. Forprofit
    startups can also rent desk space on the second floor in the new
    “Innovation Launchpad.”

“The Commons on Champa represents the next stage in building our
entrepreneurial community,” says Phil Weiser, Dean of the Law School,
Thomson Professor of Law and Executive Director and Founder of the
Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (which
hosts the BEN) at the University of Colorado. “It is a place where
companies and individuals at all stages in their venture can find the help
and support they need. We are excited to be a part of this new effort to
support and celebrate our state’s future business leaders.”

Additional information is available in The Commons Impact Report and full
list of programming and events, as well as information to rent conference
rooms, event or office space at The Commons, can be found at

About The Commons on Champa
The Commons on Champa is a first-of-its-kind public, private and nonprofit
partnership that is a catalyst for economic development in Denver. It is built
on three key elements – space, programming and community – to
accelerate Downtown Denver’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
As a unique gathering place for Denver’s diverse community of business
builders and innovators, The Commons emphasizes inclusivity and
expands access for entrepreneurs in all industries through high quality
programming, advanced technology, networking and other resources at
low- to no-cost. The Commons was founded by the Downtown Denver
Partnership, Colorado Technology Association and the City of County of

Denver and with the support of 39 organizations who contributed time,
resources and financial contributions including platinum partners Comcast,
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Quarterly Forum and Liberty Global. For more
information visit