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Innovation & Job News

VentureBoard heads to 1776 for summer vacation

VentureBoard, the student-run start-up out of the University of Maryland (UMD) that helps budding entrepreneurs build out their ideas before they leave campus, is moving to 1776 for the summer. Scott Block, VentureBoard’s co-founder, says that the move will allow him to forgo a traditional internship and instead focus on the company full time.

VentureBoard is an online platform that allows students in unconnected schools across the UMD campus to connect to form start-ups and build products and services. Block is a business major; he says that friends in his classes had ideas about building products but didn’t have the resources to create them and didn’t know anyone in, say, the computer science field. So Block, along with co-founders Justin Searles and Avi Eisenberger, created the platform to foster those connections.

In addition to helping students connect over ideas, VentureBoard also offers an integrated business model canvas, replacing the need for entrepreneurs to complete the dreaded business plan.

Block says he wants VentureBoard to be a clearinghouse of information. “Students don’t know what resources are out there,” he explains. “Four or five students have e-commerce ideas. [E-commerce platform] Shopify would work [for those students], but they don’t even know that it exists.”

Block estimates that 95 percent of VentureBoard’s features are built. He says that over the summer, he plans to pitch the beta version and the analytics back to UMD. “Entrepreneurial programs need better ways to keep tabs on students,” he explains. Ventureboard could be one of those ways. “It could also be a valuable recruiting tool.” VentureBoard is only open to UMD students for now, but Block says his company will ultimately make money by pitching the tool to other schools facing the same issues.

According to Block, 1776 is interested in using VentureBoard to help the companies in its space connect. “They want to break into energy and education, and we want to connect with [1776],” he states.

If all goes according to plan, VentureBoard could be hiring someone to help with marketing and PR this summer.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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