Empowering students to take their ideas as far as they can go!

Get to know the Venture College

Venture College is a Boise State resource hub for all students and faculty to learn skills that help them become entrepreneurial and innovative thinkers.

Since 2014, over 100 students have launched businesses and nonprofits that have collectively generated millions in revenue. Three have raised funding from investors. Dozens have won seed money in competitions. All have benefited from our 200+ person mentor network and resources. 

See how we can help you.

Venture College offers three phases of student engagement and growth.

The Pyramid of Success

Foundational learning: Through a series of workshops, classes, and programs, Venture College helps students acquire core entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills.

Experiential learning: Venture College provides students with learn-by-doing opportunities to acquire career readiness skills and experiences. Experiences include competitions, internships, and mixers.

Incubation: Venture College is the exclusive on-campus source for startup incubation, acceleration and launch. Students who get accepted into the incubation have full access to Venture College’s downtown location, including: personal work space, conference rooms, access to the maker lab, printing and office supplies, and more.

Meet the team

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    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.

  • Sarah Ober

    Sarah Ober-Hicks

    Director of Outreach

    Sarah joins Venture College as the Director of Outreach. An Idaho-native, Sarah graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Idaho, and a BBA in Accounting and a BA in German from Boise State.

    Sarah has previous experience in accounting and marketing, but her real passion is in content management, digital marketing, and writing. She currently manages the social media marketing for several small businesses in Boise, and she serves as a resource for students interested in pursuing content strategy. Sarah is an avid bike rider and world traveler and spends her free time hiking and camping in the Idaho wilderness.

    Sarah joins Venture College as the Director of Outreach. An Idaho-native, Sarah graduated with a BA in English Literature from the University of Idaho, and a BBA in Accounting and a BA in German from Boise State.

    Sarah has previous experience in accounting and marketing, but her real passion is in content management, digital marketing, and writing. She currently manages the social media marketing for several small businesses in Boise, and she serves as a resource for students interested in pursuing content strategy. Sarah is an avid bike rider and world traveler and spends her free time hiking and camping in the Idaho wilderness.

Venture College Advisory Team

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    Tara Russell

    President of Fathom & Global Impact Lead of Carnival Corporation & PLC

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    Kathy O’Neill

    JUMP - Community Engagement Director

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    Karen Appelgren

    Director - Zion's Bank Business Resource Center

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    Katy Ritter

    Director, Office of Technology Transfer Boise State University

  • Greg-Martinez-200x300

    Greg Martinez

    Director for the Center for Multicultural & Educational Opportunities (CMEO) Boise State University

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    Karl Klokke

    Klokke Construction

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    Nick Crabbs

    Partner and Vice President of Community Relations - VYNYL, Co-Chair - Boise Startup Week

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    John Hale

    Managing Partner - Atticus Holdings LLC

  • Rich Robbins

    Regional Manager - Molnlycke Health Care

  • Bryan-Madden

    Bryan Madden

    M43, Program Officer - J.A. Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation

  • Marilyn Bickle, Venture College, portrait, Allison Corona photo.

    Marilyn Bickle

    Venture College Emeritus