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Boise State, Trailhead go virtual with events for businesses, aspiring entrepreneurs

Even though most events across Idaho saw swift cancellations in recent weeks, Trailhead and the Boise State Venture College pivoted.

A new virtual event for established local businesses popped up, while a long-standing annual event for aspiring entrepreneurs will happen entirely online.

Entrepreneur Challenge

The annual Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge will still take place this year – but Boise State officials moved it from JUMP – to a virtual format.

Throughout the day, the 23 participating teams will take place in three rounds of judging via video conferencing. Then, at 4pm, Boise State’s Twitch channel (usually home to eSports), will feature a live program. Winners from each of four tracks will pitch for additional prizes. Boise State president Dr. Marlene Tromp, as well as past Entrepreneur Challenge winner and Lumineye founder Megan Lacy and Intuit Chief Product & Design Officer Diego Rodriguez, will also be featured.

Each year, the Entrepreneur Challenge gives teams from colleges across Idaho a chance to pitch their ideas for new business concepts and models. Expert judges help dole out more than $100,000 in prize money.

Last year’s winner, Free to Feed, helps mothers of infants determine if their children may have food allergies. The concept landed $10,000 in seed funding through IEC.

Check back later this week on BoiseDev for coverage of the 2020 winners.

Survive to Thrive

Taylre Brigham of Ataraxis gives out advice to local business leaders during a Zoom session Tuesday.

Trailhead and the venture college partnered for a Zoom series they’re calling Survive to Thrive. Each week, an expert panel comes together with ideas, best practices, and advice for local businesses. This week’s event featured a panel of experts from business and government – with more than 60 business leaders listening and watching live.

Topics so far include managing employees in changing times, an emergency checklist for startups and more. Each session takes place in real-time over the Zoom video meeting platform, but segments also made available on the Venture College’s YouTube channel.

The next session is set for Tuesday, April 7. You can register here. You can find more information and resources in the Trailhead Slack channel – which you can join here.

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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