In the summer of 2017, the College of Business and Economics entered into a partnership with VentureCapital.Org (VCO) called the Strategic Growth Capital Partnership (SGCP) led by executive in residence, John Williamson
Through this partnership, we deliver a venture accelerator service that gives entrepreneurs access to a strong mentor resource, which enables a higher probability of success in raising the critical investment capital for them to grow their businesses here in Idaho. In the last year, we’ve helped 19 entrepreneurs. Their companies are:
- As Directed
- Blast Resolve
- Farb Guidance systems
- GenZ Technology
- Melt Organic
- Predictable Ryde
- Recovery Help
- SnackTivist Foods
Twelve of these companies attended the February 2018 VCO Investor Conference. After the conference, Jeffrey Lee Nelson, CEO of AppliedApps, Inc. (DBA LedgerBox), expressed the value of the VCO and SGCP.
“It is vitally important that the community experience an awakening as to the value of the startup community and invest in opportunities to expose and guide investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and the public sector,” said Nelson. “COBE [SGCP] and VentureCapital.Org are one of the few partnerships that have invested in our community with the vision to make a difference.”
The Student Experience
Another success of SGCP is student involvement. It is one of our objectives to provide student interns networking opportunities and hands-on-learning. Seven interns (six from Boise State University) participated in the 2017-2018 VentureCapital.Org cohort of mentored companies. Collectively they assisted with 19 companies through three deal forum events at COBE and the 2018 Investor’s Choice Conference in Salt Lake City, developed relationships with dozens of mentors, and assisted with the development of the Idaho Economic Development Loan Fund. These interns were excellent ambassadors of the program and their respective universities. They demonstrated to our clients, mentors, and community partners the potential of the talent being groomed within higher education in Idaho.
Other SGCP successes:
- 50+ mentors from Idaho are actively participating.
- 2018 cohort is indicating some companies are beginning to raise money.
- The reach of the program is statewide and has resulted in economic development recruitment discussions for companies to relocate to Idaho. (Three out-of-state companies are considering an Idaho office and/or strategic partnerships.)
- Industry relationship development is resulting in a pipeline of new companies supporting COBE and partnering with university advancement.
- Idaho Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund (EDRLF) has a high probability of closing in the second quarter of 2018 and begin accepting company applications in Q3. This fund will serve as an additional source of capital to assist market.
- A 2018 Idaho Entrepreneurial Challenge winner was advised by VCO interns and COBE executive in residence.
- COBE is hosting and leading the discussion on the formation of a capital network in partnership with numerous market stakeholders
Helping new entrepreneurs gain traction in the business world, is important work that benefits our COBE students, our community and our economy. Together, our program’s successes are helping these new entrepreneurs to: Start. Find Money. Change the World.