Programs at The Commons

CO.Starters Core

Accelerate Your Business in this 10-Week Resource-Rich Training and Mentorship Program

What to Expect

Insights, connections, resources, and tools to help you build a thriving sustainable business.


Session 1

Knowing Yourself: Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles

Session 2

Knowing Your Customer: Customer, Problem, Alternatives, Idea Testing 


Session 3

Finding The Right Solution: Solution, Benefit, Advantage, Starting Small, Brand Identity 


Session 4

Getting the Relationship Right: Marketing & Message; Getting, Keeping & Growing Customers


Session 5

Building Blocks: Distribution, Revenue, Typical Offering, Price 


Session 6

Structures & Systems: Business Structures, Licenses, IP, Hiring


Session 7

Discovering the Bottom Line: Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Even Point

Session 8

Financial Modeling: Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, Cash Flow, Raising Capita 


Session 9

Planning For Growth: Raising Capital, Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Storytelling


Session 10

Sharing Your Story: Community Celebration

Who Should Apply

Those who have started a business and are trying different things to find a model that works.
Those who know what works but are looking for support to scale or expand.

The Commitment


10 Sessions

Attend all 10 sessions. More than 2 absences may result in disqualification.



Develop your Business Model Canvas, a strategic tool to manage your business model.



Support fellow participants in troubleshooting and challenging their assumptions.



Participate actively in facilitated group discussions. Engage guest speakers, challenge your assumptions and talk to potential customers.



Complete “fieldwork” between sessions to develop your plans.


Special Circumstances

If special circumstances may prevent or limit your attendance, please let us know. We try our best to accommodate needs due to transportation, childcare and “day jobs.”

Meet Our Grads

Leontyne Ashmore | Founder

Leontyne Ashmore founded a line of fashionable minimalist footwear. She joined Co.Starters to prepare to launch Lisbeth Joe. The support helped her to exceed her crowdfunding goal by 3x.

Meet Our Grads

Anthony Lygoizos | Founder

Anthony Lygoizos transitioned from restaurant professional to co-found Leven Deli Co in the central art district. While working to secure a location, he leveraged CO.Starters to refine his market strategy. Leven was named Denver’s “Best Sandwich Shop” in 2019.

Meet Our Grads

Delanie Holton | Founder

Delanie Holton worked in school art programs before opening Craftsman & Apprentice, a neighborhood craft and workshop. She turned to CO.Starters for support in launching a line of project kits. Yelp now lists Craftsman & Apprentice as one of the Top 10 DIY businesses in the U.S.

Certified Facilitators

Trusted volunteer business leaders from the community and CO.Starters alumni are certified to co-facilitate the program.


Ira Coleman

CO.Starters Alum & Founder of Button & Zipper


Kerby Meyers

Principal, The Communications Refinery


Olivia Omega Wallace

Branding Strategist & Co-Founder, Wallace Marketing Group

Program Cost

Application Fee: Free

Standard Tuition: $300, includes facilitation, guest speakers, materials and refreshments.

*This nationally- recognized program normally costs $1,500 for each participant. However, The Commons mission is to offer programming, resources and the necessary tools to start and grow a business at little to no cost to further break down barriers, making entrepreneurship accessible to everyone. With the support of grants and sponsorships, we are able to heavily subsidize this program and cover the cost so each entrepreneur pays $300 for the full 10-week program.

Tuition Assistance: Full or partial assistance available by request and based on financial need for applicants accepted for the program.

Program Dates

CO.Starters at The Commons is offered throughout the year.

Upcoming Start Dates

 Cohort #15: 

Application Deadline: October 2

Start Date: October 14

Start Your Application

The application is always open. If you’d like more information before applying, contact us to meet with staff, facilitators or alumni.

Get Involved in Co.Starters

Become a Facilitator

Volunteers with business experience and a passion for helping others guide participants through the program.

Mentors & Expert Speakers

Experienced entrepreneurs and service providers contribute insights and feedback in each session.

Sponsor CO.Starters

This is no ordinary program. Philanthropic support helps to make it available to everyone.

Meet Our 2019 Partners

Welcome to The Commons on Champa

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Visit The Commons

1245 Champa Street
Denver, CO 80204

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