MSU Denver Rocks the Community with Music, Fashion and Passion for Entrepreneurship


Posted Wed, Sep 18, 2013

Stephanie O.’s designs are modeled in between concert sets during the Center for Innovation’s “Own It” arts festival.

DESIGNING WOMAN: Stephanie O.’s designs are modeled in between concert sets during the Center for Innovation’s “Own It” arts festival. (Photo by Elizabeth Deluna)

DENVER — Snapping his beat like that of a swinging metronome Mayor Michael B. Hancock praised MSU Denver President Jordan for supporting the arts.

The University’s Center for Innovation partnered with Colorado Music Buzz Magazine along with several local sponsors and artists to celebrate entrepreneurship, including University student- and alumni-run businesses, for their arts festival dubbed “Own It” on Sept. 4, which featured a surprise visit from Hancock.

“If we don’t elevate the real importance that creative arts play in our community, then we will never be the world class city we think we are,” says the Mayor. “It starts with the arts, it starts with cultures. We need to make sure music remains a part of who we are.”

The event highlighted multiple student-owned businesses fostered within the Center for Innovation’s community-focused programs, such as CREATE Virtual Incubator and the Franchise Ownership Program, as one of their goals is to advise creative professionals on how to achieve entrepreneurial success.

It’s a vision that could greatly benefit the city of Denver as recent research by Forbes EY Voice suggests that 88 percent of entrepreneurs with mentors survive compared with a 50 percent failure rate for those without support. The study also suggests that high growth entrepreneurs tend to work in partnership with other business owners to create significantly more jobs than other entrepreneurs, which could significantly impact Colorado’s 6.9 percent unemployment rate.

The event boasted a fashion show in between concert sets from the Center’s student owned businesses such as their 2012 -2013 Entrepreneur of the Year Adrian Barragan, owner of The Denver Fashion Truck; and fashion designer Stephanie O.

The evening concert headlined by The Bunny Gang featuring Nathen Maxwell of Flogging Molly also hosted a variety of notable local bands including 2013 Westword Music Showcase winners Vices I Admire and James and the Devil.

“The dedication from local musicians is evident on and off the stage as many performers work to balance the art of their music as a business,” says Cindy Busch, Center for Innovation assistant director.

“However simple it sounds, you have to believe in what you’re doing and believe it to death,” says Dave Curtis front man for Vices I Admire.

Denver is home to over 44 concert venues, art galleries, fashion trends and fame-worthy locals so with passion like played into the mix, it’s no wonder the city’s burgeoning entertainment scene is home to a multitude of homegrown creative entrepreneurs.

About Elizabeth Deluna

Elizabeth Deluna is a Denver-area journalist and publicist at DeLuna Communications L.L.C.

View all posts by Elizabeth Deluna

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