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Launching Ventures Beyond the Classroom

About Us

Venture College provides the campus community with training, venture incubation support, and unique startup experiences to help them find their entrepreneurial passion.

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Venture College Highlights

129 Active Venture College Businesses

James Petzke, Owner of Off Trail Publishing, CEO of Upland Optics

$2.8 Million Capital Raised

2019 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge Award Recipients, Team: Doorstep

500+ Community Supporters

Fall 2017 Venture College Incubator

Meet the Team

  • Nic Miller

    Nic Miller

    Executive Director

    Nic leads the Venture College, where students acquire entrepreneurial skills and apply those skills in launching new ventures.

    Prior to joining Boise State University, Nic was the Director of Economic Development for the City of Boise. In this role, Nic helped to launch Trailhead, downtown Boise’s premier co-working space and startup hub. He also led the City’s efforts in business recruitment, bringing over 1,000 jobs to the Boise area. During Nic’s five years in his role at the City of Boise, there was significant private investment made via innovative public-private partnerships, resulting in increased job creation and economic growth.

    Nic has experience in workforce development, education, and economic development through public and private sector work, as well as startup experience in the agricultural technology industry. Nic earned his BA in History from the University of Idaho.

    Nic leads the Venture College, where students acquire entrepreneurial skills and apply those skills in launching new ventures.

    Prior to joining Boise State University, Nic was the Director of Economic Development for the City of Boise. In this role, Nic helped to launch Trailhead, downtown Boise’s premier co-working space and startup hub. He also led the City’s efforts in business recruitment, bringing over 1,000 jobs to the Boise area. During Nic’s five years in his role at the City of Boise, there was significant private investment made via innovative public-private partnerships, resulting in increased job creation and economic growth.

    Nic has experience in workforce development, education, and economic development through public and private sector work, as well as startup experience in the agricultural technology industry. Nic earned his BA in History from the University of Idaho.

  • Ryan Vasso

    Ryan Vasso

    Associate Director

    In 2013, after graduating from Boise State with an English Literature degree, Ryan was invited to join Venture College’s 2nd cohort to develop and launch his business concept. Within one year of attending Venture College, Ryan went on to raise over $500,000 from northwest investors, including the Boise Angel Alliance. With the seed investment, he was able to hire Boise employees, build production-ready software, and scale his business.

    Today, Ryan is still the founder and CEO of his company, Reply Pro, a review management platform. In addition, he manages all programs and operations for Venture College.

    In 2013, after graduating from Boise State with an English Literature degree, Ryan was invited to join Venture College’s 2nd cohort to develop and launch his business concept. Within one year of attending Venture College, Ryan went on to raise over $500,000 from northwest investors, including the Boise Angel Alliance. With the seed investment, he was able to hire Boise employees, build production-ready software, and scale his business.

    Today, Ryan is still the founder and CEO of his company, Reply Pro, a review management platform. In addition, he manages all programs and operations for Venture College.

  • Cara Van Sant

    Cara Van Sant

    Marketing & Communications Manager

    Cara joined the Venture College after working as an Executive Assistant to the cofounders of an early stage startup. Prior to this role, she served as Capital Campaign Coordinator at the Boise Public Library, and Executive Assistant in the City of Boise Mayor’s Office. Cara graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Affairs, and a Business minor. After graduating, she worked in the corporate world in Seattle, but was excited to move back to her hometown here in Boise.

    Cara joined the Venture College after working as an Executive Assistant to the cofounders of an early stage startup. Prior to this role, she served as Capital Campaign Coordinator at the Boise Public Library, and Executive Assistant in the City of Boise Mayor’s Office. Cara graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Affairs, and a Business minor. After graduating, she worked in the corporate world in Seattle, but was excited to move back to her hometown here in Boise.

Venture College Advisory Board

  • Eric Gilbert

    Eric Gilbert

    Co-Founder, Treefort Music Fest

  • HannaLore Hein

    HannaLore Hein

    State Historian, Idaho State Historical Society

  • Janessa White

    Janessa White

    Co-Founder, Simply Eloped

  • Jessica Flynn

    Jessica Flynn

    Founder & CEO, Red Sky

  • John Hale

    John Hale

    Managing Partner, Atticus Holdings LLC

  • Kathy O’Neill

    Kathy O’Neill

    Community Engagement Director, JUMP

  • Megan Lacy

    Megan Lacy

    Chief Design Officer + Co-Founder, Lumineye

  • Nick Crabbs

    Nick Crabbs

    Partner & Vice President of Community Engagement, VYNYL + Co-Chair, Boise Startup Week

  • Roger Hancock

    Roger Hancock

    CEO, Recall InfoLink

  • Sue Latta

    Sue Latta

    Artist/Owner, The Sculpture Studio + Lecturer, School of the Arts at BSU

  • Tara Russell

    Tara Russell

    President, Fathom + Global Impact Lead, Carnival Corporation & PLC

  • Tiam Rastegar

    Tiam Rastegar

    Executive Director, Trailhead Boise