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The Marketing Department at MSU Denver is Open for Business

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Open for Business is a program, managed by Darrin C. Duber-Smith of the Department of Marketing in the College of Business, whose purpose is to serve students and members of the business community by providing marketing services to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations as well as practical work experience for marketing majors and minors. In 2008, his service was institutionalized as MKT 4520 Senior Seminar in Marketing, the capstone for marketing minors and an elective for majors, and also in professor-managed groups outside the classroom in the form of an internship.

Students work in teams to perform a marketing analysis and develop a strategic marketing plan in a real-world situation. In some cases, primary market research is conducted. Progress is monitored throughout the semester and corrections are made before presenting to the client so that students can demonstrate continuous improvement during the semester and the client can receive a higher quality end product.


We have serviced the following organizations since the program was formally enacted during Fall 2008:

A Loving Hand Assisted Living (Assisted Living) 2011

A Wynning Solution (Computer Services) 2010

Abbott's Frozen Custard ( Retail - Food Service) 2014

Action Jackson Car Wash (Car Wash) 2012

Alferd Packer Restaurant and Grill/CU Boulder (Food Service) 2013

Alliance Flight Training (Aviation) 2012

Altitude Sports and Entertainment (Sports/Entertainment) 2009

American Animal Hospital Assoc. (Association of Animal Hospitals) 2010

Apricot Lane Boutique (Retail-Apparel) 2012

Asante Publications (Publisher) 2010

Aspire Tours (Tourism) 2018

AKSU Gallery (Art) 2014

As You Wish (Event Planning) 2011

Back Country Pizza (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2011

B & B Basketball Academy (Sport Services) 2011

Baked Cookie Company 2015

Barbara's Floral (Retail-Gifts) 2009

Blue Shutterbox (Entertainment) 2014

Boomer Be Well (Self-Published Books) 2010

Brandon Parker Magic (Entertainment) 2017

By Appointment Only (Accounting Services) 2012

Campus Village Apartments (Residences) 2009

Coalesce Design and Fabrication (Custom Furniture and Remodeling) 2009

Colorado Mammoth Lacrosse (Professional Lacrosse Team) 2010

Colorado Rapids (Sports/Entertainment) 2013

Colorado School of Mines Athl. (NCAA Athletics) 2010

Colorado Ski and Sport Expo (Convention) 2008 and 2009

Colorado Sled Hockey (League for Disabled Athletes) 2010

Compass USA (Education) 2014

CoolHaus Works (Executive Recruiting) 2009

Coosemans Denver (Wholesale Produce) 2014

Country Fair Garden Center (Garden Center) 2014

Crimson & Gold Tavern (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2015

Critter Gift Shop  (Retail) 2017

Defiant Society (Retail Clothing) 2018

Degree Metropolitan Food and Drink (Retail - Food and Beverage) 2018

Denver Outlaws (Professional Outdoor Lacrosse) 2011

Denver School of Hypnotherapy (Health Care) 2012

Global Denver (Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Website) 2010

Doctor Relocation (Property Management and Relocation) 2008

Eaton Senior Programs (Assisted Living/Senior Services) 2011

Echo Mountain Ski Area (Sports/Entertainment) 2008, 2011

Environmental Consulting Services (Consultants) 2015

Family First Insurance (Insurance Service) 2013

Five J's Restaurant (Food Service) 2011

Flare & Square (Retail - Apparel) 2017

Frank Design (Internet Services) 2014

Front Range Volleyball Club (Camp) 2018

Garden of Eden (Plant Service) 2008

Global Shot Doctor (Sports Services) 2011

Hearten Creations (Jewelry Gifts) 2018  (Retail-Shoes) 2012

High Roller Group (Recreation) 2011

Honest 1 Auto Care (Automotive Services) 2011

IndiCard (Retail Services) 2013

Innovative Sound Solutions (Sound Systems) 2009

Jumpstreet (Sports/Entertainment) 2018

KMET Met Radio (Media) 2011

Level Terrain (Retail-Apparel) 2012

LifeRing Recovery (Health Services) 2018

LoDo Wellness Center (Retail Dispensary) 2014

LOKTE Method (Fitness) 2017

Mercury Pro Wrestling Academy (Sports) 2015

Metro Caring (Non-Profit) 2018

Metro Seen (Video Production) 2012

Metropolitan State University Athletics (Sports/Entertainment) 2010

Mile High Baseball League (Sports/Entertainment) 2018

MSU Denver Women's Basketball (Sports/Entertainment) 2011

MSU Denver Alumni Association 2014

Mi Tierra Restaurant (Retail Food and Beverage) 2017

Motycka Lawn Care (Landscaping and Lawn Care Services) 2010

Mr. Powdrell's Barbeque (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2012

