Zero barriers: How CSU’s College of Business is expanding access to entrepreneurship

People at a College of Business entrepreneurship event
Through a series of free programs and events, the College of Business Institute for Entrepreneurship is committed to growing the number of students with entrepreneurial skills and support.

Being an entrepreneur can be a daunting task. Building a startup from ground up requires persistence, collaboration and the drive to take on the unexpected. But, with those challenges comes the independence to work on ideas you believe will have impact and create new businesses that can improve people’s lives.

For a lot of people it’s hard to figure out where to start, or where to get resources. That’s where the College of Business Institute for Entrepreneurship comes in.

No-cost programs for any CSU student

CSU students and faculty talk
The Institute for Entrepreneurship connects students with experienced mentors who will support them throughout their journey.

The Institute for Entrepreneurship is committed to empowering aspiring entrepreneurs from any discipline, offering no-cost business mentoring, educational opportunities and student support.

This year, the institute is launching a new series of free workshops and events designed for CSU students who dream of launching their own startup and want to learn how to turn an idea into a business reality. Successful teams will ultimately have the opportunity to receive venture funding to accelerate their companies’ growth and real world viability.

“The face of entrepreneurship is changing and our goal is to help catalyze that growth. We take a zero-barriers approach to ensure our institute programming supports every single student regardless of their background or skill set,” said Scott Shrake, director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship.

“So many people get scared away from entrepreneurship because they either don’t know where to get started or don’t see themselves as an entrepreneur – we’re going to fix that.”

Venture Validator

Students celebrating a business pitch competition win, arms raised

The Venture Validator is a free, month-long program where entrepreneurs meet once per week to test out their new business concepts. With the support of seasoned mentors and coaches, students conduct customer discovery and market research, create a business model, analyze their competitive landscape, protype products and ultimately pitch their ideas with the goal of launching successful ventures.

This intensive process is a necessary step in the entrepreneurship experience and ultimately sets businesses up for success, providing the knowledge needed to grow a venture while avoid common pitfalls and frustrations.

CSU students talk about their business ideas

Questions about the Institute for Entrepreneurship?