Venture College skills are learned and practiced through the “Lean Launch” methodology, including principles of “The Startup Owners Manual” by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf and the “Business Model Canvas” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur.

  • Content is delivered on demand through digital and traditional media.
  • Mentorship is provided by coaches and Venture College Angels … experienced entrepreneurial and business people.
  • Experiences through internships, teamwork, testing and experimentation.
  • Competitively awarded resources to support launching of enterprises.
  • Environment in downtown Boise with access to work and meeting space with Internet access.
  • Venture College “Badge” of completion is awarded to students upon demonstration of entrepreneurial skills and business model canvas practices.
  • Why Boise State?
    Boise State University is committed to helping students develop relevant skills so they can contribute actively and thoughtfully to the economic growth, societal well-being and vitality of their communities and the world.
    Boise State delivers education for today’s students using new proven practices such as:

    • Alternative learning environments.
    • Self-paced progress.
    • “Flipped classroom”
    • Custom digital platforms designed specifically for the methodology.
    • Rolling calendar.
    • Open to all majors.
    • Shares resources from other universities such as Stanford and MIT.
    • Skill mastery.

    Education at Boise State today has benefits beyond the students also:

    • University and business connections are strengthened, opening doors to future collaborations.
    • Businesses and the economy benefit from the development of capable entrepreneurs who bring experiences, talent, fresh ideas and tools to implement them in the workplace.
  • Why Lean Launch Pad?
    The Lean Launch Pad, taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, Caltech and adopted by the National Science Foundation, emphasizes experiential learning, a flipped classroom and immediate feedback as a way to engage students with real world entrepreneurship.

    Students learn by proposing and immediately testing hypotheses. They get out of the classroom and talk to customers, partners and competitors and encounter the chaos and uncertainty of commercializing innovations and creating new ventures.

    Your students will do, rather than plan to. Unlike many approaches to entrepreneurship education, Lean Launch Pad does not rely on static case studies or fixed models; it challenges students to create their own business models based on information derived from personal engagement rather than secondhand market research.

  • Why Develop Skills?
    Success in the 21st Century requires knowing how to learn. The term “21st-Century skills” is generally used to refer to certain core competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today’s world.

    21st Century learning means that students master content while producing, synthesizing, and evaluating information from a wide variety of subjects and sources with an understanding of and respect for diverse cultures.

    Students demonstrate the three Rs, but also the three Cs: creativity, communication, and collaboration. They demonstrate digital literacy as well as civic responsibility. Virtual tools and open-source software create borderless learning territories for students of all ages, anytime and anywhere.

  • Why Support Entrepreneurship?
    Traditional core competencies are still required. But today’s students also need 21st Century skills that include:

    • Learning and innovation: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation
    • Digital literacy: information, media and technology literacy
    • Life and career: initiative and self-direction, leadership, adaptability and accountability

    21st Century skills are essential to ensure students don’t go into the work force as mindless drones but rather prepared to launch a great idea of their own if they so choose. It prepares them to be leaders, innovators and possibly even future captains of industry.

    Current education leaders are focusing on how people can be “career ready” for the jobs of the future, which appear to becoming more entrepreneurial in nature. Career readiness is often defined as including not only the academic skills necessary for postsecondary entry, but also the ability to apply those skills in real-world environments, general employability skills like time management, and more job—or  industry-specific—technical skills and knowledge.

    Entrepreneurship provides an ideal platform on which to master skills that drive the economy today and tomorrow.

Venture College is a new model to develop and practice entrepreneurial skills.


Team Members

Kevin Learned B&W Portrait
Kevin Learned Portrait
Kevin Learned
Marilyn Bickle B&W
Marilyn Bickle
Marilyn Bickle
Assistant Director
Ed Zimmer Portrait
Ed Zimmer
Associate Director
Whitney Hansen Portrait in Black and White
Whitney Hansen Portrait
Whitney Hansen
Outreach Coordinator