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Entrepreneurial Skills in CS – Idaho Business Review

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Idaho Business Review’s Anne Wallace Allen reports on changes afoot at Boise State’s Venture College and the recent emphasis of CS student involvement in the College of Business and Venture College programs.

The article featured on the Idaho Business Review website (subscription required) and to be published in the next print edition, highlights these efforts to increase computer science student exposure to entrepreneurship.

Tim Andersen

Dr. Tim Andersen

In coordination with Venture College, the Department of Computer Science aims to give CS students the opportunity to be exposed to a business mindset. “When they get into the industry, a lot of them are working for startups,” notes Dr. Tim Andersen. “They’ll always be working for some kind of business. Having that business mindset and entrepreneurial mindset is going to be beneficial for anyone they’re working for, or if they want to start their own companies as well.”

Startups are a goal for Dr. Andersen and Boise State which has a crucial role to fill in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Former and current CS students to get in on the ground level of local startups include alumni Matt Monroe who helped create the Booklamp project (acquired by Apple) and current student Zach Richardson who co-founded BasedIn. BasedIn holds the distinctions of being the first Venture College project to receive outside capital and the first Idaho company to be accepted into Boom Startup, a well-respected startup accelerator in Utah.

Dr. Andersen adds “the other goal is the more well-rounded skill set [CS students are] developing.” Current industry feedback is highly positive regarding Boise State CS graduates. Industry lauds them for their technical abilities and knowledge of current technologies/principles however they don’t have much exposure to the business mindset. The current expansion and changes to the Venture College program will help students attain that mindset.