This month, the Innovation Pavilion has been chosen as Northstar Commercial Partner’s “Tenant of the Month”. Innovation Pavilion (IP) is located in a four-story office building in Denver’s Tech Center, and serves as a startup hub for a diversity of entrepreneurs, ranging in age from Jr. High all the way up to seasoned business minds in their eighties. Through a variety of services, IP supports entrepreneurs with flexible real estate options, shared workspaces, mentorship programs, wifi access, and more.
The Innovation Pavilion is part of a national movement that believes technical and business education is lacking in America today. As such, the goal of IP is to help place people on the path of constant innovation and lifelong education.
Vic Ahmed, Co-Founder and Chairman of IP, is a serial entrepreneur and the visionary behind the company. Prior to IP, in both large corporations and startups, Vic earned a reputation as a visionary by articulating concepts and plans to investors, employees, partners, and customers alike.
“In 2011, we selected our building in Centennial for our first model because its location in south Tech Center puts it at the crossroads of big business and entrepreneurship,” Ahmed said. “Our location helps us to bring industry experts in to work alongside those who need help launching their business as well as encouraging partnerships between the entrepreneurs in the building.”
Northstar purchased the 80,000 square foot office building that the Innovation Pavilion is in during 2013, and immediately went to work on a variety of facility upgrades and improvements. Brian Watson, Founder and CEO of Northstar, facilitated the purchase of the building in large part because it housed the Innovation Pavilion and the future-driven vision of Ahmed.
“Vic and I share a deep concern about the direction of our education system in America and the mountain of debt falling upon students for degrees that often times don’t guarantee them a job after graduation,” said Watson. “The IP model can provide an excellent alternative to traditional education, and we are committed to helping the ideas behind IP spread across Colorado and the nation. We are also committed to helping entrepreneurs, as they help to create quality jobs and opportunity for all types of people.”
In 2014, entrepreneur Rachel Isaman selected Innovation Pavilion to house her company, MicroCap Marketing. Isaman says she chose IP not simply due to the tangible resources it could offer her company, but because of IP’s commitment to not engage in any activity unless it involves giving back to the community in some way. Put more simply, IP does not create business for businesses sake, but to also serve and give back to the individuals that exist in the space.
Isaman has since joined the Innovation Pavilion staff to serve as the director of IP’s education initiatives. Over the past few years, IP has launched several apprenticeship and corporate training programs to better prepare individuals with real skills, as well as connect them to good companies for long term employment.
IP’s K-12 Entrepreneurship Program adopts an apprentice model, where students as young as second grade identify and connect their passion with purpose in their local community. By identifying a community need they are passionate about early on, students have the opportunity to meet with community leaders and build an extensive network over the course of their primary years. In high school, they are connected directly with companies that work in their selected space, are tutored by a master apprentice, offered internship opportunities, and by the time they graduate have an extensive resume of real life work experience and often receive a full time job.
“My personal goal in life is to make sure this (K12 Entrepreneurship Program) is accessible to everyone from the bottom to the top,” Isaman said. “This should be accessible to everyone who is interested, as everyone should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. What’s so great about working at IP is that I actually have the ability and resources to do this.”
Innovation Pavilion also houses entrepreneur Michael Locatis, CEO of 915 Labs. Prior to 915 Labs, Locatis worked for the Obama Administration in the U.S. Department of Energy, and then as Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
915 Labs provides a new, innovative way to preserve food. The technology was originally developed by the U.S. Government for military meal use, but 915 Labs recognized its use in the food industry. Food companies have been using an intensive preservation method since the 1800’s known as the Retort Process, which requires high heat, additional ingredients, and significant time.
915 Lab’s method does not require the additional ingredients and uses a microwave process that takes significantly less time. This means that the new method can be used to preserve natural food without contaminating it into “processed food” with additional ingredients.
“915 Labs wants to help make Denver the capital of food sustainability,” Locatis said. “Innovation Pavilion’s commitment to service provides us with the environment and resources to efficiently serve our community and pursue this goal.”
Vic Ahmed noted that so many of these ventures are possible thanks to the continued investment from Northstar, providing an exceptional facility where these ideas can thrive: “The partnership of Northstar Commercial Partners and Innovation Pavilion has worked exceptionally well for both parties. We appreciate everything Northstar has done to facilitate our unique needs in the building”.
“Northstar is proud to feature an organization as extraordinary as Innovation Pavilion as our tenant of the month, and I look forward to our continued work with Vic and his team as we continue to find new ways to grow the strong entrepreneurial spirit found here in Denver and throughout Colorado,” Watson concluded.
Should you be interested in securing space at Innovation Pavilion, call (720) – 414 – 2157 or explore rental options at www.innovationpavilion.com/workspace/.
If you would like to lease office space at the building or another Northstar Commercial Partner’s property in Denver or throughout the U.S., reach out at: www.northstarcommercialpartners.com/contact/.