On the surface, Avanti Food & Beverage is a food court. It opened this week in Denver and houses seven food counters. There's artisan pizza, Japanese noodles, and Mexican sandwiches inside an old industrial building. On Wednesday night, hundreds of people roamed around and settled at communal tables and couches to eat.

But Avanti is also a restaurant incubator where chefs aim to replicate the success of tech firms like AirBnB and Dropbox. Those companies hatched in a tech incubator in Silicon Valley.

Patrick O'Neill, cofounder of Avanti, and Tim Payne, one of the chef-entrepreneurs, spoke about how it works with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner. Payne runs Farmer Girl, which serves farm-to-table food.