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COBE, Venture College Play Large Role in Boise’s Startup Week

Idaho’s largest entrepreneur-centered event, Boise Startup Week, marks its third year Oct. 17-19 with an array of startup-related events in downtown Boise.

Activities include a recruiting social, a block party, panel discussions, breakout sessions and a new Technology Pitch Competition featuring a $10,000 prize. For a full schedule, visit the Boise Startup Week web page. Organizers are encouraging early registration, as sessions are expected to fill up.

Many Boise State faculty, staff and students are involved in Boise Startup Week, including leaders from the computer science department, the College of Business and Economics (COBE), and the Venture College.

“Computer science faculty, alumni and students are contributing in several sessions,” said Amit Jain, chair of the computer science department. “With a hundred-plus graduates a year, the computer science department is a significant contributor to many local startups.”

In addition, John Williamson, the executive director in residence at COBE, and his program the COBE Funding Accelerator – powered by – provided hundreds of volunteer hours to eight Idaho-based companies competing for $10,000 in Boise Startup Week’s Technology Pitch Competition.

The COBE Funding Accelerator is available to Idaho entrepreneurs as a resource to engage with the business investment community. Working with entrepreneurial founders and best-in-class mentors, student interns gain invaluable experience in early-stage funding of new enterprises.

Boise State’s Venture College collaborated with Trailhead, the downtown Boise coworking space, to introduce a new event called TrailMix. This event showcases innovative products, entrepreneurs and ideas from food companies around the Northwest.

Several Venture College student residents and alumni are competing in this year’s pitch competition.

The Venture College Pitch Training Center will serve as the site for pitch preparation and practice. According to Mike Sumpter, the Venture College executive director and a panelist for the Boise Startup Ecosystem panel discussion, “this great new event is just another example of the power of public/private partnerships. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support Trailhead and Albertsons as they lead innovation in the rapidly changing food space.”