More than 11,000 entrepreneurs use Commons on Champa in its first six months

The Commons on Champa launched just six months ago to support entrepreneurship and innovators in Denver. Already it's provided services, 85 percent of which were free, to 11,569 people. They've benefited from more than 150 programs offered on the campus.

The Downtown Denver Partnership, Colorado Technology Association, and the City and County and Denver launched the Commons on Champa this year with fully 39 organizations. The organizations involved varied from local nonprofits to the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. In all the supports contributed time and financial resources of $2.5 million to restore the building and create the space.

"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," says 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."

In addition to serving as a center for entrepreneurs, the Commons on Champa served as hub during Denver Startup Week and hosted the local championship of the 1776 Challenge Cup. It's been a meeting center to foster discussions about the community and hosts an extension office for Denver's Office of Economic Development. It also released the Denver Entrepreneurial Resource Navigator. The navigator was designed link entrepreneurs to resources and partners to help businesses grow. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and U.S. SourceLink partners to help produce the navigator.

"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."

To continue to help grow the startup community, the Commons on Champa will host a mentor "speed dating" event on Dec. 15 aimed at aligning U.S. military veterans with Denver's growing startup community. It also will launch the "InCommons" Mentorship Program, in December. That program will connect entrepreneurs with some of the community's most successful business leaders, innovators and investors.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Read more articles by Chris Meehan.

Chris is a Denver-based freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. He covers sustainability, social issues and other topics.
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