The Venture College at Texas A&M University-Commerce has joined forces with Global Silicon Valley (GSV) to offer educational support to student entrepreneurs. The partnership, aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among students, brings together the resources of Venture College, an entrepreneurship training program, and GSV, a venture capital firm known for sponsoring events like the Texas Cup, where university students pitch their business ideas.
Located within the College of Business, Venture College welcomes all A&M-Commerce students and provides a platform for them to connect with fellow students, mentors, and the capital required to turn their ideas into reality.
At this year's Texas Cup competition, two A&M-Commerce students and Venture College Fellows, Shivani and Sachi Dodamani, secured third place with their startup, "Racquet Armor." Their innovative and inclusive prosthetic solution for athletes offers opportunities to participate in various sports like racquetball, pickleball, tennis, and ping pong.
Jacob Pouttu, Venture College Coordinator, explained that events such as the Lion's Innovation Showcase initiated discussions between A&M-Commerce and Global Silicon Valley. Pouttu revealed, "Global Silicon Valley got on our radar last spring after our showcase. Since then, I have kept in touch with their director, Catherine Merrick, and jumped at the opportunity to develop a partnership with GSV as they are expanding to include their own entrepreneurial education programming."
Pouttu emphasized the alignment between the GSV Boot Camp, a seven-week program designed to teach students about generating startup ideas, pitching those ideas, networking, and more, and the Venture College Fellowship program. "Through this partnership, we will have access to GSV resources, and our students will have an opportunity to participate in the boot camp," said Pouttu, adding that students can earn an official credential from Global Silicon Valley to enhance their resumes.
The partnership also means that Venture College will receive an annual invitation to the Texas Cup, providing more opportunities for A&M-Commerce students to showcase their ideas on a larger stage.
Pouttu expressed optimism about the opportunities this partnership can offer, saying, "The partnership with GSV can give our students better access to mentoring, investors, and many more networking opportunities that are extremely important to starting any business or nonprofit. Venture College strives to help students help themselves, and Global Silicon Valley perfectly aligns with this mission."
Catherine Merrick, director of the GSV Bootcamp, expressed her hope that students can now have better opportunities to succeed in their business endeavors through this collaboration. "We believe that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not, and the GSV boot camp gives aspiring entrepreneurs free and open access to material that is crucial to understand while starting a business," Merrick said. "By providing content and connections through this program, we hope that we can equip the next generation of entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to succeed!"