AcademicsNews Service RSS

New Venture Lab Inspires Students

The New Venture Lab teaches students to "learn business by doing business."

The New Venture Lab teaches students to “learn business by doing business.”

By Taylor Hornney
Class of 2016

SPOKANE, Washington – Gonzaga’s New Venture Lab, launched in 2003 in the Jepson Center for the School of Business Administration, continues to inspire and change the lives of students. Kevin Olivier, a junior from Anaheim, California, switched his major to business after working in the NVL for two semesters.

“It was through my experience working with the NVL that I found a passion for business,” said Olivier, who is now one of three students managing the student-run consulting organization.

New Venture LabWorking in partnership with Gonzaga’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, New Venture Lab helps local entrepreneurs develop new products and businesses by providing the brainpower needed to succeed in today’s dynamic business landscape. In providing deliverables ranging from market research to website design, students like Olivier gain valuable career-enhancing experience.

Olivier, who is earning a concentration in marketing with a minor in entrepreneurial leadership, aims to parlay his love for music into a business.

“It’s making me want to pursue my own passions and be entrepreneurial,” Olivier said. “Working with all of our clients has been so inspiring! I want to start a record label and, eventually, a recording studio.”

YouTube Preview Image

Olivier is currently working to transform a room in his off-campus house into a recording studio, which he hopes will bring him one step closer to running a record company. For now, he oversees leadership teams and helps recruit students and project managers alongside Megan Selden and Hayden Deitrick, the two other student program managers.

Local business ventures the NVL has recently helped include LINC (Local Inland Northwest Cooperative Growers) Foods, Hoopfest and Spokane FAVS (Faith and Values, an online faith-based community publication). Student entrepreneur projects the NVL has assisted include Gonzaga’s Kennel Club and the Gonzaga student start-up businesses Time for Change Watches, and OneUp (a single-platform app being developed for social media challenges).

NVL students worked with LINC last semester to promote its business distributing produce from local farmers to companies and restaurants. On Sept. 3 (2015), LINC made its first fresh produce delivery to Zag Dining, marking the culmination of an innovative and intentional partnership by Gonzaga with local farmers.

NVL leaders also have created a focus group service that offers local entrepreneurs feedback from a team of Gonzaga students regarding their ventures.

Entrepreneurs interested in the free business consulting service provided by the New Venture Lab apply, and if selected, are paired with a student project manager. Each project manager is assigned a student team that helps the entrepreneur create a scope of work that can be completed in eight weeks. Services range from business plans to market research that provides fresh insights to develop products and businesses. Each project, in turn, provides students with real-world experience working with both start-ups and seasoned entrepreneurs.

“This is a great way to see how local entrepreneurs are starting and all the work that it takes to really start,” Olivier said.

Comments are closed.