Mustard's Last Stand (Food Service) 2013

Neck R's Bottle T Neckties (Retail Gifts) 2013

New Destiny Youth Services (Child Placement) 2011

Nielsen Wilson Design (Interior Design) 2011

NRW Sports Entertainment (Sports/Entertainment) 2012, 2013

Oak Street Tavern (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2010

One World One Water/MSU Denver (Academic Program) 2013

Ovo Films (Video Services) 2010

Passion Flower Design (Gift/Flowers) 2011

Pat's Bar and Grill (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2013

Premier Basketball Club (Sport Services) 2014

Progresh (Snow Park) 2012

Recycle Runway (Fashion) 2011

Redlaw Sauce Company (Consumer Product) 2014

Rialto Cafe (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2015

RMT Swimming (Sports Services) 2013

Rockies Luxury Limo (Transportation) 2015

Rocky Mountain Pro / Mercury Pro Wrestling Academy (Sport Services) 2017, 2018

Rocky Mountain Terror (Entertainment/Attractions) 2010

Rojas Acupuncture (Acupuncture Clinic) 2010

Rosarius Coffee (Retail Food and Beverage) 2008

Rustic Mountain Roofing (Roofers) 2011

Share Lingo (Education) 2014

Silver Spoon Homecare (Medical Services) 2010

Solar Roast Coffee (Retail Food and Beverage) 2013

Sparkles Laundry Services (Laundry Service) 2014

Sports Advantage Recruiting (Sports Services) 2011

Sports Sounds (Custom Music) 2009

Stan Natchez Art Studio (Retail-Art) 2015

Sterling Global Products (Consumer Goods) 2015

Steve's Snappin' Dogs (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2012

Stoney Creek Golf Course (Sports/Entertainment) 2014

Strange Brewing Company (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2014

Summer on the Snow (Education) 2012

Sustainable Living Road Show (Festival/Fair) 2011

T & A Wrestling (Live Entertainment) 2012

T. Galaxy (Retail and Wholesale Licensed Apparel) 2009 and 2010

Telluride Bud Company (Retail Dispensary) 2014

Tivoli Brewing Company (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2018

The American Way Market (Retail) 2015

The Pearl Group (Non-Profit) 2012

The Rav House (Retail-Food and Beverage) 2012

The Zone (Non-Profit Services) 2015

Triple Berry Frozen Yogurt ( Retail-Food and Beverage) 2015

University of Wyoming Football (NCAA Athletics) 2014

Vallagio Cleaners (Retail Services) 2015

Violet Stores (Retail-Apparel) 2009

Virgin Icons For You (Retail-Apparel) 2018

Waste Connections (Disposal Company) 2012

Web Force One (Internet Services) 2011

West Design House (Design Services) 2011

Western Deli Provisions 2012 (Food Distributer) 2012

Westminster Recreation Center (Fitness) 2013

Wheat Ridge Recreation Center (Fitness) 2013

World Cup Coffee Exchange (Retail) 2015

Wynkoop Brewing Company (Beer Manufacturer) 2012

Xtreme Gym 24/7 (Fitness) 2014

Yolkstar (Retail-Gifts) 2010

Zing List (Real Estate) 2017

Zone Denver (Entertainment Services) 2013

Zooch the Pooch (Twikeltopia) (Audio Children's Books) 2011


"The Open for Business program at MSU Denver has been a great asset for my business.  I was assigned a team who was involved and enthusiastic, asked the right questions and were able to work closely with me to put together a marketing plan with truly actionable objectives.  Each of their recommendations are sure to have a direct impact on the growth of my company that I am looking forward to implementing."

"It is an outstanding piece of Work, and we plan to implement almost all of the recommendations.  One key finding was the need for two marketing approaches . . ." (One World One Water Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship)

"I am amazed that your students, in just 4 months, have grasped an industry that I have been involved in for 35 years.  Their professional approach and enthusiasm for the task has produced a plan I can use for another 35 years and a plan that will be required reading for my entire management Team." (Mustards Last Stand)

"It has been so insightful and helpful! I will definitely use this information to grow my business." - Sylvia Salcedo Rojas (Denver Acupuncture, Denver, CO).

"I gained good information about the industry and my competitors as well as some very creative marking ideas, many of which I will be executing in the coming months." - Greg Schriener (Silver Spoon Services, Denver, CO).

"I believe the five of us were greatly enriched by the experience. It is very beneficial to read their analysis and recommendations." -Randy Stark (Yolkstar, Ukraine).

"I especially liked their quality research on CSM a an institution and athletics department." - Brandon Leimbach (Colorado School of Mines Athletics, Golden, CO).

"I am excited by the ideas the group presented for promotion."- Scott Gales (Boomer Be Well, Denver, CO).

"I felt the team did a great job and I will be implementing many of their suggestions." - Ty Bradford (Ovo Films, Denver, CO).

"Your students were very creative and supportive of the book, brand and project. Enclosed is a small donation to MSU Denver with my appreciation." - Boomer Be Well, Denver, CO

"It was a much needed eye-opener into my business and things I need to work on." - Emil Motycka (Motycka Lawn Care, Boulder, CO).

"The class was great for me. It's important to get real-world experience and actually utilize the skills you've been taught. The class really inspired me and cultivated my entrepreneurial spirit. I opened my business with a partner right after the semester ended and it's been very successful." - Rand Lemarinel (Web Force One, Denver, CO).

"Working with students was wonderful. They were very professional. They gave me so many useful tips and ideas, including setting me up with a patient database program that I would not have thought of on my own. And now I could not live without this system. It has revolutionized my practice. I am very grateful." - Sylvia Salcedo Rojas (Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Clinic, Denver, CO).

"They did a great job of really understanding the nuances of my rather unusual company and provided some really interesting suggestions." - Nancy Judd (Recycle Runway)

"I greatly appreciated the opportunity for engagement with the students, from whom I learned a lot. I write to note that based on my experience last spring, I would like to provide a donation to the Marketing Department." - Duane B. Lewis (Global Shot Doctor, LLC)

Here's how the program works:

  1. If your business has a challenge or project that may benefit from a consultation with our faculty, a class project, or training, please complete the Open For Business Application and fax to 303-556-3307 or email it to
  2. All applicants will be contacted after review.
  3. Selected applications will be assigned to a faculty member who composes a formal proposal after discussing the project with the applicant.
  4. The project is initiated once an agreement is finalized documenting the project’s scope, timeline, and resources.

Please contact Darrin C. Duber-Smith at 303.819.5445 or if you have any questions about the program.


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