The Commons on Champa

Making it Happen Together

The Commons on Champa is a nonprofit community resource and economic development initiative established to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in building an inclusive, vibrant local economy.

Our mission is to enable a diverse community of entrepreneurs to succeed in building new ventures in Denver that help to create a more inclusive, vibrant local economy.

Sharing experience, passion and vision together makes us strong. The Commons on Champa was established in 2015 as part of a shared vision to build a vibrant, inclusive economy for Denver. An anchor for Denver’s thriving ecosystem, The Commons is powered by the Downtown Denver Partnership with public-private support from the City and County of Denver, Colorado Technology Association, and many others. Since 2015, Denver has quickly emerged as the place where entrepreneurs want to be. Our city is rising to become the best place anywhere to make an idea reality and to launch and grow startups and The Commons has emerged as a nationally recognized model for economic development that embraces the power of entrepreneurship.

annual snapshot

%

Coloradans Start a New Business Each Month

Jobs Created by a Colorado Startup in 1st Year

%

New Businesses Founded by Underserved Individuals

Denver a Top “Rising City” for Startups

Entrepreneurial People Served per Year

%

Women, People of Color, Military Veterans or Economically Vulnerable

New Ventures Launched with Support from The Commons

%

Increase in Confidence Reported Among Commons Entrepreneurs

WHAT IS THE COMMONS?

The Commons stands at the crossroads of entrepreneurship and Innovation in Denver. Whether you’re discovering your entrepreneurial spirit, starting up, or seeking scale and growth, the next step in the journey happens here. Our Community & Workspace,  Startup & Small Business Support,  Programs & Events are open to the entrepreneurial public. We are an integrated resource for entrepreneurs and a proud catalyst for economic growth in Denver.

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

We are people from different backgrounds and experiences who come together to Give and to Gain. Those who Give come here to share best practices and ideas. Those who Gain become empowered and inspired to help others. You can be a part of it.

 

Donate

Our mission is to enable a diverse community of entrepreneurs to succeed in building new ventures in Denver that help to create a more inclusive, vibrant local economy where entrepreneurship and economic opportunity can thrive. We are a 501c3 nonprofit and your tax-deductible gift helps us provide free resources, space, programs, and community to fuel entrepreneurial ideas.

Meet Our Lead Partners

Ryan Heckman

Erik Mitisek

Brad Feld

Team

Kalen Acquisto

Manager, The Commons on Champa, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Downtown Denver Partnership

Kalen manages The Commons as an asset of our diverse entrepreneurship community. She creates strategies to advance the mission to inspire and accelerate entrepreneurship. She manages The Commons’ primary assets, including physical space, community, and entrepreneurial programs. Her previous experience includes running a business within Garage Project, a brewery that was named the fastest growing business in New Zealand where she helped turn brewery byproducts into marketable products. Kalen was also a Program Director for El Pomar Foundation, runs a photography business, and is a Spanish-speaker. 

kalen@thecommons.co

Kamiya Willoughby

Coordinator, The Commons on Champa

Kamiya manages the front desk of The Commons on Champa. Her duties include answering phone calls, leading tours, and guiding community members to the appropriate resources. She also tracks data that is essential to The Commons and manages Power Hours, The Commons’ mentor program. Prior to joining the Commons team, Kamiya served in the U.S. Air Force at Travis AFB for four years as a ground equipment mechanic, supporting aircraft, aircrew, and ongoing missions. During her enlistment, she was awarded The Air Force Achievement Medal for meritorious service. After her service, she moved to Denver to attend the University of Colorado Denver to major in Management & Entrepreneurship. Currently, Kamiya is a full-time student at UCD and co-owns SoulNia, a sustainably focused vegetarian soul food business, with her wife Tess. She also participates in cohort 19B of the Veterans in Residence program, a veteran focused entrepreneur group. In her spare time, Kamiya enjoys traveling, making constant upgrades to her new home and spending time with her wife and her dog and cat, Otis Redding and Nat King.

kamiya@thecommons.co

Lacey Hyde

Assistant, Innovation Programs

Lacey is responsible for coordinating the entrepreneurial journey programs at The Commons on Champa, which aims to provide resources and guidance to Denver’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs. In this role, she recruits and convenes mentors and startups to ensure that anybody who wants to start a business has the resources and opportunity to do so. Prior to The Commons, Lacey served as the Denver Startup Week Apprentice where she coordinated the venue selection process, created an accessibility plan for an event with over 20,000 people, and assisted in coordinating the Ambassador Program. Before working on DSW, she was an intern at the National Renewable Energy Lab where she worked in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center to connect cleantech startups to the investment community. Lacey is a recent MSU Denver graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic Partnerships and is passionate about connecting and growing Denver’s entrepreneurial community.

Programs

CO.Starters

Accelerate your business with this nine-week Co-Starters program.

Women on the Rise

 
Get the resources, expertise and community to build your businesses.

Power Hours

Get the resources, expertise and community needed to build your businesses.

Champions

 
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Resources

WorkSpace

Co-Working in the Innovation Lounge

Free work area. Free XFINITY Wifi. Free coffee.

Dedicated Desks

 
Longer-term commitment. Good deal.

Private Events & Meetings

For the innovative host.
 

Upcoming Events at The Commons

We host over 300 events annually at The Commons on Champa! Join the list and be the first to .

Want to host an Event at The Commons?

Conference and community rooms available for your workshop, training or entrepreneurial event.

Welcome to The Commons on Champa

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Visit The Commons

1245 Champa Street
Denver, CO 80204
720-484-5400
info@thecommons.co

Virtual Tour

The Commons on Champa is a 501(c)3 Managed & Operated by the Downtown Denver Partnership.