Startup House, a new program to encourage student startups created by VentureLab, was launched for the Fall Semester.
This semester 42 students are living on the top floor of Crecine Apartments for the program. The purpose of the program is to help students create startups by teaching them the basics of entrepreneurship and guiding them through the startup process.
Brandy Nagel, Marketing and Program Manager for VentureLab, says she came up with the idea after seeing the marketing material for Think Big.
“I was over in the student center looking for ways for VentureLab to reach out to students and I saw the postcards for the Think Big program,” Nagel said. “And I picked one up and I thought, ‘Oh, why isn’t there one around entrepreneurship and startups?’ And so I brought it back here to the office and showed it to my colleagues.”
As in all Think Big programs, the students live together in the same block of rooms on campus housing. Unlike other Think Big programs, Startup House provides resources for students interested in startups including guest speakers, tutorials and advice.
“Students will come up with ideas, develop profitable and scalable business models and will launch startups,” Nagel said.
“So I actually roped all my roommates that I lived with the last four years into it to, but I mean, just going to be working on Fixd and it’s going to be cool,” said John Gattuso, a Startup House participant. “We’re doing the ropes course on Friday and then it’s going to be good to get all the other speakers to come in.”
The program comes on the heels of Startup Summer, another entrepreneurship program run by VentureLab over the summer.
“I think for everyone else that had not been through that same experience, [entrepreneurship has] a learning curve, because it’s completely new. It’s not the process that you’re normally taught in engineering, and having to learn that and apply it in however many weeks we had was difficult,” said Rachel Ford, co-founder of Succette and participant in Startup Summer.
The program takes students at all stages of entrepreneurship, from recently interested to students who had already developed their product and business plan.
“Several students moved in with a startup already started,” Nagel said. “We’ll work together to help them grow their business with coaching, office space if they need it and introductions to potential customers, business partners and investors.”