Leading Innovation In Downtown Denver–And Beyond

Situated in the heart of downtown Denver, CU Denver embraces our location in the center of one of America’s fastest-growing cities by creating new forms of social entrepreneurship, economic development, and transformative education. With nearly 70% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, solving challenges in our metropolitan areas is a social imperative and an opportunity for connection. We’re working to fuel inclusive innovation, collaboration, sustainability, and economic growth for Denver and Colorado. We’re also forming partnerships with business and community leaders to build sustainable physical spaces that foster open innovation.

Our commitment to, and progress in, building an innovation community following the launch of our strategic plan has accelerated with these actions:

Diverse Talent Pipeline at CU Denver

Whether it’s planning the state’s first open innovation district or beginning plans to construct a state-of-the art engineering, design, and computing building, CU Denver is on the frontlines of innovation, tech, and workforce development. Student Jackie Chacon Duarté knows all about building—it’s not only part of her major in engineering, but it also part of her family’s history. Read Jackie’s story below.

  • Continued to advance our partnership with the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance —a statewide organization that brings together government, businesses, and allied organizations to advance smart city investments and enhance Denver’s growth as a global city.
  • Joined the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities (HSRU) as a founding member a network of universities that aim to increase access the number of Hispanic doctoral students across our institutions and increase the diversity of the faculty pipeline across America.
  • Opened City Heights, an award-winning residence hall that provides an affordable housing option to first-year students, with integrated student services and proximity to jobs, internships, research opportunities, and more.
  • Partnered with Apple to strengthen local K-12 schools’ tech education through our Pathways2Teaching and P-TEACH programs.The partnership included an expansive Apple technology hardware package and support of student scholarships, curriculum development, and teacher training in K-12 schools throughout the Front Range.

Lynx in Focus

Jackie Chacon Duarte

Jackie Chacon Duarte

Bachelor of Science Candidate ’23, Construction Engineering and Management

During Jackie Chacon Duarte’s first week at CU Denver, the campus felt huge. As a first-generation student, she didn’t have a family member who’d gone to college to guide her through registering for classes, finding her way, and taking advantage of resources such as the Writing Center and Career Center. She wondered if she’d make friends and what the next four years would be like. And while all those things would still take time to figure out, almost immediately there were people on campus to help support her. Those connections, Jackie said, helped with the transition.