VentureBoard, a higher education software platform that reduces the barriers to starting companies and helps create a robust entrepreneurial culture on campus, has been adopted for two applications at the University of Maryland, university officials announce today.
The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) has deployed VentureBoard in its Hinman CEOs Program courses, while the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship will use VentureBoard as a foundation for its new Fearless Founders program.
VentureBoard helps both students and advisors throughout the venture creation process. Using an elegant, modern interface, students can quickly find and assemble teams across campus, build and refine their business model canvasses, and manage their company's projects and tasks on an ongoing basis.
For faculty and staff, VentureBoard provides a data-driven overview of the ventures in their portfolio, allowing them to quickly see which are active or in need of assistance. Advisors can also share thoughts and links, give direct feedback to student questions, and delegate tasks.
"Integrating VentureBoard into our classroom has been a win-win for both students and instructors," said James V. Green, director of entrepreneurship education at Mtech and director of the Hinman CEOs Program, the nation's first living-learning undergraduate entrepreneurship initiative. "Students gain access to an excellent tool for crafting business models, while instructors gain insights into the real-time status and progress of student ventures. This, in-turn, enables us to provide support that is relevant and timely."
For the Dingman Center, VentureBoard will serve as the organizing platform for Fearless Founders, a new initiative that helps prepare student entrepreneurs from idea generation to business launch.
"One of the most important things about VentureBoard for us is that its interface, with a Facebook wall-type feed, is consistent with how young entrepreneurs communicate with each other about starting their businesses," said Elana Fine, managing director of the Dingman Center. "In addition to its business model canvas and Lean LaunchPad-type tools, it gives us a great way to track teams, help them communicate with each other and match entrepreneurs with advisors."
VentureBoard can extend across a university campus, or serve specific cohorts.
The company was founded by University of Maryland students Scott Block (information systems and marketing double major, Hinman CEOs), Justin Searles (computer science major), and Avi Eisenberger (information systems and marketing double major) as a solution to the challenges they encountered while pursuing entrepreneurship in college.
VentureBoard will be available to additional universities for the spring 2014 semester.
About VentureBoard (http://ventureboard.co)
VentureBoard is an online platform that helps college students start new companies. To help students stay on task and to help university advisors track student performance, VentureBoard integrates student discovery, ideation, and collaboration to allow universities to better manage student-run companies. By providing a robust, user-centric online platform, VentureBoard encourages students to become more engaged in their businesses and allows university staff to stay better connected and organized with student entrepreneurs.