Champlain College’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship partnered with Lake Champlain Chamber to host an accelerator-style business boot camp for student entrepreneurs.

What does it take to start your own business? What type of financial backing do you need and who can you go to for support? What is important to include in your ‘elevator’ or ‘Shark Tank-style’ pitch? Nine Champlain College students took to the business boot camp to find out.

This hands-on, experiential learning opportunity for students is quintessential to Champlain College’s educational approach. Through our career-focused education and Upside-Down Curriculum, we are focused on developing entrepreneurial students and successful graduates, many of which stay in Vermont to run their businesses upon graduation.

“What [the students] walked away with was knowledge about where they could get financing and the sources they could turn to for financing to scale their business up,” Pat Patel, Director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Champlain College, said in this NBC 5 story, which was also featured in Yahoo News. “This was new information for them which was extremely valuable.”

Students walked away with inside knowledge on venture capital funding, professional business plan advice, and more through workshops and one-on-one sessions designed to help scale their businesses to the next level. The boot camp concluded with students presenting 15-minute business pitches to a panel of judges. Business pitch topics ranged from a software module designed to connect Google search users to Discord and a new app to help college students organize their schedules.

Business Administration major Peter Miller ’24 (pictured above) came out on top with his Portable Mini-Golf business pitch, a company he founded in 2020 as a first-year student at Champlain.

Participants of the business boot camp received critical insight and feedback from the panel of judges:

  • Alex Hernandez, Champlain College President
  • Michael Metz, Champlain College Board of Trustees
  • Charles Bush, Stiller School of Business Visiting Professor
  • Ed Egan, Ph.D., an applied micro-economist focused on the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation

Interested in learning more about our Stiller School of Business and the hands-on education you receive as a business student at Champlain? Click here.