This month, Denver Shared Spaces chose to highlight The Commons on Champa for a few reasons. First of all, it’s hip and cool and serves up some delicious Luna Gourmet Coffee in its Innovation Lounge right around the corner from The Denver Center for Performing Arts. Secondly, as the child of a public-private partnership ourselves, Denver Shared Spaces gets what a creation like The Commons on Champa can do for small business and those brazen-entrepreneur types. The level of collaboration and partnership investment from multi-sectors is integral to supporting community innovation. Finally, Denver Shared Spaces strives to walk the walk as much as we talk about our love for shared space. In December, we are hosting a learning spaces event at, you guessed it, The Commons on Champa. In the many hats I wear as special projects coordinator, I wanted to see what the space would look like, how it operates and who would be in charge of day-of logistics for our learning event on “How Shared Spaces Support Small Business”. Jesse Shuler, Operations Coordinator for The Commons on Champa, was a delight! Jesse shared with me that he enjoys his job because all day long he gets to build community by getting to know people, what their interests are and potentially formalize a partnership with them to share space. Whether it is for your next community event, seeking desk space or hosting your next impromptu coffee meet-up in the Innovation Lounge, Jesse makes the process of booking and The Common’s website user-friendly and welcoming.
Jesse shared more with me about The Commons on Champa, which was founded by the Downtown Denver Partnership, The City and County of Denver and The Colorado Technology Association. As part of a larger 30 year-plan for the City of Denver, The Commons on Champa was created to be a public campus for entrepreneurship and a unique gathering place for the city’s diverse community of business builders and innovators. The building itself was once the downtown police station and has now transitioned to a shared space offering 20,000 square feet of hi-tech amenities, three community rooms, and The Innovation Lounge, a free work and community event space. The second floor of The Commons consists of co-working desks offered on a sliding scale fee for start-up tenants. It is such a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship that currently all of the eight office suites available are filled with the next great idea in commerce and social entrepreneurship. As set forth through the vision of its public-private beginnings, The Commons on Champa does more than provide space, it broadens community and economic development by creating a place where entrepreneurs of all different backgrounds can learn, ideate and progress forward toward their goals. Take its most recent launch of CAVE—Colorado Alliance of Veteran Entrepreneurs—which will be leading a 12-week entrepreneurship journey for Colorado’s robust Veteran community.
All in all, The Commons is quite an impressive innovation and entrepreneurship park. Since opening its doors in May of 2015, the Commons has seen 24,000 guests, hosted 350 events (85% of which were free to the public) and recently had 23 programs represented and 1,700 visitors during September’s Denver Start-Up Week. To learn more or check out upcoming events hosted at The Commons on Champa, including Denver Shared Spaces December 6 Learning Spaces Event on shared space and small business click here.