Skip to main content

Venture College inspires entrepreneurial spirit with Idaho Ignite

woman in lab coat works with hands in chemistry lab hood
Juliette Tinker, photo by Priscilla Grover

Idaho Ignite, a series of summer courses, is celebrating its second year empowering Idaho faculty with the knowledge and confidence to launch and commercialize their entrepreneurial ideas.

Idaho Ignite is hosted by the Venture College in the College of Innovation and Design with Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies. This year, eight faculty members from Idaho higher education institutions participated.

Boise State Professor Juliette Tinker said she valued her Idaho Ignite experience. Her company, Pentamer Biologics, and research focuses on making vaccines to prevent mastitis, an infection of the udder, in dairy cows.

Mastitis causes an estimated $440 per cow or over $2 billion annual losses to the dairy industry, Tinker explained. A working vaccine would be highly cost-effective for dairy farmers, and make a large economic impact on Idaho, which is the third largest dairy-producing state in the nation.

“The Idaho Ignite course really helped me to narrow my target customer and create a message that is more concise, direct and understandable,” Tinker said.

Inside lab of Juliette Tinker, photo by Priscilla Grover

— By Brianne Phillips