Colorado State University turns Denver Startup Week green

Colorado State University is partnering to make Denver Startup Week (DSW) sustainable for the first year, with a focus on reducing waste at Basecamp, and creating resources for venue hosts to join the green initiative.

“The Denver Startup Week community is grateful for our continued partnership with CSU,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of Downtown Denver Partnership and co-founder of Denver Startup Week. “As our first-ever Sustainability Partner, CSU will help make DSW the greenest entrepreneurial event in the nation – in addition to the largest.”

CSU has been recognized as a leading performer in the Sustainable Campus Index for three years running, and most recently secured the top position in the Index’s public engagement category. The University is working with more than a dozen sustainability-focused partners and organizations to divert as much waste from landfills as possible through recycling and compost collection at DSW Basecamp Powered by Chase Ink.

“As one of the most sustainable universities in the world, CSU is privileged to work with Denver Startup Week – and many of our partners – to divert waste during the Denver Startup Week events, and to use this as an opportunity to educate attendees about sustainable practices,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System.

Get involved

  • Register for Denver Startup Week and build your schedule:
  • Volunteer to go for zero waste with the DSW Basecamp Green Team:
  • Post to social about your #DSWGreen efforts!
  • Attend a session at the CSU Denver Center.

For venues interested in going green, CSU will provide Green Venue kits with zero waste signage, guidelines, and sustainability tips.

“Denver Startup Week has grown a lot since Cottonwood Institute first attended in 2013, which is amazing,” said Ford Church, founder and executive director of Cottonwood Institute, who also helped spark conversations about making DSW sustainable. “As the event continues to grow, so does its potential environmental impact, and we are thrilled to work alongside some incredible partners to help reduce waste and encourage sustainable behaviors during Denver Startup Week in 2019.”

CSU has been actively involved with the weeklong event since 2012, and has a longstanding commitment to sustainability – offering nearly 1,000 sustainability-related courses across all of its eight colleges.

Student and faculty involvement

In addition to its sustainability initiatives, CSU will host six sessions at the CSU Denver Center (475 17th St., second-floor Atrium, Denver) throughout the week.

Scott Shrake, director of CSU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, will lead a panel discussion Monday with speakers from Ball Corporation, Slalom Consulting, Defy Ventures Colorado, The Nature Conservancy, and Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute: “Bracing for Impact: Building Businesses with People and Planet in Mind.”

“Sustainability is the backbone of what we do at CSU and in the College of Business,” said Shrake. “Our guiding principle is ‘business for a better world,’ and to have the opportunity to partner and foster that mentality at a game-changing event like Denver Startup Week is a natural fit.

“Our focus at the Institute for Entrepreneurship is on impact entrepreneurship, and it’s awesome to be able to help support the development of impact-driven entrepreneurs at scale,” he said.

Students from CSU’s Department of Journalism and Media Communication in Fort Collins will travel to Denver to cover DSW sessions and events throughout the week, and will work with reporters and editors from ColoradoBiz Magazine to produce news articles for both online and print publications.

On Friday, CSU’s Career Center will provide transportation for students to attend sessions and engage with Denver’s growing startup community.

About Colorado State University System

The Colorado State University System is comprised of three distinct universities: CSU, a leading public research university and the state’s only land-grant institution, located in Fort Collins; CSU Pueblo, a regional-serving campus and federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution; and CSU Global, the nation’s first fully accredited online university. The CSU System’s institutions serve nearly 60,000 students annually. Learn more about the CSU System and its institutions, projects, and partnerships at

About Denver Startup Week

Downtown Denver Partnership founded DSW with a small team of Colorado businesses and entrepreneurs in 2011. In 2018, the event attracted nearly 17,000 attendees with more than 400 sessions and events across the city – celebrating Denver’s thriving entrepreneurial community and showcasing the city’s growing culture of innovation. Learn more at