Blazing an Entrepreneurial Trail

Maria Popo is trading in a career in cable modems and gateways to one that will be based at The Cable Center in Denver and focused on helping entrepreneurs and other members of the new media and entertainment industry in the area build and accelerate their businesses.

Popo, formerly president and chief business officer of Ubee Interactive and now founder of a startup called AMP10x, has teamed with The Cable Center on the creation of MediaAMP@TCC, a co-working center on the second floor of The Cable Center, which is located on the University of Denver campus.

Launching March 1, MediaAMP@TCC aims to provide a “curated collaborative” environment for its members. It will operate weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (MT), with special events in the evenings and on weekends.

Popo, who left Ubee Feb. 9, said the idea for the co-working space originated as she spent time researching technology education that can be integrated with entrepreneurship. That led to engagement with people seeking resources and skills in areas such as software and Web development who were priced out of full-time programs that could support those endeavors. Some startup entrepreneurs also prefer not to work from home, but still require basic business services. The MediaAMP@TCC community will also provide members with connections for other types of business-related requirements, including legal and accounting services.

“I knew there was a problem there that needed to be solved,” said Popo, who has been working with entrepreneurs as a “pitch coach” with accelerator programs. That led to a proposal to create a business incubator and the notion of a collaborative, community-oriented working space.

It was an idea that fit in well with some entrepreneurship and innovation ideas The Cable Center was already considering. The organization began to explore renting its second floor last spring and into the early summer of 2016 and saw some “clear synergy” with Popo’s proposal, The Cable Center president and CEO Jana Henthorn said.

“The timing was uncanny,” Popo said.

Henthorn presented the full concept to at The Cable Center’s board meeting last September, and it received unanimous support.

Under the partnership that resulted, a membership for access to the open area of the co-working space is $399 per month, and $499 per month for a dedicated working space. Members also get credits toward workshops and classes provided through AMP10x, which is designing and operating the overall program with input from The Cable Center.

In addition to the second-floor facilities, including the work space and speedy Internet access, members will also have access to The Cable Center’s other assets, including material from the Barco Library, in-house archives, access to virtual reality systems and the center’s audio and video production studio. MediaAMP@TCC members will also have access to “The Hub Lounge,” a gathering/focal point of the community, also located on the second floor of The Cable Center.

Popo has begun to reach out to contacts in the cable industry and the local entrepreneurial community about MediaAMP@TCC, estimating that the program can accommodate up to 75 people.