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Applications for Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge open through March 10

Are you interested in taking your business or venture idea to the next level? Have you always been passionate about entrepreneurship and want to find a way to make money doing what you love?

Accelerate your creativity by competing in a statewide competition that rewards new and innovative ideas with a chance to win $50,000 in cash prizes to pursue your passion. Applications for the 9th annual Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge (IEC) are now open!

The Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge (IEC) is a competition hosted by Boise State University’s Venture College, a program in the College of Innovation and Design. IEC develops and rewards student entrepreneurs with promising ventures and small businesses.

Megan Lacy, Co-Founder + CEO of Lumineye, was an Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge Award Recipient in 2018.

Lacy said, “Venture College…helped Lumineye get off the ground, and make the shift from idea to prototype. Venture College was the first group to truly believe in us and encourage us to continue to pursue our venture, even when it seemed improbable that we would be successful…The Venture College experience is valuable to all students, not just students that want to be entrepreneurs. The skillsets learned from trying to create your own venture can be applied to any job and help better prepare graduates for the ‘real world’.”

Cash Prizes

College and university students from across Idaho have the opportunity to compete for $50,000 in cash prizes, as well as legal consultation and accounting services to advance their startups. Cash prizes are divided into four tracks that will be determined once applications are reviewed.

Winners of the Spring 2023 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge will receive a “Golden Ticket” to pitch in the Fall 2023 Boise Entrepreneur Week Pitch Competition. Boise Entrepreneur Week is the largest entrepreneurial event in Idaho that brings together thousands of entrepreneurs for pitch competitions, keynote speakers, workshops, talks and more.


Thank you to our sponsors! Our 2022 sponsors are IGEM (Idaho Department of Commerce), Stratton & Associates and Hawley Troxell. For a full list of our sponsors and to see our 2022 sponsors, please visit the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge website.

Important Dates

  • March 10th: Application closes at midnight
  • March 17th: Teams notified if they will be advancing to the prelims
  • March 31st: Preliminary competition, virtual via Zoom
  • March 31st: Top 12 teams announced, will compete in the finals in Boise, Idaho
  • April 7th: Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge, in-person at Boise State University