CU Denver Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Madhavan Parthasarathy engages with other 5280 Thought Leadership Forum panelists.

CU Denver Co-Hosts Second 5280 Thought Forum

March 4, 2024

If we grow and nurture our region’s biotech industry, green economy, and small business sectors, we can strengthen Colorado’s future prospects for economic success and sustainability.   

This was a key throughline at the second 5280 Thought Forum, which brought together higher education leaders, business experts, and community changemakers at the CU Denver Business School’s Jake Jabs Event Center on Feb. 27. At the event, 5280 editors moderated three panels with local leaders and experts in biotech, sustainability, and entrepreneurship, including CU Denver Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Madhavan Parthasarathy, executive director of the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship.  

CU Denver co-founded the event in 2023 to convene important dialogue on challenges fundamental to Denver and Colorado’s future. “The topics of these panels each represent amazing opportunities, and critical crossroads, where the quality of our ideas—and the partnership of people across education, government, industry, and communities—will make all the difference,” Chancellor Michelle Marks told attendees.  

CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks welcomes attendees to the 5280 Thought Forum.  


“We have a lot of myth-busting to do, in terms of transitioning to a green workforce,” said Shannon Jahn, green workforce lead for the City of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Resiliency, and Sustainability, on the 5280 Thought Forum’s first panel, “The Green Economy: A New Engine of Growth.”  


“COVID has changed the mentality of how you should run your business in order for it to succeed,” said Thoa Nguyen, owner, founder, and chef of Aurora bakery Banh and Butter, on the “Small Businesses: The Backbone of Colorado’s Economy” panel. 


“We want to be a beacon for great entrepreneurs from around the world,” said CU Denver Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship Madhavan Parthasarathy, executive director of the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, on the “Small Businesses: The Backbone of Colorado’s Economy” panel. “The goal is to attract the greatest innovative minds to Colorado and contribute to the ecosystem.” 


“All the ingredients and the recipe for success are here. And we’re continuing to build on those and solidify our position as a leading Life Science hub around the country,” said Elyse Blazevich, president and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association, on the “Biotech Industry: Health-Care Research and Innovation” panel.


The second 5280 Thought Forum at the CU Denver Business School’s Jake Jabs Center featured conversations on small business, the green economy, and biotech.