Launch Entrepreneurship
From Your Classroom

The Venture Challenge allows your students to quickly start real-world new ventures online with a full curriculum and technical support. Add the experience of authentic entrepreneurship to your class while raising money for charity.

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Student teams start real online businesses that compete on revenue earned in 30 days,
and then donate profits to charity.

Gamified Curriculum Guides to Learning Outcomes.

Engage your students in a class wide competition. Teams earn badges and points for completing tasks, making sales and reaching milestones to compete for the top spot on their private leaderboard.

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Oversight & Data Driven Teaching.

Venture Challenge's Instructor Dashboard allows you to monitor and participate in your student's learning, keep up to date with each team's Shopify store performance and discussions, and provide feedback throughout the exercise.

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Technical Support Included.

We provide step by step guidance for both instructors and students - from validating an idea to launching a Shopify store - with ongoing support throughout.

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Contact us for a Venture Challenge in your classroom.

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Last year 354 students started 91 new businesses and generated $78,591 in revenue.

"In a semester, eight MBA student groups took the online venture challenge and grossed over $19,000 in one month of online sales. They were able to quickly design, implement, and adapt their social business models to meet the needs of their customers. When students are free to use entrepreneurship to solve social and economic problems in their community, amazing things happen.”

Clay Dibrell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Management,
University of Mississippi

Experiential Learning Made Easy.

The Venture Challenge exercise integrates into any learning plan.



Students ideate and validate with data-driven market analysis. Then the business model canvas and competitive analysis informs their discovery of a differentiated positioning.



A streamlined process guides students through launching their online store with no technical skills required.



30 days of live competition provides a learning exercise that can’t be simulated inside the classroom.

"The Venture Challenge gives my students something most don't get in business school...

... the opportunity to create and operate their own new venture where success is based on their creativity, perseverance, and their ability to make a sale. Once a team had more than 110,000 page views but failed to sell a single thing. A few teams have made more than $6,000 in the single month."

Geoff Archer, Ph.D.
Director of the Eric C. Douglas Center for Entrepreneurship
Royal Roads University

Students Engage in Real Business.

Your students will create an ecommerce store selling a real product or service to real customers for real money using the Shopify eCommerce platform.

This is achieved through the assistance of the Venture Challenge technical support team, which allows students to focus more on their product, customers, and strategy than getting their website up and running.

  • How is the Venture Challenge integrated into my classroom?

    The Venture Challenge has been used a major assignment, an entire course, or as an extra curricular. Individual learning resources are optional and exercise can be expanded with a final "venture capital" pitch or stripped down to provide as a hands-on application of marketing or entrepreneurial operation.

  • Where do the profits go? How much gets to the charities?

    Student team members can compensate themselves for their out-of-pocket expenses, but all profits must go the charity of their choice. Since moving the Venture Challenge online in 2010, teams have averaged $910 in revenue with 87% of teams exceeding $300.

  • How can my students contact the support team about challenges or issues?

    The Venture Challenge includes technical support for all of the activities covered by the curriculum. Students will have a support email available that answers all inquiries within 24-hours for the duration of the exercise , including weekends.

  • How do I mark the Venture Challenge?

    The gamification scoreboard provides an excellent starting place; from there it becomes a matter of learning objectives and personal preference. The customizable master grade sheet can include assessments for competition results, advanced storefront metrics, business planning and analysis, and website design & functionality. We’ve provided baseline templates for you to customize based on instruction needs.

  • How much does the Venture Challenge cost for students?

    Students can participate with no direct costs. Use of the Venture Challenge platform, curriculum, and technical support are arranged as a site-license with the insitution. Students make use of the Shopify eCommerce platform, which offers a generous free trial period that allows use for the entire exercise period. There are many free and earned-media marketing strategies available for students to take advantage of when launching their Venture Challenge stores.

    Instructors may choose to allow exploration of purchased marketing assets like a custom domain name for the eCommerce store or paid online advertising like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. In these cases, student teams collectively seed their business with up to $200 and recover that cost from revenues.