Venture School

Venture School

Venture School is a 6-week training program designed to accelerate the startup process while increasing your chance for success.


Upcoming Venture School Dates: View Schedules

Council Bluffs – Begins March 29, 2015
(Application deadline: March 13)

Information Sessions:
February 20 @ 8 am (for Stakeholders), Looft Hall, Iowa Western Community College (2700 College Road, Council Bluffs)
February 20 @ noon (for Teams), Looft Hall, Student Center, Iowa Western Community College (2700 College Road, Council Bluffs)

Cedar Rapids – Begins April 8, 2015
(Application deadline: March 13)

Information Sessions:
February 25 @ 8 am, Iowa Startup Accelerator (415 12th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids)
February 26 @ noon, Entrepreneurial Development Center (230 2nd St. SE #212, Cedar Rapids)
March 9 @ noon, Kirkwood Training & Outreach Services (3375 Armar Drive, Marion)

Application Process

Have an idea?
After filling out the online application, you will be scheduled for an interview with our teaching team. Once accepted into Venture School there will be a $500 fee to reserve your spot. Apply to a cohort near you today!

Want to be part of a team?
If you do not have an idea but would like to be placed on a Venture School team, apply to be a Team Member!

 Program Overview

Venture School emphasizes real-world entrepreneurship through experiential learning, a flipped classroom and immediate feedback.

Your team will accelerate the start-up process by testing your business hypotheses immediately. You will get out of the building to talk to customers, partners and competitors, rather than relying on static case studies and secondhand market research.

You will encounter first-hand the chaos and uncertainty of commercializing innovations and creating new ventures, and will be challenged to create your own business model, making pivots or preserving based on your findings.

Benefits include:

  • Discover a great market for your technology or idea.
  • Learn from people who have real world knowledge.
  • Appreciate what it takes to commercialize technology and the barriers to adoption.
  • Develop your business model and strengthen you knowledge of business concepts and procedures.
  • Expand your network by connecting with teachers, investors, customers and mentors.
  • Meet the players that can help you move your idea forward.


 NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Curriculum

Venture School instructors have attended the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Lean LaunchPad training. This approach focuses on flipped classroom teaching, lean methodologies and customer discovery.

  • View a sample Venture School cohort schedule (download)
  • View a sample list of Venture School team assignments (download)



View our FAQ page or contact Jennifer Ott.

Venture School Application

Open Applications:
March 2015 - Council Bluffs
April 2015 - Cedar Rapids

Apply Today