Programs at The Commons

CO.STARTERS Core

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

Join Cohort #19

Our next Co.Starters cohort begins on October 20. Apply by October 11 to be considered!

What to Expect

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

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Session 1

Knowing Yourself: Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles
5

Session 2

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

5

Session 3

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

5

Session 4

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

5

Session 5

Building Blocks: Distribution, Revenue, Typical Offering, Price 

5

Session 6

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

5

Session 7

Discovering the Bottom Line: Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Even Point
5

Session 8

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

5

Session 9

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

5

Session 10

Sharing Your Story: Community Celebration

Who Should Apply

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

The Commitment

5

10 Sessions

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

5

Develop

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

5

Support

Support fellow participants in troubleshooting and challenging their assumptions.

5

Participate

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

5

Fieldwork

Complete “fieldwork” between sessions to develop your plans.

5

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.”

The Benefits

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Mentorship from some of Denver’s top entrepreneurs

5

Pitch refinement and the platform to share your business with a large community

5

Pro bono legal assistance

5

Joining Denver’s CO.STARTERS alumni network with over 150+ successful business owners

5

A community of entrepreneurs to lean on

5

Professional headshots

5

Professionally filmed pitch video

5

You’ll learn the structure of starting a business that you can use for future endeavors

Meet Our Grads

Katie Wall | Founder

“My business, TheCultureBiz, launched in July, 2020 amid the global pandemic. We were about to launch our business in May, 2020, when COVID hit, and we changed our model to help teams connect with play-based team building activities during this time of incredible disconnection. I was a member of CO.Starters Cohort #14, and the opportunity to learn step by step how to thoughtfully continue to launch my business was incredibly valuable and beyond helpful. Being a part of a cohort going through the same trials and tribulations was immeasurably helpful, and we have been able to lean on each other professionally and personally. The Commons has helped connect me to a network of supportive entrepreneurs and experts, given me skills and knowledge to help me continue to push forward with my business, and is just a stimulating and supportive environment.”

Meet Our Grads

JD Gonzales  | Founder

“After working out of my tiny downtown apartment producing videos for 6 months, I happened to step into The Commons out of curiosity. Little did I know they would become a community of great friends and the new home for my business Pendulum Productions (a high end video production company). Using the resources at The Commons, I was able to grow my business with trust and certainty that the people I surrounded myself with would support my endeavor in any way possible without any malicious intent. I’ve chosen to give back to The Commons community by facilitating a cohort in the CO.Starters program, providing a studio space and video production services for Denver Startup Week, filming with other companies in the space, and by regularly introducing new people into the community. Since being here, my business has seen enormous growth and interest because of the resources and connections. It’s even pushed me the extra mile to have confidence in starting a new leg of my production company called LivaLittle. A livestream, podcast, and video production studio hosted by none other than The Commons on Champa. I’m so grateful to be here, and look forward to growing professionally and personally in this fantastic community!”

Meet Our Grads

Juannean | Founder

“All Things Juannean is an online platform where I share my positive vibes through inspired creative professional & artistic works, & through my certified life coaching. Being invited into CO.Sstarters Cohort #7, helped me to understand the importance of having a target audience and making my approach and business concept, available for that audience to reach and clearly understand. After riding out the bumps of entrepreneurship alone, I was able to gain such a beautiful and deeply rooted place of gratitude for the CO.Starters program. Being around like minds and qualified coaches, inspired me to really focus on what I want to offer the world. Having the course material to use at my leisure has enabled me to continue refining my business concept long after my graduation.  The Commons welcomed me with a smile, free wifi, delicious coffee, and a safe-warm space to build what I’ve sacrificed so much for. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Meet Our Grads

Dustin Croniser  | Founder

“The Green Bus Cafe is a mobile cafe built inside of a 1976 VW bus. We serve superfood lattes, specialty coffee and vegan/gluten-free breakfast foods. I entered into CO.Starters in a crucial time of developing my business. I learned what it takes to build, manage and grow a business from the ground up! I am so thankful for the opportunity to take this course and so delighted that Denver has a program like this to help the small business community.”

Certified Facilitators

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

Program Cost

Application Fee: Free

Standard Tuition: $350, 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.

Tuition Assistance: Full or partial assistance available by request and based on financial need for applicants accepted for the program. If accepted and committed into the program with financial assistance, you are responsible for paying a minimum of $225 to cover the cost of materials budgeted for your spot in the program.

Program Dates

CO.STARTERS at The Commons is offered throughout the year. Classes are every Wednesday night for 10 weeks from 5:45pm to 9:00pm. The application is always open. If you’d like more information before applying, contact us to meet with staff, facilitators or alumni.

Currently CO.STARTERS is held with 2 sessions in person and the rest virtually via Zoom.

Cohort #19:

Application Deadline: October 11 

Notification Date: October 15

Session Dates:

  • Session # 1 – October 20
  • Session # 2 – October 27
  • Session # 3 – November 3
  • Session # 4 – November 10
  • Session # 5 – November 17
  • Session # 6 – November 24
  • Session # 7 – December 1
  • Session # 8 – December 8
  • Session # 9 – December 15
  • Celebration – December 22

MEET OUR PARTNERS & SPONSORS

Women's Investor Network
Women's Best Awards℠ Partner
Women's Best Pitch Awards

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.

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

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